Social Sciences (Sep 2015)

Trials and Triumph: Lesbian and Gay Young Adults Raised in a Rural Context

  • Angie L. Dahl,
  • Rachel K. Scott,
  • Zachalee Peace

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 4, no. 4
pp. 925 – 939


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The rural context at times is characterized by heteronormativity and conservatism. For individuals who identify as a sexual minority (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer), the rural context may pose particular challenges to the development of a healthy, coherent sense of self. Seven young adults (18–24) who identified as gay or lesbian participated in in-depth interviews regarding their experiences coming out in a rural Appalachian context. Findings suggest sexual minority individuals experience both trials and triumphs coming out in the rural context. Two overarching themes and six subthemes are discussed with implications for supporting sexual minority youth in the rural context.