Title

Experiences of Lesbian-Parented Children: A Journey of Discovery

Date of Award

7-25-2013

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no embargo, no restriction)

Work Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Interdisciplinary Studies (MA)

Department

Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Linda Kachinsky

Second Advisor

Natalie Jolly

Third Advisor

Carolyn West

Abstract

Conversations around LGBT issues are being held in countries and cities across the globe. Meanwhile important legislation concerning same-sex marriage is being discussed at the state level and argued before the U. S. Supreme Court. Recent dialogue has also empowered LGBT-parented children to share their stories and to dispel some of the myths and misinformation about their families. Lacking in the literature are the children's experiences and especially the voices of those who grew up prior to the 1970s. This study takes a qualitative multi-method approach that looks specifically at lesbian-parented children and includes phenomenology, thematic analysis, and autoethnography. By exploring different types of autobiographical data, themes emerged such as disclosure practices, protection, community, and bullying. The research found that children of LGBT parents may experience more harassment as they become more visible; feel a strong connection to the gay community; and are important advocates in support of family equality. Findings could have implications in the fields of psychology, nursing, social work, religion, and law.