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Fam Process. 2010 Sep;49(3):268-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2010.01323.x.

How queer!--the development of gender identity and sexual orientation in LGBTQ-headed families.

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Choices Counseling & Consulting, and State University New York at Albany, School of Social Welfare, Albany, NY 12203, USA.


This paper focuses on the impact of heteronormativity on research and clinical theory, utilizing the case of a lesbian couple with a young gender dysphoric child as a backdrop to discuss the contextual unfolding of gender development within a lesbian parented family. The extant research on LGBTQ-headed families has minimized the complexity of children's developing gender identity and sexual orientation living in queer families, and has been guided by heteronormative assumptions that presume a less optimal outcome if the children of LGBTQ parents are gay or transgender themselves. This article challenges family therapists to recognize the enormous societal pressure on LGBTQ parents to produce heterosexual, gender-normative children, and the expectations on their children, especially those questioning their own sex or gender identities.

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