Undoing Normativities and Creating Family: A Queer Stepfamily’s Experience

Autumn M. Bermea, Brad van Eeden-Moorefield, Jacqueline Bible, Raymond E. Petren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Although the stepfamily literature is well developed, most examines heterosexual stepfamilies and fails to note the presence of those headed by same-gender couples. This especially is true of male couples assumed unlikely to have children. Our case study uses a queer lens to examine a stepfamily headed by gay men. Family, couple, and focal child interviews were coded using thematic analysis. Findings indicate family members rejected normative family labels (e.g., stepfamily) and wanted to be thought of only as a family. These stepfamily members also performed family in ways that defied heteronormativity; however, they described struggling to do so within legal contexts that favored biological mothers, especially those in heterosexual families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-372
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of GLBT Family Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Case study
  • LGBT families
  • gay fathers
  • queer theory
  • stepfathers


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