A Sociological Analysis of the Narratives of Scottish LGBTQ Parents: Inclusivity and the Parental Community at their Child’s School.
This thesis captures the lived experiences of Scottish LGBTQ parents, with a specific focus on their perception and experiences of inclusivity in the context of their children’s schooling. In this study, there is a particular focus on the reflections of participants’ experiences of interacting with other parents and school staff. Emanating from a phenomenological theoretical and methodological framework, data generated from Semi-structured interviews were subjected to a rigorous process of thematic analysis, which ultimately revealed that LGBTQ parents reported an overall positive experience with schooling. However, the overall positive experience was not free from negative interactions with other parents and some teachers, with some participants having experienced negative attitudes towards their family arrangements and practices. The LGBTQ parents blamed these interactions on the individuals having been deprived of LGBTQ inclusive education, aiming to normalise LGBTQ families. Negative attitudes were also blamed on the lasting effects of previous legislation, such as Section 28, that prevented the discussion of LGBTQ families within Scottish schools. Unlike previous research stating that children had an understanding of negativity towards LGBTQ families, in this study, the children of LGBTQ parents struggle to comprehend similar experiences. This is a result of not having been exposed to any other family arrangements, until reaching school age. Despite not being representative of the whole schooling experience, the negative experiences of LGBTQ parents and their children highlight a need for change within the Scottish education system. As suggested by the LGBTQ parents involved within this research, this change should arrive in the form of LGBTQ inclusive curriculum material, such as children’s literature. This will help to not only educate children on the variety of family arrangements, different to their own, but will also allow parents to re-evaluate their negative opinions.