Resilience Within the Family Networks of Lesbians and Gay Men: Intentionality and Redefinition

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Abstract

This article reviews the literature on gay and lesbian family networks as a way to identify the resilience processes that enable members to create and strengthen their family networks. Two processes, intentionality and redefinition, were identified. Intentionality refers to behavioral strategies that legitimize and support relationships. Redefinition refers to meaning making strategies that create linguistic and symbolic structures to affirm one's network. Brief comparisons are made to the literature on resilience in ethnic minority families, and careful study of the similarities and differences between gay and lesbian family networks, and other marginalized families, is urged.

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