Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work

First Advisor

Curt Paulsen

Second Advisor

Anthony Bibus

Third Advisor

Beth Zemsky


The concept of authenticity has not been studied as it relates to the lives of gay men. Hence, the concept of authenticity was explored through the literature and qualitative research methods. *Participants were key informants, including ministers, psychologists, and social workers. The study findings revealed the oppressive and anxiety-provoking existential givens experienced by gay men. Also, the study findings revealed that some gay men seek to avoid suffering and succumb to dread, while others actively confront their suffering through courage, responsibility, love, faith, spontaneity, and creativity. The gay men who confront their suffering become more aware of their innate strengths of compassion, love, faith, spontaneity, and creativity. Gay men who seek to avoid suffering lose awareness of their innate strengths and potentialities.


SC 11.MSW.1998.Wales.TG

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Social Work Commons