Social Work

Date of this version


Document Type



gay, lesbian, coming out, religion, spiritual, faith, faith development, developmental, lifespan development


The tension between religion and sexuality is particularly pronounced for gay and lesbian people who are often “caught in the middle” between a constitutional sexual orientation and a religious body that rejects it. This paper demonstrates how gay men can be helped in trying to integrate these deeply human and intrinsic parts of themselves, using a developmental approach first articulated by Robert Kegan. It argues that such development is often reflected later in theological language: in this case, in these men’s coming out narratives, which are often framed as stories of spiritual growth.

Published in

Pastoral Psychology

Citation/Other Information

Roseborough, D. (2006). Coming out stories framed as faith narratives or stories of spiritual growth. Pastoral Psychology, 55(1), September, 47 – 59.