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Counselling formerly heterosexually partnered gay fathers raised with religion

Earley, Eoin; Clarke, Victoria; Moller, Naomi

Authors

Eoin Earley

Naomi Moller



Abstract

Formerly heterosexually partnered gay fathers raised with religion are an under-researched group of LGBTQ parents. This group have potentially complex coming out journeys, which can result in them seeking counselling. This research explores the counselling experiences of such men and offers suggestions for working therapeutically with them. Twelve self-identified gay fathers participated in qualitative interviews. These men all had children in the context of a heterosexual marriage or committed partnership, and a religious upbringing of some kind in the US, Canada, the UK or Ireland. The key finding of the qualitative analysis was that participants wanted therapists to not assume a ‘best’ outcome for them as either gay or ‘straight’. Instead, they wanted therapists to respect and assist them to explore their own individual sense-making around their identities and to reject fixed notions from both ex-gay and (some versions of) gay affirmative therapy of what it means to be a ‘well-adjusted’ (gay) father.

Journal Article Type Article
Print ISSN 0306-9885
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation Earley, E., Clarke, V., & Moller, N. (in press). Counselling formerly heterosexually partnered gay fathers raised with religion. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling,
Keywords ‘Coming out’; conversion therapy; ex-gay therapy; gay affirmative therapy; same-sex parenting