Under the rainbow: Rural gay life and its relevance for family providers

Ramona Faith Oswald, Linda S. Culton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We surveyed 527 nonmetropolitan gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender people (GLBT) and inductively analyzed their responses to open-ended questions regarding the "best" and "worst" aspects of being GLBT in that area, and how to improve their lives as rural GLBT people. Field observations supplemented the qualitative data. "Best things" included close relationships, high quality of life, involvement with GLBT social networks or organizations, and self-acceptance. "Worst things" included weak and fragmented GLBT resources, living within a homophobic social climate, and lacking equal rights. Suggested improvements included pursuing civil rights, fostering a supportive climate, and strengthening personal relationships. Ways that family professionals can develop commitment to GLBT people, enhance existing services, and advocate for political change are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-81
Number of pages10
JournalFamily Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2003


  • Community
  • Gay
  • Lesbian
  • Rural
  • Sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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