This thesis explores the lived experiences of adults with Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual (LGB) parents using stigma management as a conceptual framework. The study was developed in response to a trend in current literature on this population of utilizing a hierarchical comparative framework, which positions heterosexual families as the standard against which all others are compared. This method of analysis flattens or ignores the complexity of experience in non-heterosexual family structures. In depth interviews were conducted with nine adults with at least one LGB parent. This study discusses four ways in which children with LGB parents experience and manage stigma. These are, in order, disclosure practices, engaging in communities, impression management, and negotiations of queerness. Revealing the lived experience of adults with LGB parents, this research makes an important empirical contribution to the literature on this understudied population. This study also extends models of stigma by highlighting the creative ways that participants managed stigma, and the importance of context to the method of management.
This study examines the process that LGBTQ individuals undergo to integrate their religious identity and their sexuality into one cohesive identity. By interviewing LGBTQ individuals who were currently members of churches that advertise inclusivity to congregants of all sexual orientations and gender identities I found many of the participants experience a multi-stage identity integration process. There were three major stages of identity construction: first the participants internalized messages of homophobia, then they sought out LGBTQ inclusive and accepting church environments, and finally they expanded their religious beliefs to encompass a diverse spectrum of theologies, resulting, in most cases, in a cohesion of sexuality and religious identity. This study was intended to broaden the understanding of identity integration, not just concerning the intersections of sexuality and religion, but is also applicable to other intersections of social life concerning integration of a stigmatized identity with an opposing, socially sanctioned identity.