The initial step in coming out is usually a person’s realization that she or he feels different from the mainstream heterosexual model (Meyer & Schwitzer, 1999). Some people report knowing that they were attracted to the same sex when they were small children. Many realize during adolescence that something is missing in their heterosexual involvements and that they find same-sex peers sexually attractive (Cloud,
2005) . Some may feel uncertain of their sexual orientation: One study found that 2% of youth ages 12 to 25 reported being "unsure" of their sexual orientation (Ott et al., 2011).
Once individuals recognize homosexual feelings, they must usually confront their own internalized homophobia as they deal with the reality that they belong to a stigmatized minority group (Herek et al., 2009). Some lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals attempt to conceal or suppress their sexual orientation, even from their own awareness. These people actively seek sexual encounters with members of the other sex, and it has not been uncommon for them to marry in an attempt to convince themselves of their "normalcy" and avoid openly confronting their sexual orientation (Hudson et al., 2007; Malcolm, 2008). Marrying in spite of same – sex orientation is more likely the more stigmatized and taboo homosexuality is. For example, although prejudice against homosexuality has lessened slightly in China, nearly 80% of men who identify themselves as homosexual either are married or intend to marry (Cui, 2006).