Different families: The views of children of lesbian and gay parents


In 2010 Stonewall published a report based on interviews with children of lesbian and gay parents. The report quite clearly shows that the children in LGBT families see their families as the same as other families – special and different. Admittedly, there were some reports that showed that some participants viewed their families as different, but overall the children saw their families as being just the same as other families.

Older versus younger children

The report showed that the older children viewed their families as being less common. However, the younger children were mostly unaware of this. They generally saw their families as simply being the same as other families. The youngest interviewed was four years of age.

Coming out and bullying at school

Some children would come out about their parents but others would choose not to. Some children worried about being bullied and didn’t like it when the word “gay” was used as an insult.

Happy with my family

The children shared that they were happy with their families. They didn’t want their families to change. But they also wished that other people would be more accepting.

They shared that sometimes they needed to answer many questions about their family. Answering these questions helped others to understand how their family worked. But having to answer lots of questions made the children feel a little unusual.

Helpful resource

The report titled “Different Families” is a helpful one. It shares first-hand accounts volunteered by children. For example, Jennie (10 years old) shared: “I think it’s pretty much the same. I mean it’s alright to have two mums, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just they love each other. As long as they love each other it’s alright”. The comments shared by all of the children helps demystify what it’s like to be part of an LGBT family.

The book, authored by April Guasp and produced by Stonewall, also provides wonderful insightful into the experiences of children being raised by lesbian and gay-identifying adults. Recommendations for schools are also included in the book.

Pink Families recommends this resource.Download your free copy from Stonewall.

In this video, two daughters share what it’s like to have two moms.

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