Experience of Acceptance and Identity Development of Korean American LGB Adults in Long-Term Relationships

Yeseul Jenny Choi, Fordham University


This qualitative research study explored the lived experience of Korean American LGB adults, and how self-acceptance, family acceptance, and long-term same-sex romantic relationships contributed to the process of their sexual identity development. Participants comprised 12 cisgender male and female individuals (ages 25 to 38) who identified as Korean American and lesbian, gay, or bisexual. All participants have come out to one or both parents and in the past five years have been in a same-sex long-term relationship defined by one year or longer. Utilizing a phenomenological methodology and constructivist-interpretivist framework, participants were interviewed using a semi-structured interview protocol. Pseudonyms were utilized to protect participant confidentiality. Qualitative analysis yielded 7 major themes and 22 subthemes. Themes included (a) isolating experience, (b) traditional Korean culture, (c) church homophobia, (d) coming out to family, (e) internalized homophobia, (f) racism, and (g) acceptance journey. The findings of this study have implications for clinical and training practice and future research. This study gives voice to the Korean American LGBs that are often hidden, silenced, and marginalized in both the current literature and society.

Subject Area

Counseling Psychology|LGBTQ studies|Asian American Studies|Individual & family studies|Social psychology

Recommended Citation

Choi, Yeseul Jenny, "Experience of Acceptance and Identity Development of Korean American LGB Adults in Long-Term Relationships" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28549316.