Coming out process is a necessary step for a LGBTQ person in order to develop integrative sexual and transgender identity (Cass, 1984; Manning, 2014). and mental health of LGBTQ people is under strong influence by the family and social support and their reactions to coming out (D’Augelli, 2002; Ryan et al., 2010; Ryan, Legate, & Winstein, 2015). The goal of the present research is to explore what is the experience of mothers of LGBTQ children in Serbia after the children’s coming out? Using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith, 2015), this study explored the experience of eight mothers of LGBTQ youth in Serbia after their children came out. From the analysis 4 main themes emerged: We started a conversation, and then he told me everything: what, how, where” – The context of finding out, “…and that is something very terrifying, that someone could hurt my child because he is what he is” – Mothers’ reactions, “I needed to see that he is completely well” – Process of adaptation, “Are we strong enough to bear all that?” – Parent and family identity. The results have shown that after finding out, mothers have a broad variety of reactions from surprise and shock to anger and sadness (Ben-Ari, 1989), after which the process of accepting child’s identity begins. That process was composed of different questions and challenges mothers faced and needed to overcome, either with professional or support from co-parent, with social support and information gathered from children or internet. The adaptation process resulted in integration of child’s identity in family’s identity, showing a developmental path mothers go through in order to accept child’s identity, but also showing possibilities for practical interventions in working with LGBTQ children and their families.
mothers of LGBTQ youth, coming out process, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, phenomenological method
We wish to thank Maja Miskovic for her valuable comments on the previous version of this article.
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Recommended APA Citation
Mirković, V., & Jerković, I. (2021). Experiences of Mothers of LGBTQ Children in Serbia: What Comes After Coming Out?. The Qualitative Report, 26(3), 652-673. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.4680