A qualitative research on the effects of gay and bisexual men's "coming-out" on their friendship with heterosexuals in Japan

[Speaker] Nakayama, Yutaro:1
[Co-author] Isozaki, Mikitoshi:2
1:University of Tokyo (Japan), 2:International Christian University (Japan)

The aim of this research is to investigate how gay and bisexual men's coming-out affects their friendship with heterosexuals. 4 gay/bisexual men who came out and 7 heterosexual friends who were come out in the past were interviewed separately. KJ method was used to analyze the interview.
The result shows that most of both gay/bisexual men and heterosexual friends recognizes that coming-out caused an improvement of friendships because their communication become more active after coming-out, especially with heterosexual female friends. Moreover, some gay men even use coming-out as a strategy to become closer friends.
The heterosexual friends changed their attitude and behavior toward the gay/bisexual friends after coming-out positively, as well as toward LGBTs in general. In addition, many of them reconsidered their own sexuality.
The result implies that coming-out may improve gay/bisexual men's mental health, because friendship is an important relationship for adolescents. Furthermore, it also affects heterosexuals themselves.
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