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Heterosexual Parents of Gay and Lesbian Individuals: Social Interaction Issues


The Fenway Institute (


This article, using data from published research, reports, clinical articles, case studies, and autobiographical accounts, aims to analyze difficulties in social interactions of heterosexual parents of gay male individuals or lesbians (PGLs) with others, after the same-gender sexual orientation disclosure. The others include PGLs' children, relatives, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. The article proposes a new model including ambiguity, hostility, and privacy concerns as key dimensions of the PGL social interaction experiences, and it notes relationship implications.