Same Sex Stepfamilies: To Be, Or Not to Be, in the Closet? by Trisha Ladogna
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution gives same-sex couples the right to marry and Caitlyn Jenner’s public transition are both tremendous milestones which pave the way toward legitimizing and accepting same-sex and transgender stepfamilies.
There is a lot to celebrate, not only for those who identify as members of related communities but also for those who gave birth to, grew up with, befriended or love someone who identifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
These massive steps forward, however, have not eliminated the challenges faced by lesbian stepfamilies. One of the biggest among them is making a decision about how in or out of the closet their stepfamilies will be. When two women fall in love and one of them has children, the decision to go public about their individual sexual orientation becomes a family matter.
How open a mother is about her same-sex partnership or marriage has an undeniable impact on her children. Decisions whether to live out in the open also can impact their partner or wife and her sense of identity—as both a lesbian and stepmother—making her feel as though her concerns have taken a backseat.
The challenge of deciding how, or if, you will acknowledge your lesbian stepfamily is not an easy one. It is heavily dependent on which sides of the closet door you and your partner happen to be standing on when you meet, partner and perhaps even marry. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the October 2015 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.