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UBC Theses and Dissertations

"I'm part of this family" : how five care-giving partners of gay men story their experiences Kia, Hossein


This study, whose purpose was to develop insight into the experiences of gay care-givers, examined how five Canadian care-giving partners of gay men storied their experiences, or how they constructed their subjective realities in the form of narratives. The five participants, all of whom were recruited either directly or indirectly with the help of community agencies, took part in two in-depth semi-structured interviews designed to invoke narratives relating to their identification as care-givers, their experiences mitigating challenges and encountering rewards, and their overall stories as gay carers. Though each of the participants' stories was analyzed individually, a cross-case analysis revealed a number of common themes spanning the respondents' stories. These realities included perceiving “choice” in committing to care, experiencing anticipated, felt, and overt expressions of homophobia and heterosexism, valuing gay-friendly sources of support, and constructing unique definitions of “family” and “partnership” in the context of care. A close analysis of the study's findings suggested that though many of the participants appeared to story complex issues found in the context of same-sex caring partnerships by attributing subjective meaning or significance to these realms of experience, an intricate array of structural factors also appeared to influence how these carers storied their lives as gay care-givers. Implications of the study's findings on social work practice at various levels of intervention, as well as recommendations for the pursuit of future research in related fields of inquiry, were outlined.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International