Who am I: Using Communication Theory to Understand the Disclosure of One’s Sexual Identity

by Whitney Novotny
Communication Studies
Faculty advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Lamoureux

Everybody's journey is individual.  Understanding the reasons why people choose not to disclose their sexuality is a growing interest in our world today.  There are many people hiding who they are in fear of what people might think of them.  According to Rosenfeld (1979) “Self-disclosure may be resisted because it leads to increased self-awareness, and an individual may believe it is better to avoid acknowledging what presumed weaknesses exist” (p. 65).  By conducting research and applying Altman and Taylor’s Social Penetration Theory, Mead’s Symbolic Interactionism Theory, and Heider’s Attribution Theory, this study will examine the disclosure of one’s sexual identity from the perceptions of the person disclosing as well as the perceptions from those disclosed to.