The acceptance of one’s homosexuality or bisexuality is a progressive and personal process that takes time and varies from person to person. Several steps characterize the process of acceptance, a journey that a person undertakes at their own pace and based on their personality, history and living environment. According to Cass (1984), the acceptance of a person’s homosexual or bisexual identity includes six steps: confusion; comparison; tolerance of one’s orientation; acceptance; pride; and finally the synthesis of one’s identity.
Several factors may hinder the acceptance of one’s sexual orientation including prejudicial and homophobic remarks made by family and/or friends which can often contribute to a state of confusion, fear and ambivalence.
In some cases people struggling with internalized homophobia reject their homosexuality or bisexuality despite the risk of developing short, medium or long-term negative effects on their health. We do not choose our sexual orientation, rather we choose to accept it or not.
The above mentioned factors justify the need for LGBTQ+ community support groups which many people choose to be part of on their journey of acceptance.