Constructing Gay and Lesbian Parent Families “Beyond the Closet”

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This paper provides a multilayered analysis of how lesbian mothers and gay fathers construct their families in a social context that has been described by Steven Seidman (2004) as “beyond the closet.” We stress how our participants' family-building experiences are comparable to other non-biologically related families, but distinct due to heterosexual dominance. Using in-depth qualitative interviews with 18 lesbian birth mothers and 22 gay fathers, the authors discuss how participants navigate heterosexual dominance in institutions and in personal interactions.

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