chapter  16
14 Pages

Exploring notions of masculinity and fatherhood: when gay sons ‘come out’ to heterosexual fathers

This chapter considers debates within masculinity and fatherhood studies with a particular emphasis on homophobia. Three in-depth case studies have been selected from a wider research project part of which focused on the marginalization experiences of young lesbian and gay people. The case studies have been selected for the insight they provide on ‘coming out’ processes within the family. The examples show how diverse heterosexual fathers’ reactions can be when their sons come out to them as gay. It is clear that fatherhoods that are not constructed upon aggressively enforced heterosexual hegemonic masculinity are those that allow the space for a continuation, or even establishment, of positive and rewarding father-son relationships.