Parent relationships and family life provide important psychological and health benefits for growing children and adults. Social stigma experienced by parents who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered, and by their children, creates significant stress on families. Families headed by parents who are sexual orientation or gender identity minorities may require special guidance for navigating an unusually complicated terrain related to parenting and family life. The focus of this article is social stigma, its causes, and health impacts on these families. Approaches that family nurses can take to evaluate stigma when working with this population of families are identified and discussed. This article reviews practice and research literature to examine the impacts of stigma on the social security, lived experience, and health status of these families. The article then applies the Link and Phelan (2001) stigmatization model to work with LGBT parents to help family nurses improve practice effectiveness.
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