"I Need To Know Who The Biological Father Is?" Intersectional exclusion experiences of Ontario 2SLGBTQI+ parents accessing health care

Julia Gruson-Wood, University of Guelph

In this presentation I share findings from a two-year interdisciplinary, arts-informed, qualitative research project, Precarious Inclusion: Studying Ontario 2SLGBTQI+ Parents Experiences Childrearing in Post-Legal Parity Context. Precarious Inclusion focused on investigating what 2SLGBTQI+ parents’ current experiences of belonging and exclusion are when navigating legal, institutional, and social interactions in everyday life. The study centrally explored how intersecting identities with regards to sexuality, gender, geography, disability, class, race, Indigeneity, and ethnicity influence 2SLGBTQI+ parents’ experiences. In addition to conducting semi-structured interviews with 32 families with young children, Precarious Inclusion also included a video-making component where the research team invited 13 diversely positioned 2SLGBTQI+ families to each create a short digital story about their belonging/exclusion experiences. For this presentation, I (the Principal Investigator for Precarious Inclusion) plan to share a key finding from the interview and digital storytelling data, which is that healthcare is the most common site of 2SLGBTQI+ discrimination, cisheteronormativity, and misrecognition for our parent participants. Moreover, enactments of 2SLGBTQI+ discrimination in healthcare were often complexly intertwined with systemic racism, colonialism, and ableism. By drawing on the digital stories and interview data, I focus on three intersectional forms of discrimination in healthcare that our 2SLGBTQI+ parent participants experienced and that impacted the whole family: 1) misrecognition  as related to gender identity, sexuality, race, and parenting role; 2) textual exclusion via healthcare forms, screening questionnaires, and organizational/provincial policies; and 3) disjuncture experiences: for example, when a 2SLGBTQI+ parent has a healthcare experience that involves a friendly fertility doctor but a homo or trans phobic fertility policy. In sum, Precarious Inclusion indicates that, though necessary, accessing healthcare continues to constitute a key barrier to wellbeing for 2SLGBTQI+ parents and families. I close this presentation by synthesizing how Precarious Inclusion is intervening on healthcare practices to reduce discrimination experiences.

This paper will be presented at the following session: