Methods: A phenomenological approach to qualitative research was used to gain a better understanding of the lived experience of parenting by gay/lesbian Latino/as. Sixty to ninety minute, semi-structured interviews using an interview schedule with probes were conducted with 7 (4 females and 3 males) parents who were both lesbian/gay and Latino/Latina. In order to identify potential participants to purposively sample, a key informant was used to refer prospective research participants. Snowball sampling was also used to seek referrals from the actual research participants. Interviews were recorded, transcribed and uploaded into qualitative software ATLAS.ti. Using Charmaz's analytic methods, transcripts were initially coded into meaningful units of quotation and then assigned open code gerund phrases. Finally, from those open codes, themes emerged.
Results: Oppression and discrimination was a primary theme that emerged from our data. In addition, participants provided specific examples that presented Latina/Latino cultural values, such as respect and importance of family. Another theme included teaching children to value and accept difference in others. Education was also indicated as an important theme that differed in representation based on the gender of the participant, with men indicating a higher priority. Overall, results illustrated that for our participants there was a relationship between parenting, identity and oppression and discrimination. Their parenting is influenced by their identity, which is affected by experiences of oppression and discrimination.
Implications: Due to the lack of quantitative scholarship in this area, qualitative research provides beginning theory development for those who have historically marginalized identities of both ethnicity and sexual orientation. The current study highlights the importance of examining the interaction of identity and parenting within the context of oppression and discrimination for gay/lesbian Latino/Latina parents. Further qualitative studies can identify themes that can be translated into concepts and constructs that then can be measured through quantitative methodology.