Opens up a largely unexplored history. A necessary corrective. Daniel Rivers has produced a major contribution to family history, to LGBT history, and to the history of children. Weaving together legal sources, interviews, personal papers, and the archives of grassroots community organizations, Radical Relations demonstrates the transformational impact of lesbians and gay men on each other, and on the generations of children that they fought to raise. In Rivers's skillful hands, 'family' becomes far more than the longstanding bulwark for conventional American values--it becomes instead a vibrant site of resistance to the racist, sexist, and heterosexist hierarchies foundational to such values.
Major long-term study: Kids with lesbian parents grow up to be happy adults
Major long-term study: Kids with lesbian parents grow up to be happy adults - Motherly
Heather Murray, D aniel W inunwe R ivers. The arresting photograph of a lesbian mother collapsing in anguish upon learning that she has lost custody of her son in poignantly underscores Daniel Winunwe Rivers's argument that the family has only been legible to the courts as heterosexual. His engaging and well-researched social history argues that the history of lesbian mothers, gay fathers, and their children challenges a foundational American belief that the family is heterosexual and that gays and lesbians are childless. Rivers vividly shows that an enduring worry for gays and lesbians with children throughout the postwar period was forced separation from their children; this made any interaction with state representatives especially fraught for these families. His chapter on custody cases, based on an impressive case analyses, makes for chilling reading. Here we witness the courts' attempts to protect a perceived fragile sexual identity in children and
Within a society that long considered "lesbian motherhood" a contradiction in terms, what were the experiences of lesbian mothers at the end of the twentieth century? Drawing on interviews with women, Lewin provided her readers with a new understanding of the attitudes of individual women, the choices they made, and the texture of their daily lives. Lewin's study of lesbian motherhood, which consisted of interviews of 73 lesbian mothers and 62 single heterosexual mothers for comparison, confirmed her assumption that the two groups have a great deal in common. It seems that single mothers, whatever their sexuality, tend to relate to their children as partners and count other mothers as better friends than childless people, and that the experience of divorce for heterosexual women often mirrors the experience of coming out for lesbians--both are steps towards autonomy. Perhaps the biggest problem for lesbian mothers is the question of custody, since their sexuality has been successfully used against them in court.