By Cara Bergstrom-Lynch
This publication acknowledges that severe public battles are being waged within the U.S. over the rights of LGB humans to shape legally and culturally famous households. Their households are lower than one of those sociopolitical scrutiny at this historic second that compels us all to take inventory of our concepts of family-building and, extra widely, the which means of relatives within the U.S. this present day. via in-depth, open-ended, qualitative interviews with sixty one self-identified lesbian, homosexual, and bisexual humans concerning how they got here to have teenagers or stay childless/childfree, this e-book finds the demanding situations posed by means of homophobia and discrimination and showcases the artistic options, resilience, and resourcefulness of lesbians, bisexuals, and gays as they construct households (with or with no young ones) after popping out. From descriptions of the way the early strategy of popping out affected the need to guardian or stay childfree, to tales concerning the influence of homophobia and discrimination at the decision-making procedure, to the dynamics inside of that result in turning into mom and dad or ultimate childfree, to reading how cultural notions of the energy of biology are hired while having childrens, to bills of the way the closet can be utilized strategically while bringing young ones right into a kin, their voices shape the guts of this booklet. In a sociopolitical context within which homosexual, lesbian, and bisexual humans frequently need to fight to entry the array of rights and possibilities which are afforded to so much heterosexual humans with out query, addressing the questions raised during this booklet is an pressing and worthwhile pastime.
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Additional info for Lesbians, Gays, and Bisexuals: Becoming Parents or Remaining Childfree: Confronting Social Inequalities
The narratives of coming out had some similar undertones: most people said they “felt something” or had “crushes” first (desire), then came out to themselves (identity), and later came out to others. But rather than seeing this process as a linear progression from desire to identity, many gay, bisexual, and lesbian people describe coming out as a much more complex, back-and-forth process. For example, nearly half told me that their initial same-sex desires were “scary” and “isolating” and they reacted by suppressing these desires in order to “fit the mold” of heterosexuality.
I think in a heterosexual relationship the norm is you have a kid . . But, there’s this societal pressure that gay and lesbian people don’t get, to raise kids. That’s one benefit I think you—being in a lesbian couple. ” You know, no one ever said that to me. However, some participants wondered aloud whether the increase in the number of lesbian and gay parents is leading to an increased expectation (at least within some circles) for lesbians in particular to have children. Lynn, who is in her late-30s, feels that younger lesbians who want to remain childfree may now feel “stigmatized” for that choice: I think probably women who are, lesbians who are in their late 30s who don’t have kids, who don’t want to have kids are probably—maybe they could be even stigmatized in certain circles.
Another childfree woman, Eve, specifically acknowledges that her reaction to babies when she was younger was outside the gender norm. “I was never the type of child that, um—a type of girl child that would run for babies, and go, ‘Oh, look at the baby. ” She goes on to recall being with a friend in sixth grade “and I think somebody had come over with a child in a stroller and, of course, all the girls ran over and, ‘Ooh, ah. Oh, cute baby. ” Erin on the other hand felt solidarity with her group of friends who also did not want to have children.