Advertisement

Place Matters: LGB Families in Community Context

  • Ramona Faith Oswald
  • Elizabeth Grace Holman
Chapter

Abstract

Lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) individuals and their families are often presumed to live in urban “gay Meccas” rather than nonmetropolitan and more rural parts of the USA. However, this urban stereotype is simply not true, particularly for LGB-parented families. LGB parents and their children live in a diversity of community settings, and these communities vary in their levels of support for LGB families. The purpose of this chapter is to document what is known about how the daily lives of LGB families are differentially impacted by where they live. Using minority stress theory, we examine the influences of geographical and demographic diversity as well as community climate, which includes legal, religious, political, workplace, and educational dimensions. Furthermore, we discuss how communities can change to be more LGB affirming.

Keywords

Sexual Minority Lesbian Mother Workplace Climate Minority Stress Theory Nondiscrimination Policy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Albelda, R., Badgett, M.V. L., Gates, G., & Schneebaum, A. (2009). Poverty in the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. UCLA: Williams Institute. Retrieved from http://www2.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/pdf/LGBPovertyReport.pdf
  2. Altman, I., & Low, S. (Eds.). (1992). Place attachment. New York, NY: Plenum.Google Scholar
  3. American Fact Finder (n.d.). Selected social characteristics in the United States: 2005–2009. Retrieved from http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/ADPTable?_bm=y&-geo_id=01000US&-qr_name=ACS_2009_5YR_G00_DP5YR2&-ds_name=ACS_2009_5YR_G00_&-_lang=en&-_sse=on
  4. Arm, J. R., Horne, S. G., & Leavitt, H. M. (2009). Negotiating connection to GLBT experience: Family members’ experience of anti-GLBT movements and policies. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 82–96. doi:10.1037/a0012813CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Asian American Federation of New York. (2004). Asian Pacific American same-sex households: A census report on New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. New York: C. J. Huang Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.hawaii.edu/hivandaids/Asian_Pacific_Am_Same-Sex_Households__A_Census_Report_On_NY,_SF_LA.pdf
  6. Association of Religion Data Archives. (2000a). US membership report. Retrieved from http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/reports/US_2000.asp
  7. Association of Religion Data Archives. (2000b). American denominations: Profiles. Retrieved from http://www.thearda.com/Denoms/Families/
  8. Association of Religion Data Archives. (2000c). Evangelical denominations: Total number of congregations (2000). Retrieved from http://www.thearda.com/mapsReports/maps/map.asp?state=101&variable=7
  9. Baptist Peace Fellowship. (2010). Statement on justice and sexual orientation. Retrieved from http://www.bpfna.org/sxorient#Baptist_Peace_Fellowship_Statement_on_Justice_and_Sexual_Orientation
  10. Baumle, A. K., Compton, D. R., & Poston, D. L. (2009). Same-sex partners: The demography of sexual orientation. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bennett, M., & Battle, J. (2001). “We can see them but we can’t hear them”: LGBT members of African American families. In M. Bernstein & R. Reimann (Eds.), Queer families queer politics: Challenging culture and the state (pp. 53–67). New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Berkowitz, D. (2008, November). Schools, parks, and playgrounds: Gay fathers negotiate public and private spaces. Paper presented at the National Council on Family Relations in Little Rock, AK.Google Scholar
  13. Bos, H. M. W., Gartrell, N. K., Peyser, H., & van Balen, F. (2008). The USA National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NFFLS): Homophobia, psychological adjustment, and protective factors. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 12, 455–471. doi:  10.1080/10894160802278630 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Bos, H. M. W., van Balen, F., van den Boom, D. C., & Sandfort, T. G. M. (2004). Minority stress, experience of parenthood and child adjustment in lesbian families. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology, 22, 291–304. doi:  10.1080/02646830412331298350 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Button, S. B. (2001). Organizational efforts to affirm sexual diversity: A cross-level examination. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 17–28. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.1.17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cianciotto, J. (2005). Hispanic and Latino same-sex households in the United States: A report from the 2000 Census. Washington, D.C.: NGLTF Policy Institute and the National Latino/a Coalition for Justice. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/HispanicLatinoHouse-holdsUS.pdf
  17. Comstock, G. D. (1993). Gay theology without apology. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press.Google Scholar
  18. Dang, A., & Frazer, S. (2005). Black same-sex households in the United States (2nd edition): A report from the 2000 Census. Washington, D.C.: NGLTF Policy Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/reports/2000BlackSameSexHouseholds.pdf
  19. De Reus, L. A., Few, A. L., & Blume, L. B. (2005). Multicultural and critical race feminisms: Theorizing families in the third wave. In V. L. Bengtson, A. C. Acock, K. R. Allen, P. Dilworth-Anderson, & D. M. Klein (Eds.), Sourcebook of family theory and research (pp. 447–460). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Economic Research Service (2007). Measuring rurality: Urban influence codes. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from http://www.ers.usda.gov/Briefing/Rurality/UrbanInf/
  21. Economic Research Service. (2004). Rural America at a glance, 2004. Retrieved from http://webarchives.cdlib.org/sw15d8pg7m/ http://ers.usda.gov/publications/AIB793/AIB793_lowres.pdf Google Scholar
  22. Ellison, C. G., & Musick, M. A. (1993). Southern intolerance: A fundamentalist effect? Social Forces, 72, 379–398. doi:  10.2307/2579853 Google Scholar
  23. Fetner, T., & Kush, K. (2008). Gay-straight alliances in high schools: Social predictors of early adoption. Youth and Society, 40, 114–130. doi:10.1177/0044118X07308073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Florida, R. (2010, August 25). Where the creative jobs will be. The Atlantic. Retrieved from http://www.­theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/08/where-the-creative-class-jobs-will-be/61468/
  25. Florida, R., & Gates, G. (2002). Technology and tolerance: The importance of diversity to high-technology growth. Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution.Google Scholar
  26. Gates, G. J., & Ost, J. (2004). The gay and lesbian atlas. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press.Google Scholar
  27. Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network. (2001). National school climate survey. New York: Author.Google Scholar
  28. Goldberg, A. E. (2007). Talking about family: Disclosure practices of adults raised by lesbian, gay, and bisexual parents. Journal of Family Issues, 28, 100–131. doi:10.1177/0192513X06293606CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Goldberg, A. E. (2009). Lesbian and heterosexual preadoptive couples’ openness to transracial adoption. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 79, 103–117. doi:10.1037/a0015354CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Goldberg, A. E., & Smith, J. Z. (2011). Stigma, social context, and mental health: lesbian and gay couples across the transition to adoptive parenthood. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 58, 139–150. doi:10.1037/a0021684CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Griffith, K. H., & Hebl, M. R. (2002). The disclosure dilemma for gay men and lesbians: “Coming out” at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 1191–1199. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.87.6.1191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hatzenbuehler, M. L., Keyes, K. M., & Hasin, D. S. (2009). State-level policies and psychiatric morbidity in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 2275–2281. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2008.153510CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hatzenbuehler, M. L., McLaughlin, K. A., Keyes, K. M., & Hasin, D. S. (2010). The impact of institutional discrimination on psychiatric disorders in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: A prospective study. American Journal of Public Health, 100, 452–459. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2009.168815CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Herek, G. M. (2002). Heterosexuals’ attitudes toward bisexual men and women in the United States. Journal of Sex Research, 39, 264–274. doi:  10.1080/00224490209552150 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Herek, G. M., & Gonzalez-Rivera, M. (2006). Attitudes toward homosexuality among U.S. residents of Mexican descent. Journal of Sex Research, 43, 122–135. doi:  10.1080/00224490609552307 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Herek, G. M. (2009). Hate crimes and stigma-related experiences among sexual minority adults in the United States: Prevalence estimates from a national probability sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 24, 54–74. doi:10.1177/0886260508316477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Holman, E. G., & Oswald, R. F. (2011). Nonmetropolitan GLBTQ Parents: When and where does their sexuality matter? Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 7(5), 436–456.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Horne, S. G., Rostosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D. B., & Martens, M. P. (2010). What was Stonewall? The role of GLB knowledge in marriage amendment-related affect and activism among family members of GLB individuals. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6, 349–364. doi:10.1080/1550428X.2010.511066CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Huffington Post. (2011, January 31). Illinois civil unions law: Governor Quinn will sign historic legislation today. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/31/illinois-civil-unions-law_n_816243.html
  40. Human Rights Campaign. (2008). State of the workplace 2007–2008. Retrieved from http://www.hrc.org/documents/HRC_Foundation_State_of_the_Workplace_2007-2008.pdf
  41. MCC Family in Christ (2010). Metropolitan Community Church Family in Christ: Our history and purpose. Retrieved from http://www.fortnet.org/mccfic/aboutus.htm
  42. Klawitter, M. M. and Flatt, V. (1998), The effects of state and local antidiscrimination policies on earnings for gays and lesbians. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 17, 658–686.Google Scholar
  43. Kosciw, J. C., & Diaz, E. M. (2008). Involved, invisible, ignored: The experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender parents and their children in our nation’s K—12 schools. New York: GLSEN in partnership with COLAGE and the Family Equality Council.Google Scholar
  44. Lev, A. I., Dean, G., De Filippis, L., Evernham, K., McLaughlin, L., & Phillips, C. (2005). Dykes and tykes: A virtual lesbian parenting community. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 9, 81–94. doi:10.1300/J155v09n01_08CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lewis, G. B. (2003). Black-white differences in attitudes toward homosexuality and gay rights. Public Opinion Quarterly, 67, 59–78. doi:10.1086/346009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lindsay, J., Perlesz, A., Brown, R., McNair, R., de Vaus, D., & Pitts, M. (2006). Stigma or respect: Lesbian-parented families negotiating school settings. Sociology, 40, 1059–1077. doi:10.1177/0038038506069845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lindstrom, M. (2004). Social capital, the miniaturization of community and self-reported global and psychological health. Social Science & Medicine, 59, 595–607. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2003.11.006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lockard, D. (1985). The lesbian community: An anthropological approach. Journal of Homosexuality, 11(3/4), 83–95. doi:10.1300/J082v11n03_06Google Scholar
  49. Marín, B. V. (2003). HIV prevention in the Hispanic community: Sex, culture, and empowerment. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 14, 186–192. doi:  10.1177/1043659603014003005 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McKinnon, J. (2001). Census 2000 brief: The Black population. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/prod/2001pubs/c2kbr01-5.pdf
  51. McLaren, S. (2009). Sense of belonging to the general and lesbian communities as predictors of depression among lesbians. Journal of Homosexuality, 56, 1–13. doi:  10.1080/00918360802551365 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. McLaren, S., Jude, B., & McLachlan, A. J. (2008). Sense of belonging to the general and gay communities as predictors of depression among gay men. International Journal of Men’s Health, 7, 90–99. doi:10.3149/jmh.0701.90CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. McNair, R., Brown, R., Perlesz, A., Lindsay, J., De Vaus, D., & Pitts, M. (2008). Lesbian parents negotiating the health care system in Australia. Health Care for Women International, 29, 91–114. doi:  10.1080/07399330701827094 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: Conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological Bulletin, 129, 674–697. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.129.5.674CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2008a). Second-parent adoption in the U.S. No longer available on line.Google Scholar
  56. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2008b). Anti-adoption laws in the U.S. No longer available on line.Google Scholar
  57. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2009a). State nondiscrimination laws in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/issue_maps/non_discrimination_7_09_color.pdf
  58. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2009b). Hate crime laws in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/issue_maps/hate_crimes_7_09_color.pdf
  59. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2009c). Foster care laws and regulations in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/issue_maps/foster_care_regs_7_09_color.pdf
  60. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2009d). State laws prohibiting recognition of same-sex relationships. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/issue_maps/samesex_relationships_7_09.pdf
  61. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. (2010). Relationship recognition for same-sex couples in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.thetaskforce.org/downloads/reports/issue_maps/rel_recog_9_10_color.pdf
  62. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF). (2005). Domestic violence laws in the U.S. No longer available on line.Google Scholar
  63. O’Connell, M., & Lofquist, D. (2009, May). Counting same-sex couples: Official estimates and unofficial guesses. Paper presented at the Population Association of America, Detroit, Michigan. Retrieved from http://www.census.gov/population/www/socdemo/files/counting-paper.pdf
  64. Oswald, R. F. (2001). Religion, family, and ritual: The production of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered outsiders-within. Review of Religious Research, 43, 39–50. doi:10.2307/3512242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Oswald, R. F., & Culton, L. (2003). Under the rainbow: Rural gay life and its relevance for family providers. Family Relations, 52, 72–79. doi:10.1111/j.1741-3729.2003.00072.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Oswald, R. F., Cuthbertson, C., Lazarevic, V., & Goldberg, A. E. (2010). New developments in the field: Measuring community climate. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6, 214–228. doi:  10.1080/15504281003709230 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Oswald, R. F., Goldberg, A. E., Kuvalanka, K., & Clausell, E. (2008). Structural and moral commitment among same-sex couples: Relationship duration, religiosity, and parental status. Journal of Family Psychology, 22, 411–419. doi:10.1037/0893-3200.22.3.411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Oswald, R. & Kuvalanka, K. (2008). Same-sex couples: Legal complexities. Journal of Family Issues, 29, 1051–1066.Google Scholar
  69. Oswald, R. F., & Lazarevic, V. (2011). You live where? Lesbian mothers’ attachment to nonmetropolitan communities. Family Relations, 60, 373–386.Google Scholar
  70. Prokos, A. H., & Keene, J. R. (2010). Poverty among cohabiting gay and lesbian, and married and cohabiting heterosexual families. Journal of Family Issues, 31, 934–959. doi:11.1177/0192513X09360176CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ragins, B. R., & Cornwell, J. M. (2001). Pink triangles: Antecedents and consequences of perceived workplace discrimination against gay and lesbian employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1244–1261. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.86.6.1244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Riggle, E. D. B., Rostosky, S. S., & Horne, S. G. (2009). Marriage amendments and lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals in the 2006 election. Sexuality Research and Social Policy, 6(1), 80–89. doi:10.1525/srsp. 2009.6.1.80CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Riggle, E. D. B., Rostosky, S. S., & Horne, S. G. (2010). Psychological distress, well-being, and legal recognition in same-sex couple relationships. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 82–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Rodriguez, E. M. (2010). At the intersection of church and gay: A review of the psychological research on gay and lesbian Christians. Journal of Homosexuality, 57, 5–38. doi:  10.1080/00918360903445806 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Romer v. Evans, (1996). 517 U.S. 620 Retrieved from http://supreme.justia.com/us/517/620/case.html
  76. Rosario, M., Hunter, J., Maguen, S., Gwadz, M., & Smith, R. (2001). The coming-out process and its adaptational and health-related associations among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youths: Stipulation and exploration of a model. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29, 133–160. doi:10.1023/A:1005205630978CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Rostosky, S. S., Otis, M. D., Riggle, E. D. B., Brumett, S. K., & Brodnicki, C. (2008). An exploratory study of religiosity and same-sex couple relationships. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 4(1), 17–36. doi:  10.1080/15504280802084407 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Rostosky, S. S., & Riggle, E. D. B. (2002). ‘Out’ at work: The relation of actor and partner workplace policy and internalized homophobia to disclosure status. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 49, 411–419. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.49.4.411CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Rostosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D. B., Horne, S. G., Denton, F. N., & Huellemeier, J. D. (2010). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals’ psychological reactions to amendments denying access to civil marriage. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 80, 302–310. doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2010.01033.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Rostosky, S. S., Riggle, E. D. B., Horne, S. G., & Miller, A. D. (2009). Marriage amendments and psychological distress in lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 56–66. doi:10.1037/a0013609CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Russell, G. M., Bohan, J. S., McCarroll, M. C., & Smith, N. G. (2010). Trauma, recovery, and community: Perspectives on the long-term impact of anti-LGBT politics. Traumatology. doi:10.1177/1534765610362799 Advance online publication.Google Scholar
  82. Russell, G. M., & Richards, J. A. (2003). Stressor and resilience factors for lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals confronting antigay politics. American Journal of Community Psychology, 31, 313–328. doi:10.1023/A:1023919022811CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Schuck, K. D., & Liddle, B. J. (2001). Religious conflicts experienced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals. Journal of Gay and Lesbian Psychotherapy, 5(2), 63–82. doi:10.1300/J236v05n02_07CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Shapiro, D. N., Peterson, C., & Stewart, A. J. (2009). Legal and social contexts and mental health among lesbian and heterosexual mothers. Journal of Family Psychology, 23, 255–262. doi:10.1037/a0014973CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Shecter, E., Tracy, A. J., Page, K. V., & Luong, G. (2008). Shall we marry? Legal marriage as a commitment event in same-sex relationships. Journal of Homosexuality, 54, 400–422. doi:  10.1080/00918360801991422 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Short, L. (2007). Lesbian mothers living well in the context of heterosexism and discrimination: Resources, strategies, and legislative change. Feminism and Psychology, 17, 57–74. doi:10.1177/0959353507072912CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. Siker, J. S. (2007). Homosexuality and religion: An encyclopedia. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.Google Scholar
  88. Smith, N. G., & Ingram, K. M. (2004). Workplace heterosexism and adjustment among lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals: The role of unsupportive social interactions. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 51, 57–67. doi:10.1037/0022-0167.51.1.57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  89. Sullivan, M. (2004). The family of woman: Lesbian mothers, their children, and the undoing of gender. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  90. Tavernise, S. (2011, January 18). Parenting by gays more common in the South, Census shows. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/19/us/19gays.html?_r=1&ref=sabrinatavernise
  91. Tejeda, M. J. (2006). Nondiscrimination policies and sexual identity disclosure: Do they make a difference in employee outcomes? Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 18(1), 45–59. doi:10.1007/s10672-005-9004-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Van Gelderen, L., Gartrell, N., Bos, H., & Hermanns, J. (2009). Stigmatization and resilience in adolescent children of lesbian mothers. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 5, 268–279. doi:  10.1080/15504280903035761 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wellman, B. (2002). Physical place and cyberplace: The rise of personalized networking. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 25, 227–252. 10.1111/1468-2427.00309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Wheaton, L., & Tashi, J. (2004). Poverty Facts 2004. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. Retrieved from http://www.urban.org/publications/411654.html
  95. Wood, P. B., & Bartkowski, J. P. (2004). Attribution style and public policy attitudes toward gay rights. Social Science Quarterly, 85, 58–73. doi:10.1111/j.0038-4941.2004.08501005.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Yakushko, O. (2005). Influence of social support, existential well-being, and stress over sexual orientation on self-esteem of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. International Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 27, 131–143. doi:10.1007/s10447-005-2259-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Yip, A. (1997). Dare to differ: Gay and lesbian Catholics’ assessment of official Catholic positions on sexuality. Sociology of Religion, 58, 165–180. doi:10.2307/3711875CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Human and Community DevelopmentUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA

Personalised recommendations