Gay, bisexual, and queer fatherhood

Document Type

Book Chapter


In recent decades, gay, bisexual, and queer (GBQ) men have increasingly become fathers and, consequently, are confronted with unique challenges and stressors (e.g., heterosexism, gender role conflict), which can impact their experiences of fatherhood. In this chapter, we review the existing literature on GBQ fatherhood (and, to a limited extent, trans fatherhood), as well as the debates and challenges associated with it. Informed by ecological, minority stress, and intersectionality theories, we attend to the ways in which various contexts and the intersection of GBQ fathers' identities shape parenthood. We discuss pathways and barriers to parenthood; how couples navigate the gendered nature of parenthood; parent socialization practices; child outcomes; parent outcomes; relationships with partners, friends, and family; and interactions within broader community contexts. Future research should explore experiences of fatherhood among GBQ parents in consensual nonmonogamous relationships, GBQ fathers of color, and GBQ fathers with less privileged social locations, as most research focuses on white, educationally and economically privileged GBQ fathers. In addition, few studies distinguish bisexual- and queer-identified fathers from gay-identified fathers. Much more research is needed on trans fathers, as this work is still in its infancy. We discuss the implications of the research for practitioners, schools, employers, and policymakers.

Publication Title

Handbook of the Psychology of Fatherhood

Publication Date


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bisexual, communities, family, fatherhood, gay, gender, parenthood, relationships