Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Muninder Kaur Ahluwalia

Committee Member

Angela I. Sheely-Moore

Committee Member

Leslie Kooyman


Latino/a/x Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) people may face rejection from their families upon coming out (Hailey et al. 2020; McConnell et al. 2018). In response to this rejection, some Latino/a/x LGBTQ people become part of chosen families that provide them with the support that would otherwise be provided by their family of origin (Carpineto et al., 2008; Horne et al., 2015; Hwahng et al., 2018; Kubicek, Beyer, et al., 2013; Kubicek, McNeeley, et al., 2013; Levitt et al., 2015; Muraco, 2006). Research exploring the experiences of LGBTQ Latino/a/x individuals experiencing rejection from their family of origin and becoming part of a chosen family is limited. Thus, the goal of this dissertation was to understand these stories. To achieve this aim, semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven participants who identified themselves as both Latino/a/x and LGBTQ and who experienced rejection from their family of origin and joined a chosen family. The study was informed by Latin Critical Race Theory and Intersectionality. Findings demonstrated that early messages received by participants from their families and communities set the stage for family rejection. Participants shared that there were several reasons for rejection informed by cultural and religious values. Finally, findings indicated the various benefits that participants gained by being part of a chosen family. Implications for counseling practice, supervision, counselor education, and future research were presented.

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