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Two thirds of gay dads report experiencing stigma

Two thirds of gay dads report experiencing stigma

Gay dad with child at San Fransisco Pride 2008

Just under two thirds of gay dads say they experience stigma, according to a new survey.

63.5% of 732 gay fathers from 47 US states reported facing stigma for being a gay dad. Furthermore, half of respondents (51.2%) reported avoiding situations for fear of stigma, in the last year.

Most of this stigma comes from religious environments.

Stigma is defined as gay fathers ‘made to feel uncomfortable, excluded, shamed, hurt, or unwelcome.’

Around a quarter of respondents also reported experiencing stigma in the past year from family members, neighbors, gay friends and/or service providers such as waiters, service providers, and salespeople.

According to the authors of the study: ‘Ongoing health supervision should include discussions about stigma and help families learn strategies to counteract its corrosive effects.’

Gay dads better than straight dads

The study concluded despite growing acceptance of LGBTI people and parenthood, ‘barriers and stigma persist’.

It also found the level of stigma is proportionate to each US state’s legal and social protections for LGBTI people.

It was a two and a half year process before the now gay dads welcomed baby Charlie into their lives via surrogacy in 2017 | Photo: @papaanddaddy / Instagram

Another recent study found gay dads make better parents than straight dads.

Rutgers University PhD student Andrew Leland said gay dads are more likely to be actively involved in their children’s lives.

Leland said active involvement in their children’s lives ‘preemptively counteract potential negative encounters with school personnel and other families’.

So, in other words, gay guys feel like people are going to judge their parenting skills because they’re gay – so they work harder to stop that assumption.

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