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Gay, Lesbian &

Bisexual Identity
Development Theory
Tasia Lima, Jazmin Ramirez & Dan
Vivienne Cass

● Received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in

Psychology and her Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1986.
● Currently the Director of Brightfire Press,
publishing sex education materials in Western
● Social psychological model of homosexual identity
formation published in 1979.
Synopsis of the Theory (Cass)

● Cass’s Model of Homosexual Identity Formation is made up of 6 stages

● The research is primarily based on data from Gay and Lesbian individuals,
but it is also applicable to Bisexual people as well.
● Cass noted that homosexual identity varies from person to person and by
Cass’s Model For Homosexual Identity Formation

● Stage 4- Identity Acceptance

● Stage 1- Identity Confusion ○ Positive connotation with
○ First awareness of homosexual homosexual identity, social
thoughts, feelings and attractions interactions with other gay and
● Stage 2- Identity Comparison lesbian people increase
○ Accept possibility they might be gay ● Stage 5- Identity Pride
or lesbian, consider social ○ Focus on gay issues and activism,
implications, seek information reduce contact with heterosexuals
● Stage 3- Identity Tolerance ● Stage 6- Identity Synthesis
○ Acknowledges that they are ○ Homosexual and heterosexual
probably gay or lesbian and seeks worlds less dichotomized,
other gay and lesbian people to judgement based on personal
reduce feelings of isolation qualities rather than homosexual
Anthony R. D Augelli

● In 1972, D Augelli received a Ph.D. in

Clinical/Community Psychology from UCONN.
● Currently a professor of Human Development and an
Associate Staff Psychologist for the Center for
Counseling and Psychological Services at Penn
State University.
● The Lifespan approach to GLB identity development,
a social constructionist model, published in 1994
Synopsis of the Theory (D’ Augelli)

● Posed argument against the idea that identity development is formed in

sequential stages and that development continues throughout one's life.
● D’ Augelli said that in order to develop a positive gay, lesbian, or bisexual
identity one would need to give up the sexual orientation assigned at birth
● This process is recognized to be a slow one due to the many barriers
ingrained in our culture.
D’ Augelli Identity Development Process
● Phase 1- Exiting Heterosexual ● Phase 4 - Becoming a GLB
Identity Offspring
○ Recognizes that one's feelings and ○ Coming out to one's
attractions are not heterosexual parents/guardians and redefining
● Phase 2 - Developing a personal those relationships

GLB Identity Status ● Phase 5 - Developing a GLB

○ Challenges internalized myths about Intimacy
what it means to be GLB
● Phase 3 - Developing a GLB ● Phase 6 - Entering a GLB
Social Identity Community
○ Creates a support network of people ○ Making varying degrees of social
that are accepting of your sexual and political commitment
Applying as Student Affairs Practitioner

● Important to be aware of issues facing GLB students at different stages of

development- i.e. parent/family relations, peer groups, intimate
relationships, career path, coming out to self and others, etc.
● Recognize and work through own feelings about homosexuality and provide
a supportive environment for student self-exploration
● Provide public lectures on human sexuality and sexual orientation, as well as
phone helplines
○ supports students in earliest stages of development
● Normalize homosexuality by integrating curriculum about GLB issues
Applying as Student Affairs Practitioner

● Establish GLB student organizations, discussion and/or support groups

● Create professionally staffed GLB student centers that provide safe spaces
for students to explore their identity and associate with other GLB people
and allies
● Ongoing staff training and professional development related to GLB issues,
and frequent review of policies and programming to ensure that they are
inclusive and equitable
Questions, Comments, Concerns?