There are differing opinions about the stages of coming out. Like with everything else, the academic scholars in gay-studies disagree on some of the finer aspects, but in general the stages I mention here are almost universal. I have seen theories with 5, 6, 12, and even up to 18 stages of coming out. Some theories try to give every stage a new academic-sounding name, but in my 8 stages every word links to an accepted and well-known phase in human development.
1. The Realization Stage
The first stage is when you realize that something about you is different. You might know that you have a gay tendency, but you are still very much in denial. Rationalizing is a significant part of this stage. You might tell yourself that this is just a phase, that it will pass, that you are only a bit infatuated by one person, that it is normal to love anybody, but that this feeling inside you does not mean that you are “totally” gay. You might consider the idea that you are bisexual and that you will still be able to have a heterosexual relationship.