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Community, family, citizenship and the health of LGBTIQ people

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Product Description

By Jane Edwards, Damien W Riggs

Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-1-921348-03-7
Pages: ii+106



Jane Edwards
University of South Australia

Damien W Riggs
University of Adelaide, SA

Lesbians, gay men, and bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) individuals continue to experience exclusion from social institutions.

In the face of this, these groups of people continue to create their own families and communities that meet their support and wellbeing needs. Nonetheless, the intersections of exclusion from social institutions and varying levels of inclusion in LGBTIQ communities often result in complex health issues for LGBTIQ people.

In response to these issues, this collection of international papers asks, and answers, questions such as 'What issues do LGBTIQ people encounter as they negotiate their existences in relation to inclusion, exclusion and health?' and 'Which institutions act as gate-keepers and on what conditions are LGBTIQ people allowed access to them'?

Many of the papers suggest that  both medicine and the law act in ways that have somewhat contradictory outcomes for many non-heterosexuals. For example, whilst medical opinion and legislation may change (allowing lesbians more access assisted to reproductive technology), lesbian parenting is often still constructed as 'unnatural'. Advances in genetics, whilst providing greater opportunities for non-heterosexual parenting, nonetheless shore up a dominant, heterosexist definition of 'the family'. Media reporting on the experiences of sperm donors often fails to accounts for the experiences of gay or bisexual men.

For transgender people, and due to the fact that legal recognition of altered gender requires medical intervention, the exercise of citizenship by transgender people is often fraught. And for non-heterosexual couples seeking to adopt, legislation over rights does not always guarantee social contexts that allow those rights to be exercised.

This special issue  focuses on the 'fault-lines' in social relationships relating to family, community and citizenship between heterosexuals and non-heterosexuals. It also draws attention to fault-lines within LGBTIQ communities. For example, gay men do not always understand the needs of lesbians they donate sperm to, sometimes reinforcing a patriarchal view of the family. And lesbian communities, while conferring some benefits for their members, can also be sites of exclusion and conflict.

As a whole, this collection of articles provides fascinating insight into the complexity of LGBTIQ communities and families themselves, as well as the broader legislative contexts in which LGBTIQ people live and is important reading for anyone with an interest in health issues within the LGBTIQ population.

Table of Contents

Guest Editorial
Jane Edwards, Damien W Riggs

Lesbian mothers, gay male sperm donors, and community: Ensuring the well-being of children and families
Damien W Riggs

Exploring gender identity and community among three groups of transgender individuals in the United States: MTFs, FTMs, and genderqueers
Rhonda J Factor, Esther Rothblum

Lesbian and queer mothers navigating the adoption system: The impacts on mental health
Lori Ross, Rachel Epstein, Corrie Goldfinger, Leah Steele, Scott Anderson, Carol Strike

ART eligibility for lesbians and single heterosexual women in Victoria: How medicalisation influenced a political, legal and policy debate
Deborah Dempsey

Transgender people and the amendment of formal documentation: Matters of recognition and citizenship
Murray Couch, Marian Pitts, Samantha Croy, Hunter Mulcare, Anne Mitchell

'Shiny happy same-sex attracted woman seeking same': How communities contribute to bisexual and lesbian women's well-being
Mary Heath, Ea Mulligan

Genes and families in the media: Implications of genetic discourse for constructions of the 'family'
Shona Crabb, Martha Augoustinos

Australian sperm donors: Public image and private motives of gay, bi-sexual and heterosexual donors
Margie Ripper

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