Children’s coming out has a significant impact at the family level, and parents’ reactions can affect their children’s well-being. Research investigating parents’ perspectives is still limited outside the USA and primarily includes parents involved in LGB associations. Our study investigates coming out within families in Italy, a context characterized by heteronormativity and high stigma toward sexual minorities, with parents not involved in LGB associations. The aim was to explore the meanings parents attributed to their child’s coming out and look at how it reshaped their relationships with their offspring in light of the theoretical model elaborated by Chrisler (2017) on studies conducted in the US context. Thirteen participants were interviewed (10 mothers, aged 43–63): ten with a gay son, two with a lesbian daughter and one with a bisexual daughter. The thematic analysis identified four themes that can be framed in Chrisler’s theoretical model and then extended its field of application to a new socio-cultural context. The discussion highlights some features transversal to the themes that can be better understood if related to specific traits of the Italian family and relational culture, emphasizing the importance of educational and cultural interventions directed at parents who are not yet involved in associative networks.

Montali, L., Vignati, A., Benozzo, A. (2022). Between Liberation and Shock: Italian Parents’ Experiences of Their Children Coming Out. LGBTQ+ FAMILY [10.1080/27703371.2022.2157358].

Between Liberation and Shock: Italian Parents’ Experiences of Their Children Coming Out

Lorenzo Montali
Primo
;
2022

Abstract

Children’s coming out has a significant impact at the family level, and parents’ reactions can affect their children’s well-being. Research investigating parents’ perspectives is still limited outside the USA and primarily includes parents involved in LGB associations. Our study investigates coming out within families in Italy, a context characterized by heteronormativity and high stigma toward sexual minorities, with parents not involved in LGB associations. The aim was to explore the meanings parents attributed to their child’s coming out and look at how it reshaped their relationships with their offspring in light of the theoretical model elaborated by Chrisler (2017) on studies conducted in the US context. Thirteen participants were interviewed (10 mothers, aged 43–63): ten with a gay son, two with a lesbian daughter and one with a bisexual daughter. The thematic analysis identified four themes that can be framed in Chrisler’s theoretical model and then extended its field of application to a new socio-cultural context. The discussion highlights some features transversal to the themes that can be better understood if related to specific traits of the Italian family and relational culture, emphasizing the importance of educational and cultural interventions directed at parents who are not yet involved in associative networks.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Coming out; Italy; LGB sexual orientation; parents; thematic analysis;
English
Montali, L., Vignati, A., Benozzo, A. (2022). Between Liberation and Shock: Italian Parents’ Experiences of Their Children Coming Out. LGBTQ+ FAMILY [10.1080/27703371.2022.2157358].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/399691
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