Friendships are close social relationships that are often distinguished in the general literature from family relationships or kinship ties. Because friendships are entered into voluntarily, they emphasize reciprocity, mutuality, and equality between friends. Friendship experience may differ across level of closeness (casual, close, or best friends) and size (dyadic, group, network, or communities).

Research on the social and personal relationships of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals (LGBTQ) has focused primarily on romantic and sexual relationships. By comparison, friendships have been de-emphasized. Friendships, however, do play an important role in the lives of LGBTQ individuals. In many ways, their friendship experiences are similar to the friendships of their heterosexual counterparts. LGBTQ and heterosexual individuals report having a similar numbers of friends and emphasize similar ...

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