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The Positive Aspects of Being Gay or Lesbian

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Just coming out?

Maybe this article will be good for you to read.

Researchers at the University of Kentucky in Lexington surveyed over 500 gay men and women, inquiring about the positive aspects of being gay. Up until now, most of the research has focused on psychopathology, or negative mental health problems associated with being gay or lesbian.

But many gays and lesbians will tell you that there are positive aspects of such a life. In fact, they found 10 universal themes:

  1. Belonging to a community

  2. Creating families of choice

  3. Forging strong connections with others

  4. Serving as positive role models

  5. Developing empathy and compassion

  6. Living authentically and honestly

  7. Gaining personal insight and sense of self

  8. Involvement in social justice and activism

  9. Freedom from gender-specific roles

  10. Freedom to explore sexuality and relationships

What are some positive aspects you've noticed for yourself?

Many gays and lesbians enjoy the lack of "rules" about how to live one's life. Some would argue that heterosexuals are raised to start dating in their teens, marry in their 20's, and have children by age 30. The in-laws often start dropping the hint that they want a grandchild if you're approaching 40 and haven't had a child, right?

Nevertheless, gays and lesbians get to choose whether this life is right for them, and this freedom opens up possibilities for a happier life.

- Gay Couples Institute Research Team

Riggle, Ellen D. B.; Whitman, Joy S.; Olson, Amber; Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, Vol 39(2), Apr 2008. pp. 210-217.

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