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There are several stages in the process of coming out as a gay or lesbian A persons life is their own so they should only do things when ready Acknowledging that one-self is gay can take many years Knowing this making the decision to come out as a gay or lesbian can be a scary and stressful situation Useful information from other peoples experiences of coming forth can help a person understand and prepare for some of the consequences when approaching their family and friends The outing results are different for everyone In the process of coming out there are many different methods of making yourself visible in our society Nobody knows for sure why some of us are gay and some of us are not Many theories have been put forward ranging from genetic differences to overbearing parents The evidence so far suggests that random genetic factors play a part in determining sexuality in the same way they play a part in determining for example left-handedness One thing that is known is that no one chooses his or her sexuality Some gay people know they are different if not gay from as young as five or six Some say that for most people sexuality is determined by the age of 12 or 13 and probably 16 at the latest Society tends to assume that everyone is or wants to be heterosexual This is known as heterosexism Few people continue to believe that sexuality is a choice and that we can be persuaded into heterosexuality By assuming heterosexuality is natural society gives rise to the dilemma for gays and lesbians of whether to hide our sexuality or to come out There have been small but perceptib le changes in the way British society views homosexuality but there is a long way to go before it will accept gays in the same way as it does people who are say left-handed This has more to do
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