Mignon R. Moore brings to light the family life of a group that has been largely invisible - gay women of color - in a book that challenges long-standing ideas about racial identity, family formation, and motherhood. Drawing from interviews and surveys of one hundred black gay women in New York City, "Invisible Families" explores the ways that race and class have influenced how these women understand their sexual orientation, find partners, and form families. In particular, the study looks at the ways in which the past experiences of women who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s shape their thinking, and have structured their lives in communities that are not always accepting of their openly gay status. Overturning generalizations about lesbian families derived largely from research focused on white, middle-class feminists, "Invisible Families" reveals experiences within black American and Caribbean communities as it asks how people with multiple stigmatized identities imagine and construct an individual and collective sense of self.
Mignon R. Moore is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles.
Acknowledgments Introduction: Two Sides of the Same Coin: Revising Analyses of Lesbian Sexuality and Family Formation through the Study of Black Women 1. Coming into the Life: Entrance into Gay Sexuality for Black Women 2. Gender Presentation in Black Lesbian Communities 3. Marginalized Social Identities: Self-Understandings and Group Membership 4. Lesbian Motherhood and Discourses of Respectability 5. Family Life and Gendered Relations between Women 6. Openly Gay Families and the Negotiation of Black Community and Religious Life Conclusion: Intersections, Extensions, and Implications Appendix A: A Roadmap for the Study of Marginalized and Invisible Populations Appendix B: Selected Questions from Invisible Families Survey Appendix C: Questions from In-Depth Interview on Self-Definitions of Sexuality Notes References Index