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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

LGBT Adolescents & Families: Adaptation and Dynamics Related to Coming Out

Caitlin C. Ryan, MSW and Rafael M. Diaz, PhD. Cesar E. Chavez Institute, San Francisco State University, 3004 - 16th Street, Suite 301, San Francisco, CA 94103, 415-522-5558, caitlin@sfsu.edu

This presentation will report on the experiences of adolescents and families from the qualitative phase of the Family Acceptance Project, the first major study of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents (ages 13-18) and their families. The study includes white and Latino LGB youth and transgender youth who identify as LGB from a wide range of socioeconomic and educational backgrounds living in urban, suburban and rural communities throughout California, including youth in foster care and residential programs. The presentation will report findings from individual in-depth interviews with adolescents and family members from more than 50 family units. Both white and Latino families report having greater difficulty dealing with gender non-conforming behavior and transgender identity than with an adolescent’s sexual orientation. Parents of younger adolescents are more resistant to their child’s potential foreclosure of sexual identity than those of older youth. All parents, whether accepting or rejecting, report fearing for their child’s safety in a society they perceive as hostile to non-heterosexual and gender non-conforming youth. Families living in neighborhoods with gangs fear negative reactions to gender non-conformity from gang members that make their children more visible. Parents have few resources to deal with their child’s emerging sexual and gender identities. Most turn to family members for advice and support. Immigrant families have fewer resources for support since fewer extended family members emigrate to the U.S. Gender differences are seen in parental negotiation of LGBT youth culture between white and Latino immigrant families.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Adolescents, Latinos

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: César E. Chávez Institute, San Francisco State University
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

LGBT Youth Research

The 132nd Annual Meeting (November 6-10, 2004) of APHA