Resilience Through Relationship Experiences: A Qualitative Exploration of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Romantic Development


Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals often experience stress and discrimination related to sexual identity, which may lead to poorer outcomes compared to their heterosexual counterparts). However, research suggests LGB individuals often have happy, stable, and egalitarian relationships. What remains unclear is the process through which LGB individuals navigate the stressors associated with minoritized sexual identities and establish fulfilling romantic lives. Using grounded theory methods, we explored the features of LGB romantic development, emphasizing how individuals build resilience through their relationship and sexual experiences. Based on in-depth relationship histories from 10 LGB young adults, we found that concealment, conformity, and authenticity reflect common, underlying themes of romantic development in LGB people. These themes align with a risk and resilience framework, which explains how individuals address and overcome adversity. The findings showcase the need for comprehensive, inclusive, and informed relationship research and education for LGB people.


Family Studies

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LGBTQ+ Family: An Interdisciplinary Journal


Taylor & Francis

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