“Children of LGBT Parents: Growing Up Under Scrutiny”
Examining the research and media reporting on how the kids “turn out” this chapter exposes the paradox that these families live with, and often limits authentic representation of LGBT families: in order to be accepted for being “different” they must demonstrate the are “just like everybody else.”
- How kids internalize the “right” ways to talk publicly about their families.
- Perfectionism: a different kind of closet
- Media under-representation of LGBT families that are not white, wealthy, in urban areas
- The impact of the public image on private lives
- Why grown children cherish growing up outside the norm.
“Coming Out: A Family Process”
This chapter is mainly for parents who are leaving a marriage, but even same-sex couples who think the situation is obvious to their children will find out why coming out — as an ongoing process—is necessary for all queer families.
- Common concerns parents have about coming out to their kids
- How to prepare before coming out
- Questions children might ask
- Additional coming out tips
“Family Change: Supporting Children Through Divorce and Same-Sex Break Ups”
- Putting children first when parents break up.
- Supporting straight spouses when their husband or wife comes out of the closet.
- Why children of same-sex parents are especially vulnerable to losing contact with a parent after a break-up.
- Anecdotes from successful divorces, and a few painful examples when things go wrong.
- New boyfriends, girlfriends and step-parents
“Out into the World: Children of LGBT Parents in School and Beyond”
How children navigate homophobia when their parents are not there to help them out.
- Understanding the distinction between not coming out about family because of shame, or because of the need for safety.
- Recognize varying degrees of “outness” based on developmental stages.
- Preparing children for homophobia
- How these children’s experiences are similar to and different from those of queer youth (of straight parents).
“Family Defining Moments: Respecting Queer Families from Grandma’s House to the White House”
- What is “straight family privilege” and what happens for families that don’t have it?
- How LGBT Families must navigate though barriers of homophobia during crisis and celebration.
- How language fails LGBT families when the void of kinship terms devalues and invalidates relationships.
- Helping extended family members become allies to LGBT relatives and their loved ones.
Addresses the impact of AIDS on gay families, a subject that urgently needs to be addressed as national statistics show that new cases have been on the rise among gay men since 1999. Some of the people interviewed in this chapter responded to my query specifically because I named HIV/AIDS as a topic this book would cover. Grown children of HIV-positive parents are passionate about telling their stories to help decrease the isolation and stigma that still exists for children in the families today.
- Talking to sons and daughters about HIV status
- Supporting children of HIV positive parents
- When a parent dies
- How the impact of AIDS affects the children’s developing sexuality
- Children of gay parents as advocates and educators for AIDS prevention
“Second Generation: Queer Kids of LGBT Parents”
An in-depth examination of the question of what happens when people with LGBT parents also come out as LGBT. Interviews with the second generation reveals the specific issues they fact—including stigma from heir own community.
- When the second generation straightens up for the public.
- Generational differences in identity and coming out.
- Coming out to a closeted parent.
- Coming out to a straight parent (who was formerly married to a gay spouse.)
- Supporting Second Generation children
“Tourists at Home: Straight Kids in Queer Culture”
What happens when the children grow up to identify as “culturally queer.”
- Why and how sons and daughters identify as culturally queer.
- When straight kids are “read” as LGBT
- Straight shame
- Straight children and their romantic relationships
- Raising heterosexual children without shame