Chapter 12: Global rainbow families
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Rainbow families consist of any Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Ace (LGBTQ+) person and their immediate family, which could include their partner or children. Despite recent social and legal advances for individuals identifying as LGBTQ+, there is still widespread heterogeneity in the rights, levels of discrimination and organisational policy for LGBTQ+ people across the globe. For rainbow families, the decision to pursue a global career or relocate overseas for work is complex and the academic literature on how rainbow families make this decision, what the implications are for their decision and how organisations can better support global rainbow families is in its infancy. This book chapter outlines four key theoretical perspectives- stigma theory, work-family conflict, social capital theory and identity and an intersectional lens- that have been used to examine global rainbow families. In doing so, we explore the unique challenges for research on global rainbow families highlighting that an interdisciplinary and multilevel approach is necessary. We also explain how current research on expatriates could extend to family members that identify as LGBTQ+, including a heterosexual couple with LGBTQ+ children, and to other LGBTQ+ global families who lack organisational support, such as self-initiated expatriates, migrants, and refugees. Finally, we offer four practical recommendations for organisations to better support the careers and lives of global rainbow families in order to attract a broader talent base, reduce failure rates and fulfil their duty of care.

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