Gay/Bi/Queer FathersCluster Leader: Rachel Epstein, Coordinator, LGBTQ Parenting Network,
Sherbourne Health Centre, Toronto
Researcher: Scott Duggan, Ph.D., Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto
Community Partner: Chris Veldhoven, Coordinator, Queer Parenting Programmes
The 519 Church St. Community Centre, Toronto
Focus: The experience of fatherhood for gay/bi/queer (GBQ) men: becoming a parent, access to services and barriers to social inclusion.
Gay/Bi/Queer Fathers Cluster , Toronto
Gay/bi/queer fathers are under-represented in all forms of research. This cluster undertook a unique opportunity to explore father involvement within the context of non-traditional family structures by examining the experiences of three groupings of GBQ men
- those who had children in the context of heterosexual relationships;
- those who became fathers in the context of GBQ identity; and
- those who are not yet fathers. Non-fathers have been included to illuminate issues of entitlement, which are central to GBQ parenting.
This research cluster is using two methods of data collection - face to face interviews and an online survey. In-depth personal interviews were conducted with 40 gay men and an online survey yielded 99 usable responses. The interviews explored a number of areas including social, legal, and cultural barriers to fathering; access to services for GBQ fathers and what can be learned about parenting from GBQ fathers living in non-traditional family structures and outside traditional gender dynamics.
The Partnership: Since few Canadian agencies offer services for GBQ fathers this cluster was coordinated by the LGBTQ Parenting Network, originally based at the Family Service Association of Toronto, and currently at the Sherbourne Health Centre. The LGBTQ Parenting Network is a community-based network (1,000 members) that provides resources, information and support to LGBTQ parents, prospective parents and their families. The LGBTQ Parenting Network has recently been funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care in a collaborative partnership between Family Service Toronto, the Sherbourne Health Centre and The 519 Church St. Community Centre.
The project is operating with an advisory committee of gay/bi/queer fathers, LGBT service providers, and university-based researchers.
For more details about the GBQ Fathers Cluster, go to: (link to e-bulletin)
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org; 416 324 4100, ext. 5219.
Also see our news release-we NEED your stories http://fira.ca/news-release.php?id=17
For more information, publications and associated materials please visit the
resource area of this site by clicking here. Some examples of references and
resource materials available include the following:
Executive Summary (Father Involvement Community Research Forum Spring 2006 - Early Results)
Authored by Rachel Epstein and Scott Duggan. A summary of research into factors relating to parenting by non-heterosexual fathers. Preliminary results include the extreme invisibility of gay fathers, issues of entitlement and pride, disclosure of sexual orientation to children and spouse, and becoming fathers as gay men.