As more states strike down laws restricting marriage to "one man and one woman," same-sex relationships are becoming more visible and more socially accepted. Nevertheless, many couples still experience significant stress because of their same-sex status. In every life context — family, work, neighborhood, religious communities, and in social and legal contexts — same-sex couples have to make decisions about disclosure, how to respond to prejudice, and how to cope with negative feelings about themselves and their experiences.
This book helps couples work together to identify, develop, and use their strengths and skills to successfully navigate these issues and flourish. Tough tasks like confronting prejudice will never be easy, but thanks to the stories, tools, and resources presented in this book, readers will learn to manage such situations in a positive way.
Learning activities in each chapter guide couples to become more aware of the causes of stress in their relationship, and to take positive actions to strengthen their commitment. Readers will learn how to cultivate the strengths of their LGBTQ identities, assert appropriate boundaries, create supportive relationships with others, and contribute authentically to their families and communities.
I. Family of Origin
Coming Out to GrandmaWhen the Family Rule Is "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"Family GatheringsOur Families, OurselvesWe Can Choose Our Family!Warm Welcomes and Family Allies
II. Family of Creation
"You Aren't the 'Real' Parent"When Bad Things Happen to Our Kids"Ins and Outs" of ParentingOn the Lookout"Are We Being Selfish?"It Takes a Village, People!
"My Family Thinks Our Relationship Is an Abomination"Looking for God in All the Wrong PlacesTrue ConfessionsGood Religion Gone BadLetting Our Light ShineFinding Higher Ground
The Unfriendly WorkplaceCleaning Out the Work ClosetTesting the Waters at WorkAre You for Real?Taking Pride to Work
V. Neighborhoods and Local Communities
Getting a Bad DealI Wanna Hold Your HandOut on the TownWhat Will the Neighbors Think?It's a Beautiful Day in the Gayborhood
VI. Laws and Policies
Going to the ChapelStepping Out and Looking InGood Help Is Hard to Find!Yours, Mine, and OursUntil All Are Equal
Conclusion: A Future Where We Thrive and Flourish
About the Authors
About the Authors:
Sharon Scales Rostosky, PhD, completed her PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1998. She is a Licensed Psychologist in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. She joined the Counseling Psychology program at the University of Kentucky in 1999, where she is currently Professor and Director of Training. She is co-founder (with Dr. Ellen Riggle) of PrismResearch.org, with whom she co-authored A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being (American Psychological Association Division 44 Distinguished Book Award, 2012). Her research, published in more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and presented in numerous workshops for professional and general audiences, focuses on minority stress and well-being in LGBTQ individuals and same-sex couples and was honored in 2010 with the APA Division 17 Social Justice Award.
Ellen D. B. Riggle, PhD, is a professor in the Departments of Gender and Women's Studies and Political Science at the University of Kentucky. She is co-author of A Positive View of LGBTQ: Embracing Identity and Cultivating Well-Being (American Psychological Association Division 44 Distinguished Book Award, 2012). She is the co-editor of Sexual Identity on the Job and Gays and Lesbians in the Democratic Process. She has also published more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. Dr. Riggle has conducted research, lectured and presented workshops on the impact of stigma on sexual minorities, legal status issues for same-sex couples, and the importance of positive well-being for LGBTQ* individuals.
More information about the work of Dr. Riggle and Dr. Rostosky can be found on their website PrismResearch.org.