A Coming Out Narrative: Discovering My Queer Voice, My Social Worker Superpower

  • George Turner Univ of Kansas
Keywords: coming out, LGBTQ, gay social worker, sexual shame, healing


This narrative offers my reflection as a gay social worker on coming out. I highlight my struggle to find, embrace and exercise my queer voice, as well as examine how my family of origin informed both this personal and professional journey. It is the embracing of these once perceived obstacles that have enriched my life, given meaning to my professional development as a social worker, and ultimately were adopted as my social worker superpowers. I begin by sharing my coming out story to provide a backdrop. Then, I explore how my own lived experiences and my family of origin helped co-author my professional narrative. I discuss how multiple factors had a hand in: a.) my decision to enter the profession of social work, b.) my choice of practice settings and served populations, c.) the theoretical perspectives that ground me, and d.) the importance of my role as an advocate. I end the narrative by outlining the contrast and similarities between my past and current practice. I hope that in considering the ways that this biographical disruption has significantly contributed to my identity as a teacher, practitioner, and scholar, readers might appreciate their own search for authenticity, and the lessons learned.

Author Biography

George Turner, Univ of Kansas

School of Social Welfare

Associate Professor of Practice