|Degree:||Master of Gerontological Studies|
|Keywords:||Gerontology; mid-life lesbians; later-life lesbians; lesbian/bisexual community; family of choice; outness|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=miami1185808602|
Despite that the benefits afforded to lesbian/bisexual women through connection to a wider lesbian/bisexual community are well documented, what happens when this community is a residential community has received little attention. Thus, the purpose of this research was to document the characteristics and experiences of mature lesbian/bisexual women who reside in a gated women’s community. A survey was administered to full- and part-time residents to obtain information on characteristics of their families of origin, children and families of choice, degree of outness, and perceived advantages and disadvantages of residing and vacationing in a women’s community (N=94). Findings reveal diversity in participants’ family forms and relationships and their degrees of outness across different types of individuals. Further, findings suggest the importance of this community in providing avenues for identity expression, friendship and a sense of security in a supportive environment, despite inevitable conflict that inherently comes with sharing any confined space.