ABSTRACT Keeping one’s sexual identity a secret long-term from family members may be particularly risky due to the involuntary, indefinite, and interdependent treatment of many family relationships in the United States (Galvin, 2006; Turner & West, 2006). Thus, this study uses communication privacy management theory as a lens to uncover the secret-keeping tactics sexual minorities use within close familial relationships. I collected and analyzed virtual interview data from 26 sexual minorities and found that participants controlled their private information, managed their identity performance, and negotiated relational closeness within and across family relationships. Based on these findings, I contribute to current research on secret-keeping, family communication, and CPM theorizing by offering secret-keeping as a potential for (re)negotiation of power in the family and position secret-keeping as ultimately functionally ambivalent within this context. Future directions for research and limitations are discussed.

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