Demographic and Social Factors Impacting Coming Out as a Sexual Minority Among Generation-Z Teenage Boys

David A. Moskowitz*, H. Jonathon Rendina, Andrés Alvarado Avila, Brian Mustanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Teenagers have shown a 60% increase in identifying as gay, bisexual, queer/questioning, and pansexual (GBQP) since 2005. Although studies in the early 2000s have measured the prevalence of GBQP identities across adult populations and over time, the correlates of “coming out” as GBQP are less understood among Generation-Z teenagers (i.e., those born after 1997). We sampled 1,194 GBQP male (assigned-at-birth) teenagers aged 13–18 as part of an online HIV prevention study. Demographic (e.g., age, race/ethnicity, location, sexual identity) and social factors (e.g., school-based HIV education; religiousness; internalized stigma; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender victimization) were surveyed and entered into logistic regression models predicting outness to a female and/or male parental figure, as well as general others. Nearly two thirds were out to a female parental figure; nearly half were out to a male parental figure. We created three multivariable models predicting outness to general others, outness to a female parental figure, and outness to a male parental figure. Statistically significant correlates consistent across the models predicted greater outness for GBQP White teenagers relative to Black and Asian teenagers, gay-identified teenagers relative to bisexual and questioning/unsure teenagers, and GBQP teenagers reporting more experiences of victimization relative to less. Correlates that predicted reduced outness include identifying as religious, attending religious services, and reporting higher internalized sexual minority stigma. We concluded that outness among Generation-Z teenagers varied by sociocultural factors, prompting some teens to move across coming-out milestones more quickly. Most important for mental health, the findings substantiate that victimization toward out-teenagers has not relented and remains an area of concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-189
Number of pages11
JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022


  • Coming out
  • Demographic differences
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Teenagers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Psychology(all)


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