In undertaking our own separate research projects and in our crosscontinental comparative analyses of those projects, we became aware of the gaps between the richness of research on GLBT lives, including experiences of intimacy and parenthood, and the paucity of research on their relations with their families of origin. Still marginal is, in particular, research on the perspectives of the families of origin themselves: parents, but also siblings, grandparents, and other members of extended families. For the purposes of this special issue, we are deploying the term families of origin to mean heterosexual-identifying family members (at least as they publicly perform and display their sexualities), living within a heteronormative socio-politicocultural system. As we will argue in this introduction, however, there is a need to document and research, and thereby historically situate, family diversity, including the increasing shifting discourses and lived experiences of same-sex and other queer families of origin.
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