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This question is a difficult one to answer as I have found that the gay people I know have all experienced "coming out" differently. Identity confusion has been a part of their sorting out their own emotions to know how they feel. Identity assumption is also part of becoming the real person they are inside. Identity assumption gives them the opportunity to let other people they know see the whole person and not just the part they were willing to show before. I believe that sensitization is also part of the process as they deal with the reactions of friends and parents to the news. Having a brother who is gay, all three of these stages were present in his "coming out." The one I question is containment. Once the decision is truly made to come out, they no longer need to contain who knows, who doesn't, and whether this person is safe to tell. There are researchers who believe in five or six stages to the process, so I would encourage you to look for their list of stages.
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