LGBTQ Online Communications: Building Community Through Blogs, Vlogs, and Facebook

In recent years, the Internet has become more accessible and socially oriented—leading to its key role in sexual-minority identity formation, self-acceptance, and disclosure. For example, 70% of LGBTQ American college students report using the Internet to research their sexual orientation. Moreover, health psychologist Gary Harper suggests that LGBTQ youth primarily use the Internet to connect with supportive peers—leading to increases in sexual orientation knowledge, self-awareness, and comfort. In addition, anonymous online sexual/gender orientation disclosures and explorations are particularly appealing to those living within communities that disapprove of or persecute LGBTQ persons. For example, gay men from Christian and Orthodox Jewish backgrounds use online communications more frequently (61%) than religious supports such as prayer or religious counseling (34%) to make sense of the coming-out period. Moreover, ...

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