Family Relationships of Older LGBT Adults



The study of older lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults and their families is a growing area of research and practice. This field addresses intersections of social structure and personal experience, beginning with the interaction of family and sexual minority status, and complicated by gender, race, social class, ability status, and other social locations. Older LGBT adults experience families in normative and non-normative ways. They have families of origin (i.e., the family one is born into), families of procreation (i.e., the family one creates, typically, through a committed union and the children they rear), and families of choice (i.e., the family one creates through converting friends into kin). Yet, there are unique aspects of what it means to be an aging LGBT individual that affect the emotional dynamics of family relationships, including the historical treatment of LGBT individuals, the increasing social climate of self-affirmation and public acceptance, and the policies that impact their lives.


LGBT families Family of origin Family of procreation Family of choice Chosen kin 



We thank Erin Lavender-Stott and Emma Potter for their research assistance.


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Virginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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