The Cultural Closet: The South Asian American Experience of Keeping Romantic Relationships Secret

Gagan S. Khera, Muninder K. Ahluwalia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many South Asian Americans face challenges when they are in romantic relationships outside of their racial, ethnic, or religious group. Because of values associated with dating and marriage, one challenge is disclosing the relationship to family. South Asian Americans often hide their relationships, and we propose that this experience has parallels to the closet for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals. In this article, we name this experience the “cultural closet” and discuss the associated theory, context, consequences, and counseling implications. Muchos americanos surasiáticos afrontan desafíos cuando se encuentran en relaciones amorosas fuera de su grupo racial, étnico o religioso. Uno de los desafíos es revelar la relación a su familia, a causa de los valores asociados con las citas y el matrimonio. Con frecuencia, los americanos surasiáticos ocultan sus relaciones, y proponemos que esta experiencia tiene correspondencias con el armario para personas lesbianas, gais, bisexuales, transexuales y queer. En este artículo, denominamos esta experiencia el “armario cultural” y discutimos la teoría, el contexto, las consecuencias y las implicaciones para la consejería asociadas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-31
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Multicultural Counseling and Development
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2021

Keywords

  • americanos surasiáticos
  • armario cultural
  • citas
  • cultural closet
  • dating
  • interracial couples
  • parejas interraciales
  • relaciones amorosas
  • romantic relationships
  • South Asian Americans

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