Querying Lesbian Fatherhood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

This article is an auto-ethnographic exploration of the subject position “lesbian dad.” Lesbian fatherhood is understood as a category in which lesbian gender inflects parenthood in the context of a lesbian-parent family, i.e., as a category that emerges at the intersection of the discourse of kinship and queer cultural discourse. The article examines the theoretical underpinnings and conditions of possibility of lesbian fatherhood and discusses this position as an interesting vantage point for observing the interrelations of gender, sexuality, and kinship, as well as the social construction and performative character of parenthood in general. It looks at the difficulties of claiming such an identity in light of the expectation of coherence between social gender, reproductive role, parental status, and parental role, and analyzes the reduced efficacy of alternative kinship terms as owing to fact that parental terms signify across a broad range of contexts – from the most intimate to the institutional. Nevertheless, it proposes that the nuclear family can function as a semiautonomous gender culture, in which collaborative familial performance informed by queer cultural codes sustains the meaningfulness and reality of lesbian fatherhood. The article also looks at the contestations of lesbian fatherhood suggesting that the prevailing discourse on same-sex families depends on a suppression of queer difference.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClose Relations
Subtitle of host publicationFamily, Kinship, and Beyond
EditorsHelena Wahlström Henriksson, Klara Goedecke
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature Singapore
Pages21-36
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-981-16-0792-9
ISBN (Print)978-981-16-0792-9
DOIs
StatePublished - 31 Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Lesbian fatherhood
  • Queer kinship
  • Lesbian families
  • Nonbiological parenthood
  • Parental terms
  • Female masculinity
  • Israeli familism

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