Heterosexist inclusion and exclusion during ritual: A "straight versus gay" comparison

Ramona Faith Oswald, Elizabeth A. Suter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Oswald (2000) reported the processes by which heterosexual family weddings may undermine gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people's family membership. The present study sought to understand whether family membership during ritual was also conditional for heterosexual people. Toward that end, Oswald's methodology was replicated with heterosexual participants. Although faced with multiple pressures, at no time did these difficulties challenge their sense of belonging to family. On the contrary, they functioned to pull heterosexual family members closer to the core of membership. The fear of gossip or inciting the wrath of loved ones appeared to be primary mechanisms that led heterosexual people to uphold their status as family members through conformity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)881-899
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Family membership
  • Heterosexism
  • Ritual
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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