Surinamese–Hindustani Same-Sex Love Individuals: Coping with Negative Responses from Parents in a Collectivistic Culture

Carla Bakboord, Saskia Keuzenkamp, Sawitri Saharso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


How do people cope with homonegative responses from their family within a collectivistic culture? This study examines Surinamese–Hindustani same-sex love individuals and identifies a gap in the literature about same-sex love (SSL) individuals coping styles in collectivistic cultures. In Surinamese–Hindustani culture the self is interwoven with and inseparable from the family and family honour is considered extremely important. This study is part of larger research project consisting of 49 qualitative interviews conducted from 2013 to 2019 in the Netherlands and Suriname to examine how Surinamese–Hindustani same-sex love individuals experience their sexual identity. Thirty participants experienced negative reactions from their parents while the rest, 19, had not received any negative reaction from their parents when coming out to them for the first time. The focus of this article is on how these 30 participants cope with negative reactions from their parents while coming out to them for the first time. We identified four patterns of coping styles: understanding parents’ negative reactions, conforming to parents’ values of family honour, silent withdrawal, and standing up for one’s own interests. These patterns demonstrate that, contrary to what the scholarly literature on coping in collectivistic cultures claims, SSL individuals in collectivistic cultures do not necessarily solely use emotion-focused coping strategies but use a combination of both problem- and emotion-focused strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalSexuality and Culture
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022


  • Coming out · Coping · Negative reactions · Collectivistic culture · Suriname · Hindustani

Cite this