In this portrait of the everyday world of lesbian and gay relationships, Christopher Carrington seeks to capture the experiences of creating and maintaining a home and a "chosen" family. Observing lesbians and gay men as they go about their daily routines, Carrington unveils the complex, frequently hidden, and sometimes artful ways that gay people make a family and home for themselves. Based on an analysis of interviews and field evidence, this book demonstrates how gay and lesbian couples attempt to strike a balance between work and family obligations, and how they must also struggle against forces undermining their relationships. Carrington addresses the conflicts that surround domestic tasks and shows how gay and lesbian couples sometimes hold unspoken or unrealistic expectations about household and family life. Carrington brings such expectations into the open, and in the process he challenges many stereotypes about gay and lesbian family life, from the myth of gay family affluence to the notion that such relationships are beacons of equality. He argues that family life really varies by class, gender, race, occupation and neighbourhood.
Finally, with one eye on the day-to-day domestic lives of diverse gay and lesbian households and the other eye on the public policy options now emerging to address lesbian and gay family life, Carrington makes the case for expanding domestic partnership policies instead of attaining legal marriage as the ideal solution for achieving happiness, equity and longevity for lesbian and gay families. 9 tables