Tying Tight or Splitting Up

Aaron Dickinson Sachs

in LGBTQ Divorce and Relationship Dissolution

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

, pages 245-262
Published in print November 2018 | ISBN: 9780190635176
Published online November 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190635190 | DOI:
Tying Tight or Splitting Up

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In this reflexive autoethnography, the author uses performative writing and evocative personal narrative to recount the dissolution of his parents’ relationship and explore the implications of such dissolutions for children of same-sex relationships. The lack of legal and social support structures available to LGBTQ families in the 1980s, and the prevalence of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric focused on the effects of LGBTQ parents on children, both increased the already traumatic impact of family dissolution on the author. As a child, like members of many groups under “political threat,” the author feared that discussing the difficulty of his parents’ separation would validate anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. For the author, labeling the dissolution of his parents’ relationship as “divorce,” and finding friendship with other young people from divorced families, was insufficient; only peer support from other people with LGBTQ parents helped the author to find a safe space to share the trauma of parental relationship dissolution.

Keywords: autoethnography; children; gay divorce; language; LGBTQ parent; peer support; relationship dissolution; same-sex marriage; same-sex divorce

Chapter.  8886 words. 

Subjects: Forensic Psychiatry

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