|Category||Family and Friendship|
This book recognizes that intense public battles are being waged in the U.S. over the rights of LGB people to form legally and culturally recognized families. Their families are under a kind of sociopolitical scrutiny at this historical moment that compels us all to take stock of our strategies of family-building and, more broadly, the meaning of family in the U.S. today. Through in-depth, open-ended, qualitative interviews with 61 self-identified lesbian, gay, and bisexual people regarding how they came to have children or remain childless/childfree, this book reveals the challenges posed by homophobia and discrimination and showcases the creative strategies, resilience, and resourcefulness of lesbians, bisexuals, and gays as they build families (with or without children) after coming out. From descriptions of how the early process of coming out affected the desire to parent or remain childfree, to stories about the impact of homophobia and discrimination on the decision-making process, to the dynamics within couples that lead to becoming parents or remaining childfree, to examining how cultural notions of the strength of biology are employed when having children, to accounts of how the closet can be used strategically when bringing children into a family, their voices form the heart of this book. In a sociopolitical context in which gay, lesbian, and bisexual people often have to struggle to access the array of rights and opportunities that are afforded to most heterosexual people without question, addressing the questions raised in this book is an urgent and necessary endeavor.