Trinity University Psychologist Launches Website About Sexual Orientation

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Sep. 19, 2013

Trinity University Psychologist Launches Website About Sexual Orientation

Richard Reams hopes the comprehensive guide will provide clarity for those with identity questions

By Molly Mohr

Richard ReamsSAN ANTONIO - Since 1988, October 11 has been observed as National Coming Out Day to encourage gay, lesbian, and bisexual people to share who they are with family and friends. Yet many people struggle to understand their sexual orientation - to come out to themselves if they are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Richard Reams, associate director of Trinity University's Counseling Services, has published a website,, to help people who are struggling to identify their sexual orientation. The seven-step guide, titled "'Am I Gay?' A Guide for People Who Question Their Sexual Orientation," discusses terms and myths related to the topic, teaches readers how to sort through personal evidence and obstacles in their journeys for clarification, and provides suggested next steps and resources for moving forward.

The website is an outgrowth of a class Reams has taught at Trinity since 2004.  The course "explores the complexity of sexual orientation and sexual orientation identity development from the perspective of Western social and biological sciences," according to Reams.

While gathering research for this course, Reams discovered many resources for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people who are sure of their sexual orientation and want to live an open life "out of the closet.'' He noticed, however, that there was no comprehensive resource to assist people uncertain of their sexual orientation. Inspired, Reams began writing a guide to fill that void.

"I hope the information my website provides will help people who are questioning their sexual orientation gain a better understanding of themselves," Reams explained. "I also hope they will discover resources that can facilitate their identity development and enhance their well-being."

After writing and re-writing for four years, Reams published the guide on June 28 to commemorate the 44th anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots. The riots are regarded as the most important catalyst for the gay, lesbian, and bisexual rights movement in America. Since the guide's launch, a dozen universities have added the guide to their online collection of web resources for students.

Reams joined Trinity University in 1994. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his master's degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee - Knoxville.

 Molly Mohr, a San Antonio native, was an intern in the Office of University Communications. A junior at Rice University, she is pursuing a major in sport management and a minor in business.