I think people were a bit unsure about how to react': Exploring family reactions to non-heterosexuals' positive and negative life events in Western countries.

[Speaker] Peel, Elizabeth:1
1:University of Worcester (United Kingdom)

LGBTQ people are living in interesting societal and legal times in the West. This paper discusses the nature of contemporary heteronormativity with reference to relationships/families research. Drawing on two contrasting data corpuses (124 LGB people in a civil partnership and 60 LB women who had experienced pregnancy loss) I offer an argument for juxtaposing family reactions to contrasting happy and sad events. Data were collected from LGBT participants in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia via interviews and questionnaires. I discuss the ways that the issues of muted reactions from significant others, and displays of heteronormativity are manifest. Marriage, as an archetypal indicator of heteronormativity, is being reshaped in the UK and other jurisdictions as no longer invariably heteronormative - in rights and rites. However, despite significant legal and structural gains for LGBTQ communities, critical examination of manifestations of heterosexism and heteronormativity continue to be central to psychological research.
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