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Memories of Coming Out Survey

Informed Consent

Memories of the LGBTQ+ Coming Out Study


Co-investigator, Dr. Diane Holmberg Acadia University

Co-investigator, Dr. Karen Blair St. Francis Xavier University

Research Coordinator, Breanna O’Handley        St. Francis Xavier University

Research Ethics Board Chair, Dr. Stephen Maitzen Acadia University

To Begin the Survey, please hit the "next" arrow at the bottom right of your screen in order to advance through the different sections of the Informed Consent document. At the end of the document, you'll be asked whether you would like to participate in the survey. 

You are being invited to participate in a research study about parental reactions to LGBTQ+ adult children coming out. This research project is being conducted by Dr. Diane Holmberg of Acadia University, and by Dr. Karen Blair and Breanna O’Handley of St. Francis Xavier University, and is being funded by Acadia University’s SSHRC Institutional Grant. The objective of this research project is to attempt to understand how parents and children recall the coming-out process, and how their memories of the event relate to well-being outcomes. The questionnaire is being conducted online. It will give us some basic information regarding LGBTQ+ individuals’ coming out experiences, and will also act as a screening tool for a more in-depth interview study occurring within the next year or so. All participants must be 18 years of age or older.
What does participating involve?
You will be asked to provide some basic demographic information, such as age, gender identity, ethnicity, sexuality, and so on, as well as some brief information about your memory of your LGBTQ+ child coming out to you.  Completing this questionnaire will take you approximately 30 minutes.

Are there any risks?
There are no known risks if you decide to participate in this research study, nor are there any costs to you for participating in the study. In the event that thinking about your coming out experience upsets you, you may find it useful to use the internet to search for counselling services in your region. Most areas have free support lines that you can call to discuss problematic issues. Note that agreeing to this consent form does not waive your rights to legal recourse in the event that you experience any harm from this study. There are no conflicts of interest in conducting this study, and the data will not be used commercially in any way.

Are there any benefits to participating? 

By participating in this study, you will be entered into a prize draw for a gift card (Visa or Amazon) for $100 Canadian, or local equivalent.

This prize draw will be repeated each month, as long as the study is ongoing, and you are eligible for every monthly draw from when you participate until the study concludes.

If your adult child also participates, you’ll both be entered into a separate prize draw for $500 Canadian at the end of the study, as a thank you for both participating.

If you choose to give us your email address when asked, and if you fit the characteristics we are looking for when we conduct future studies (e.g., particular demographic groups, or particular coming out experiences), you may also be contacted at a future date to participate in an interview study, or other follow-up studies. Participation in any subsequent studies is completely voluntary; you can decide to participate or not in any one of them, as you prefer. We will provide compensation, in the form of payment or entries into prize draws, for any future studies we ask you to participate in.  

What will you do with my data? 

This survey is confidential. We will not ask for any directly identifying information. All data will be analyzed as a group, and presented in such a way that you are not individually identifiable. However, we will ask you to provide an email address, so that you may be contacted if you win the prize draw and/or if you are invited to participate in future studies. If you would like to further protect your privacy, please provide an email address that does not contain your name or any other potentially identifying information. The email address you provide for this study will only be used for the purposes described, and will never be shared with any third parties.

If you were not invited to the study by one of your children, then will also ask you to forward an invitation email to one of your adult LGBTQ+ child, in order to ask them to complete a similar survey. We want to explore the experience from both perspectives. If they indicate they are interested in participating, we will then forward an email with a specific link for them to click to complete the survey. This process will allow us to automatically match the data you have provided with their data.

Note we will not share any of the information you provide in this study with your adult child, nor will any of their information be shared with you. Of course, if the two of you would like to discuss the study yourselves afterward, feel free.
Please note, if you complete this questionnaire using a public or workplace computer, the information that you transmit may be monitored by the owner of the computer or network.

Is participation voluntary?  Can I withdraw once I begin the study?
Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. If at any point you wish to withdraw from the study, simply exit the survey by closing your browser window. However, any partial data already entered on previous pages cannot be removed from the dataset, as we will have no way of identifying your data. Also, note that you can only be entered into the prize draw and be contacted for future studies if you provide us with an email address. If you wish to withdraw your data after survey completion, send us your email address and we will remove your data, as long as it is still possible to do so; however, if the data you provide here has already been used in any studies or has been de-identified, it will no longer be possible to remove your data.

How will my data be handled and stored?
Data provided here, still linked to your email address, will be stored until follow-up interviews are conducted; we may also conduct a follow-up survey to see if memories change at all over time. We expect these studies will be completed within the next year or two. After this time, your email address will be deleted, leaving your data fully de-identified. Your data will be stored on a secure server, and only downloaded onto password-protected computers stored in locked offices. This questionnaire stores its data on Survey Gizmo’s servers, which are housed in the Canada. Note that although we take full security precautions (e.g., secure storage sites; encrypted data files), any data sent electronically or stored online might potentially be accessed by domestic or foreign authorities.

What do I do if I have questions?
If you have any questions or concerns about completing the questionnaire or about being in this study, you may contact any of the researchers previously listed or send an email to: 


If you have read and understood this form, had your questions answered to your satisfaction, and wish to participate in this study, please click the box below.  This is equivalent to providing your signature.