Study: Coming Out of the Closet is Healthy
People who are openly gay are in better physical and mental health than those who are still in the closet and straight people, according to a new study.
A study from Canada’s Université de Montréal and McGill University measured 20 biological indicators of mental and physical health in 87 men and women, some who were straight, some out of the closet and some still in the closet.
“Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals who were out to family and friends had lower levels of psychiatric symptoms and lower morning cortisol levels than those who were still in the closet,” the study’s main author Robert-Paul Juster told Montreal Gazette.
Juster said he was surprised the study also indicated that openly gay people showed healthier levels than straight people because minorities usually suffer from poorer health. He believes coming out of the close could build psychological strength for gays, thus making them less prone to having high stress levels.
“Coming out is no longer a matter of popular debate but a matter of public health,” Juster said.
Juster also warned that “coming out might only be beneficial for health when there are tolerant social policies that facilitate the disclosure process.”
The research has been published in Psychosomatic Medicine, a journal of biobehavioral medicine.