chapter  1
Introduction
Pages 4

The purpose of this qualitative study is to examine the identity development process for Latino gay men. My research will focus on the perceptions of a sample of ten gay men and their process of defining themselves as gay. This study, however, is not only about the men in this study, it is also about the social context in which they have found themselves. It is about the social processes that transpire between Latino gay men and their social context of firmly held Latino family and religious cultural values. My hypothesis is that the identity development process for Latino gay men is more complex and difficult than for non-Latino gay men because of the critical importance placed on family and religion and the subsequent homophobia in the Latino community. Managing multiple identities is a method of coping with rejection and a way to develop positive identities. This research will focus on the perception of ten Latino gay men and their process of defining themselves as gay in the context of firmly held Latino cultural values.