Introduction America has been a dangerous place for gay youths. Often when children came out gay or lesbian or transgender to parents and family members, they faced being ostracized, sometimes taken to religious leaders for conversion therapy or, worse, ejected from their homes. After decades of activism by gay and lesbian rights leaders, the situation has improved vastly for fami- lies with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) parents and children. This volume of essays explores the current historical and political status of gay, lesbian, transgender, and intersex children, same-sex households, bullying, coming out in communities of color and small towns, homeless- ness, and more. The United States Census Bureau estimates that slightly more than 1 percent of households are composed of same-sex couples. Of those fam- ilies, about 20 percent have children. Nicole Taylor and Margaret Col- lins, both of the University of Illinois, explore the dynamics of same-sex households and the children that reside within these homes. Their essay, “Children in Same-Sex Households,” covers many of the issues related to same-sex homes, the relationship to both gay and straight family mem- bers, and many legal issues. There are many pathways by which well-meaning gays and lesbians may become parents. Almost three-fourths of same-sex households with children indicate that it is their own biological children residing with them. Often the children come from previous heterosexual relationships or marriages. More and more children are being adopted or provided fos- ter parenting by same-sex couples. Same-sex couples, to fulfill their desire to have a family, are embracing new fertility treatments such as artificial insemination and surrogacy. Some people express concerns about the psychosocial outcomes of children raised by same-sex couples. Extensive research over the last 40
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