Publication Details

Hayman, B., Wilkes, L., Halcomb, E. J. & Jackson, D. (2013). Marginalised mothers: Lesbian women negotiating heteronormative healthcare services. Contemporary Nurse, 44 (1), 120-127.


Lesbian mothers share mainstream existence with other mothers by virtue of their motherhood, but remain marginalised by their non-heterosexual identity. This paper will draw on the qualitative findings of a recent Australian study that examined the experiences of lesbian mothers. Using a story-sharing method, data were collected using three methods; a demographic data sheet, in-depth semi-structured interviews and journaling. The findings demonstrated that participants experienced various forms of homophobia when interfacing with healthcare services and providers and included exclusion, heterosexual assumption, inappropriate questioning and refusal of services. Strategies used to avoid homophobia included screening and crusading.