Naomi B. Knoble, MEd, LMFT, and Deanna Linville, PhD, LMFT, Couples and Family Therapy Program, University of Oregon.
Outness and relationship satisfaction in same-gender couples
Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
© 2010 American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy
Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
Volume 38, Issue 2, pages 330–339, April 2012
How to Cite
Knoble, N. B. and Linville, D. (2012), Outness and relationship satisfaction in same-gender couples. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38: 330–339. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2010.00206.x
- Issue published online: 18 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 26 APR 2010
Self-disclosure of sexual orientation, or outness, is a fundamental feature of gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) experience, yet little is known about how outness impacts same-gender relationship satisfaction. Through a qualitative analysis of interviews with 15 same-gender couples, the complexities of navigating a stigmatized identity in a homonegative society emerged, including (a) characteristics of outness, (b) the influence of coupling on an individual’s outness, and (c) the impact of outness on same-gender relationship satisfaction. Findings suggest that for GLB persons, outness is a developmental skill, an expression of identity and values, as well as a resilience strategy for managing discrimination and gay-related stress that influences, though does not singularly determine, relationship satisfaction. Implications for clinical practice and future research suggestions are presented.