Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Family Communication 14 (2014), pp 189–207.
The goal in the present study was to understand the discourses that animate children’s talk about having a parent come out and how these discourses interplay to create meaning. Data were gathered through 20 in-depth interviews with adults who remembered a parent coming out to them as lesbian or gay. One discursive struggle animated the participants’ talk about their parents’ coming out: the discourse of lesbian and gay identity as wrong vs. the discourse of lesbian and gay identity as acceptable. Analysis of participants’ talk about their familial identities revealed a range of avenues for resisting the negative discourses regarding lesbian and gay identities. The findings highlight discursive power in participants’ talk about their familial identities and how participants organize the conflicting messages they receive in their culture and in relationships regarding family identities.