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Who Counts as a Gay Father? Pathway to Parenthood and Outsiders of Gay Parenting Groups

Sat, August 11, 2:30 to 4:10pm, Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Floor: Level 4, Franklin Hall 3


Contemporary discourses of LGB identity have outpaced trends in LGB family demographics. Even though the majority of same-sex-parent households are raising children from prior heterosexual unions, these families are underrepresented in scholarship, media, and social movements. Using data from 42 interviews and five years of ethnography with gay parenting groups in California, Texas, and Utah, this study investigates the cultural boundaries gay fathers create in relation to their pathways to parenthood. Findings indicate that an emerging cultural definition of gay fatherhood is closely tied to men’s relationship to the closet, excluding some men who have children in heterosexual contexts. Gay fathers who occupy statuses as outsiders of their local parenting group illustrate the mechanisms segregating gay fatherhood communities by pathway to parenthood.