When to Come Out
Unlike most minority groups, gay people have some control over when they reveal their identity. And on that question of timing, a study suggests that later in an interaction is better.
Forty-five people, mostly undergraduates, were told that before meeting a man they would listen to an audio of him answering 20 questions about his background, interests and relationships. Half the time, the relationships question (in which the man mentioned a male partner) came second. The rest of the time that question came 20th.
Asked how they felt about the prospective meeting (which never occurred), women didn’t react differently to the early or late disclosure of homosexuality. But men expressed more negative expectations when the disclosure came early. Men who heard the early disclosure also expressed more negative views about homosexuality in general.
“Interorientation Interactions and Impressions: Does the Timing of Disclosure of Sexual Orientation Matter?” David M. Buck and E. Ashby Plant, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology (March)
— Christopher Shea, Ideas Market blog, wsj