Tag Archives: repression

photography by Angela Taormino for Geoffrey Steinberg Psy.D. - all rights reserved June 03

Integration of Social and Sexual Identities for Gay Men

If you think back to when you were in the closet, you may remember how important it seemed to keep your feelings of attraction hidden. Alternatively, your mind may have protected you from the stress of hiding by repressing your sexual feelings, making them unknown to yourself. Significant anxiety typically accompanies either hiding or repressing sexual feelings, due to the fear that others might detect and judge your true desires, or that those desires that a part of you deemed unacceptable might break through into your conscious awareness. Once your personality has become organized around a split between sexuality and social identity, the mere act of coming out does not automatically put the pieces back together, nor diminish the anxiety associated with the intersection of your social identity and sexual feelings. The persistence of a divided self can interfere with both social and romantic relationships.