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A dissertation submitted to the Department of Humanities In partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Applied Social Studies in Social Care Institute of Technology Blanchardstown Dublin .


The following thesis will tackle research into the coming out experience in Ireland and the affects of such experience. Such a topic is of importance to social care workers as the LGBT community are more likely to experience stress, depression, suicide ideation and drug use.

The research reviewed was divided up into the following themes, in order to answer the research question; ‘age of realisation versus age of coming out, the ‘LGBT stereotype’, ‘experience of homophobia, the ‘acceptance of LGBT people’ and finally the ‘supports available’

A qualitative research method was implemented and used on the sample group of seven participants who met the criteria for participation and the information was gathered through the use of semi-structured interviews. It was found that while a person will experience homophobia before and after they come out, however the nature of such homophobia changes.

In addition to the main finding, it was also found that there is a lack of awareness of supports for LGBT people, a lack of visibility of LGBT issues in school and sexual education and a lack of understanding from parents. Furthermore, given the wide range of risk factors for LGBT people, social care workers should have an understanding of such risk factors and the issues faced by LGBT community in order to promote better practice amongst the social care workforce.