Queer Parent 101

February 9 | Guest post by Natasha Pinterics
Me & My Moms
Photo by Flickr member Phlora

Upon finding out that I am a queer mama, there are a number of common responses I encounter. As I don't have a sign advertising my "queerness" and veer towards the girly side of things (thus screwing up peole's weird ideas of what a queer girl should look like), I often come out after inquiries about my husband. (Because every woman with children clearly must have one of those, right?! That's a whole 'nother rant altogether.) This happens on a daily basis, from anyone to store clerks to other parents and caregivers at playgrounds.

Having kids makes you come out A LOT! I cannot lie – I get sick of coming out all of the time. It's inconvenient and anxiety-producing and awkward and taps into my own internalized crap. Not to mention that having to be the "educator" all of the time gets old pretty damn quick. But I owe it to my kids to be out and unashamed, so I try my best. (Some days are better than others).

I've encountered a number of reactions to my coming out…

Of course, there have been positive responses, these are the folks I've snapped up as friends, because, for this and many other reasons, they are marvelous human beings. Once, a stranger apologized for having assumed that I was straight. Her, I wanted to hug (after almost keeling over from shock and surprise!)

But more often, I get the "embarrassed silence then edge slowly away" response. Sometimes I get a dumb struck and/or confused look (um, but you have babies!) and sometimes they pretend I didn't say anything at all.

And then there are the doozies…

1. I hate, hate, hate it when people I've just met at the park or the supermarket or some playgroup pretend to be cool when taking in the news of my queerness, and then lean in conspiratorially (to further demonstrate their smooth and laid-back acceptance of my queerness, naturally,) and whisper "Do you mind if I ask, you know, how you did it?" This is really, really, really common. It's also really, really obnoxious.

The thing is, they always seem to be wanting something salacious – like hearing that I went out and found 10 sailors for a mad-wanton-porn-star-lesbot-babymaking session. Nope. No sailors. (Poor, poor, lonely, lesbian-less sailors). Just me, L., a nurse, a speculum, and a teeny weeny vial of 3168.

2. What do you know about the dad?/What about the dad?/Don't you think kids need a dad? or some variation of the above.

Yikes. First or all, my kids don't have a dad. My kids have a donor. Some anonymous guy who spoofed in a cup so people like me and people struggling with infertility could have babies. I love you 3168, wherever you are, for spoofing in a cup for us, whatever your reasons. But spoofing in a cup does not a dad make. Dads are people who are involved in their kids' lives – who read stories change diapers and play soccer and get barfed on, and so on and so forth.

I think kids have really basic needs. They need love and encouragement and good role models. (I do sometimes worry about my kids' lack of male role models – but we're working on that, and that's an issue for another blog!). I think kids need folks who are engaged and involved in their lives. Peole who worry about them, who listen to them. This, my kids have in spades.

3. Do you think that's fair to your kids to have two moms? I mean, kids are cruel. Aren't you worried about bullying/teasing/other forms of social trauma befalling your kids?

Yes, yup, uh-huh. You bet I'm worried about those things! All of the time. But do I think being born to two moms who love and nurture them is unfair to my kids? For real? I think what is really unfair to my children is that we live in a world where it's still okay to bandy about homophobic bullshit without even having the grace to be even a little bit embarassed about it. Sheesh.

4. It must be hard not to be able to "make a kid out of your love" or something to this effect.

First of all, most kids aren't made out of love, they're made out of sex. Whether or not that meeting of egg and sperm is an expression of their parent's love is, I'm guessing, a case by case kinda thing.

And second of all… my partner and I tried to get pregnant with our son for over two years. TWO YEARS! Two years of incredible highs of hope and devastating lows of disappointment. We laughed together and cried together. My partner held my hand at every appointment and ran home from work on more than one occasion because I called her crying when I got my period. Again. When we finally got those two red lines on the pee stick, after two years of living on a roller coaster, we cried and laughed and danced and sat together in shock and disbelief and elation. My daughter was conceived at the same clinic, with my partner holding my hand and my 1 1/2 year old son sitting on my belly, squishing my face and sticking his fingers up my nose. And if that isn't being conceived as a part of our love, then I don't know what is.

5. The absolute worst, though, is when we are out as a family and get "Which one of you is the mom?" We inevitably explain that we are BOTH our children's moms. Then, almost without fail, we are asked, "yeah, but which one of you is their "real" mom?"

This is so asinine, and so hurtful to non-biological parents. Neither carrying a child to term, nor giving birth makes someone a mom, just like spoofing in a cup doesn't make someone a dad. Coming through, being there, taking those highs and lows, doing the hard work, holding that sick baby through the night, or comforting that tantruming kid whose body is both wracked with sobs and kicking you, being a disciplinarian, a teacher, a cook, a playmate … that's what makes you a parent. My wife is the most amazing parent. She is patient and gentle and devoted to both of our children.

I've worked in the social services long enough to know that biology is not what makes you a parent. Biology doesn't mean shit. Being a parent — that, you have to earn.

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  1. THANK YOU. I've been hoping for something like this on offbeat mama. My partner and I are getting the baby ball rolling and plan to start trying at the end of this year. I feel like this was written for us as I've been really struggling with some of the things you mentioned – coming out all the time, being asked who is the "real" mom, being asked about "dad" – thank you for being so honest and telling it like it is. And #4 made me cry. Hard.

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  2. I love everything you said here about what makes a parent. I can not believe the stupid shit people have said to you. Ridiculous.

  3. I am a single mom and I have never been married so I also got those questions and I to do not get why people have to assume and judge!!!!

    Thanks for this beautifully written post.

    God Bless your children. My wonderful daughter is 26 and seems to be "OK' with not having a present dad. My sperm donor happened to be attached to his sperm at the time of insemination but no more present than yours. Ha Ha.

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  4. I love this post, and I completely agree with what does and does not make a parent. You and your wife are clearly both awesome moms!

  5. thank you for this post. Id also love to hear from some 2-daddy households.

    1 agrees
  6. This is a great post, and it's really very illuminating. I do have a question about what's okay to ask; personally, I'm always curious about what kids call their parents, just because I'm not sure what I would have my kids call me and my partner should I settle down with a same sex partner. Also, generally, that kind of linguistic thing fascinates me; it's the same with names for grandparents since they're different in just about every family. I don't want to come across as insensitive though. πŸ™ Should I keep my curiosity to myself in this instance?

    Also I hope just asking this doesn't seem insensitive in general. πŸ™

    1 agrees
    • My man's bio-daughters call their moms Mommy and Mama, so they each have a distinct name. ( I don't know what they will do if the girls decide they are too old to use Mommy and Mama). His mom goes by her name, although she is referred to by one of the grandma's as "the other grandma", with the understanding that one can never have too many grandmas. He goes by his name too, although the girls are being raised knowing that they are a part of his family, and our children are being raised as "sort-of cousins" until they are old enough to know their biological relationship.

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    • The amazing and wonderful parent blogger LD- author of LesbianDad (http://www.lesbiandad.typepad.com)- goes by Baba. LD's reasoning and writing in general is just so beautiful that I won't even attempt to do it justice by paraphrasing here. Also, I highly recommend that you set aside a few hours to read all of the bloggy archives because they're just that good. I'm sorry if you had other plans for the next few hours. πŸ˜‰

      Also, Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of "She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders," writes poignantly about her sons' completely hilarious and organic invention of a new moniker after she had sexual reassignment surgery. Her transition from Daddy to Maddy will make you laugh, cry and think.

    • Not a bad question… For now, we are Mama (me) and Mommy (my partner). When the kids are old enough to pick for themselves, they are free to change it up!

      πŸ™‚ Natasha

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    • My son called both of us Mom, which led to some interesting times when we both responded at the same time. He's 19 now, and doing great.

      • Bach! We run into this problem in our poly household when my boyfriend will say "Hey baby, could you …" and me and his wife both get up to do it – and then have to figure out who he was actually talking to.

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  7. Great post, and ain't it amazing how NOSY people are? I usually try and come back with rude questions about them back, heh. Like strangers putting their hands on your pregnant belly (I put mine right on their belly then)

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  8. I'm a femme identified queer mom as well. I had my son with my exwife (who sadly decided that she wasn't ready to be part of a family post birth). My son was concieved at home, in my bed, with love in my heart and i believe in my ex wifes as well.
    I FULLY understand your blog. In fact, it was like reading my own thoughts put down onto a blog in a much wittier way than i could probably convey them. So .. awesome!
    It's funny how many people assume or want to believe that I/We posted some craigslist ad for hot sex with random strangers in order to concieve my son.

  9. While reading this, I kept thinking "OH MY GOD, people REALLY say that stuff to complete strangers?" Beautifully written. Great post.

  10. "yeah, but which one of you is their "real" mom?"

    That sort of implies that step parents who have been there since babyhood aren't real parents. Ugh.

    And aside from that, what an inappropriate to ask a complete stranger!

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  11. Rock on! The comment "(Poor, poor, lonely, lesbian-less sailors)" had me laughing out loud!

    Also, in my opinion, comments or inquiries regarding conception are in poor taste and rude no matter what the situation!

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  12. "3. Do you think that's fair to your kids to have two moms? I mean, kids are cruel. Aren't you worried about bullying/teasing/other forms of social trauma befalling your kids?"

    Because clearly, kids with straight parents never get made fun of.

    1 agrees
    • there's actually research to show that kids get bullied at school no matter what, be it the colour of their skin or hair, their size, their speech impediment, having two moms, no moms, no dad, too smart, not smart enough…kids get teased, and what builds resilience and develops happy healthy kids is having parents that love them unconditionally. The possibility of being teased is hardly a reason to not procreate and furthermore, are they kidding?? Do YOU think it is fair on kids to have two moms that love and adore them, twice the amount of love as one Mom. Yes I do.

  13. Sigh. Yes, Edmonton is a redneck town – but, thanks to people who are out & proud, it`s slooooowly starting to come around. Congrats on a happy, healthy family – and my sympathies. My ex-partner and I used to get the same types of crap when we talked about having kids (and that was *just* talking!) as a "two-mommy" family. Thanks for helping to blaze a trail of acceptance!

  14. Awesome post. My wife and I are TTC and I just know that we'll be facing these same stupid comments, hopefully sooner rather than later.

  15. As a straight woman in a wonderful marriage with her hubby who is trying to conceive…I completely agree. Babies are made from sperm and an egg…it should not matter who, or where it comes from. I can only imagine the roller coaster you and your wife experienced trying to get pregnant, and wish the ignorant people you experience could be in your shoes for one day. I can only hope that in my generation, we'll eventually start to weed out the ignorance and educate people on families-it doesn't matter on the structure, whether it's nuclear or not-as long as the child/ren are getting the love and support they need. I think a lot of my friends, co-workers, and people I have met would have been a lot better off having two loving gay or lesbian parents then having a straight couple who fought constantly or had an absentee father or mother.

    Great post.

  16. "yeah, but which one of you is their "real" mom?"
    Pahleese! As if "mom" is defined by gestation alone.

    Thanks for this great insightful post. I am off to share it with all my friends, queer family minded or otherwise.

  17. Wonderful post! I can only hope that your one-on-one activism makes it easier for the next queer parent who encounters each person you've tried to educate.

    Strangely, when I've refrained from assuming people are straight, many straight people get huffy. "He's not my partner, he's my husband!"

    When I've referred to my husband as my partner, people either assume my partner is a woman or that my partner is a man but we're not married. What, husbands and wives can't be partners too?

    As for conceiving children out of love, as someone whose children were conceived in a treatment cycle that did not involve any sex, the pregnancy-resulting-from-sex jokes are tiresome and there's no better test of "love" than seven years of infertility.

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    • I am totally with you BabySmiling. I have friends from every part of lgbt (and a few other letters) so I always say partner. It's just a habit – even when referring to my husband. Like you said aren't our husbands our partners too? My daughter just started the play group/gymboree circuit and whenever I say partner to someone straight they get ALL pissy and act like I am questioning their sexuality. One time this lady was like "OH god no, I don't have a partner I have a husband." I didn't want drama in a baby group so I just said "Well I think having either one is pretty awesome actually" but needless to say, we stayed far far away from her. But I couldn't help feeling bad for the little boy having such a close minded mom.

    • I hear you about infertility testing a relationship, not to mention testing ones self. Those two years of TTC our son were the most difficult, intense time I have ever experienced in my life. BLess your heart for making it through 7. πŸ™‚

    • My husband's name is Alex, so I take a certain amount of snarky delight in calling him my "partner" (and sometimes my "baby's daddy") and letting folks assume what they will.

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  18. It's really astounding that people feel comfortable asking these questions to a lesbian couple, but not to a hetero-couple who have adopted because of infertility or a single parent. The hypocrisy! Congratulations on your kidlets – the mud pit looks awesome.

    • I don't know about that, actually. My Mom used to get other parents asking her where she adopted me from when they'd see us together at little league or whatever. She'd laugh about it because I was not, in fact, adopted in spite of not looking like her (she's very fair and I'm dark and swarthy, like my Dad), but still, you know, weird question to ask a stranger!

      And my aunt, who had twins, would constantly get people asking her about fertility treatments even though she conceived naturally (twins run in my family).

      None of this is to say that it is not totally beyond the pale to ask weird/ rude/ invasive questions to lesbian parents. But I think some of the folks with foot-in-mouth disease behave similairly inappropriately with other parents that don't fit their expectations, too.

  19. Thanks for posting this. As a queer mama of a one-year old, I am constantly amazed at what kinds of of conversations happen from people — most of them are a variant of those you listed.

  20. Pshfff people actually care about the sex/gender of parents? I'd rather see two loving people (or one kick-ass single parent) raising a child than two miserable people !

    Plus there are plenty of ways to get good roll models of the opposite gender if you are in a single gender family, big brothers organization, uncle, trusted friend, grandpa etc.

    I will say one thing; sometimes people are trying to be inclusive when they mention dad. I once almost put my foot in my mouth discussing an adorable baby with a mom. She mentioned someone gave her a hard time about one of her parenting choices. One person said, that's true, it's up to the mom.

    I piped up and dads and then quickly, or other caregivers/adults. I only said and dads because guys get a bad wrap as somehow lesser parents, not because I am/was against LGBTQ parents. Because I am FOR ALL FAMILIES.

    So while, it may drive you crazy to have to explain, sometimes people really aren't being nosey or judgemental πŸ™‚

  21. thanks for the post. . . i had never thought about this, and I can see where I would end up being completely embarassed assuming someone was straight when they are not . . . I would like to think that most people asking the first quesiton "how did you do it" are just very curious and spoke before they had time to think about what they were actually asking, in which case I might respond "just as any other infertile couple would" or something like that and leave it at that.

    It's also a good reminder when talking to your own kids that families come in all shapes/sizes/etc/etc

  22. Great post! I am the daughter of a lesbian who was previously married and came out after my siblings and I were born, so the question I get most frequently, when people find out that not only is my mom gay but she has 4 kids, is "But how, if your mom is gay?" as if being gay means you don't have a reproductive system or something?!

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  23. AH, thanks for this. My wife and I are starting to normalize the whole kids thing for our friends and family (meaning that I talk about a future with children in it a lot, and openly plan things that I'd like to do before I get pregnant and such). So far the question we keep getting, in response to my answer that we'd ask my brother-in-law to be the donor is, 'so, are you going to sleep with him?' Usually followed up by a charming, 'ok, do it your way, but I think that way is much more fun.' -shudder- It's nice to see that there are more of us out there, and get a glimpse of what's coming so we can get ourselves prepared before the babies start showing up.

    • Gross! I can't believe people would actually suggest sleeping with your brother in law as a 'more fun' option. That's pretty creepy.

  24. Great post and I love the way you answer the common reactions you get – it's also great to know that you have come across people who are genuinely supportive. I particularly liked your response to "conceived in love" – that is beautiful. Thanks for sharing and best wishes!

  25. I always get really, really annoyed with the no father, male role model, etc. bullshit. I don't have a father. There's a guy out there who was married to my mom and had sex with her and beat the shit out of us and worked really hard to forget we existed after the divorced. How is that situation more ideal than having two wonderful, loving, moms or dads? Furthermore, I know a TON of kids raised by single mothers, several raised by single fathers, lots raised by grandparents, and even a bunch raised by aunts and uncles. I know kids who have lost parents at a young age and a not so young age. I know people who are estranged from one parent or another. I know people who have no idea who their biological relatives are.

    Family doesn't come from two straight people getting married.

    It is so clear to me, that this world is full of fucked up families and broken homes and EVERYONE knows someone who is divorced or whatever, so why is it such a big fucking deal that two moms or dads went and got a baby?

    I am just appalled and disgusted by the absolute ignorance surrounding gay parenthood and I fail to see how it is any different or more or less damaging than any other form of parenthood.

  26. Thank you sooooo much for sharing this. My partner and I are planning on having kids sometime in the near future and I appreciate the heads up regarding some of the ignorant questions we will likely get. It sounds like you are a great mama! Thanks for sharing your witty responses with the rest of us queer parents (or soon to be parents).

  27. I do want to point out that straight couples get a lot of this crap, too. Pregnant with twins? The first question is "Are they NATURAL?"

    I don't know if this is a queer issues so much as it's an issue that anyone who makes a choice that isn't "popular" with mainstream society seems to be "fair game" for rude questions and hurtful comments. This is not to take away from the pain that it causes you, your wife, and family, just to say that I think it's a universal inequity of humanity. Dare to be different; pay the price.

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  28. Here from Kirtsy/LFCA. This is a wonderful post! Your son and daughter are lucky to have such wonderful mommies as parents!

  29. Oh, my – WHAT AN AMAZING POST!!

    So glad you exist and you are able to share with us such meaningful thoughts and words!! Made me realize that I sometimes probably wrongly assume things (your comment before #1 on assuming you have a husband – which is idiotic of me b/c I have gay friends and single parent friends by choice). BUT I guarantee you that I'd be the one apologizing for making that assumption and you would want to hug me πŸ™‚

  30. My daughter is friends with a girl with two moms, and even though I've known them for almost a year now, I wouldn't dream of saying these things! I know which one carried their daughter (becasue she told me once in casual conversation – I didn't ask) but they're BOTH her mom and the news as to which one carried her is irrelevant. I don't know how they got pregnant because IT'S NONE OF MY BUSINESS and I don't ask. If they want to offer that info, great, but I can live the rest of my life not knowing. It's also irrelevant. And if kids ever do make fun of this girl for having two mothers, that's going to say a lot more about their parents than it is about them. I just have to wonder, who are these people saying this stuff? Do they think that since you're a lesbian, common decency and manners can just fly out the window? I'm sorry, people really irritate me sometimes…Best wishes to your family, and I hope that you don't keep having to explain yourself for having a loving family.

  31. Thanks for the post. I'm the daughter of a queer mama, and the kinds of questions we got were different, mostly because we were not out in our community. But to this day, when I tell people about my mom, they ask the strangest questions. "Do you have a dad? etc" It's nice to hear about other queer families and how they negotiate the murky waters of parenting in predominantly straight surroundings.

  32. I'm a queer and pregnant, and your post made me cry. I'm not sure if it's from hormones or because it's so eloquently written.
    .
    .
    .
    probably both. πŸ™‚

  33. Great post! Here from LFCA. We have been TTC for over two years and I hope that when we get pregnant and have a kidlet I will be more able to deal with people after reading this post. I hate that it makes us come out all the time, but doing it for ourselves and the kids makes it imperative.
    And when someone asks you how you "did it" – you should turn around and ask them the same question? I will if I get the chance. e.g."so how did you do it?…uh huh, uh huh – you mean people still do it the old fashioned way. Wow, weird!" now I'm just being bitchy!!!!

  34. Awesome post. I understand curiosity, but damn, people are rude! I'm a single mom by choice via donor embryo. And I'm in my mid 40s. While pregnant I had total strangers ask if it was an "oops" pregnancy or if I'd had an amnio. (I got a look of horror from the L&D nurse doing intake when, in response to her question, I said I hadn't had an amnio.) In general though, I think living in NYC makes all this easier. I'm not even the only SMC in my office.

    And, HELL YES, my child was made with love.

  35. How nosy the general public can be is just baffling.

    I do have to say one thing, though. Paternity/maternity is often very important when determining a child's risk for certain diseases…since genetic testing isn't always required for sperm/egg donors, there are rare cases when that can be hugely harmful to the child. Even knowing risk factors for certain heritable cancers and mental disorders can be helpful when your kid is sick sick sick and you don't know if he'll ever get better, and no one knows what's happening.

    That said, that pretty much only excuses doctors to ask who the birth mother is. :p Personally, I don't care if a kid is raised by a pack of raccoons so long as they're healthy and not mal-adjusted brats.

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  36. I thought Edmonton was red-necky until I moved from there to Fort St. John, BC. Oh boy! I had to explain the difference between lesbian and bisexual to my co-workers yesterday.

    Great post! I don't know why people think that pregnancy/kids is an excuse for rude prying questions.

  37. please someone get this woman a blog that we can all read regularly! it'd be GREAT to hear what she has to say. While I lead a rather "normal" life, I understand your daily explanations to other parents that stare at me because I have tattoos, or because the man spending amazing time with my daughter is not her father, or because when we really get into personal mode, I explain that I"ve been with women or that I'd be fully accepting of how my daughter would chose to live her life (be it safe and sound and yadda yadda…) so I commend you for going through this daily routine of standing tall and proud for yourself and your children. I'm sure if it doesn't already, when they're old enough to understand, it'll mean the world to them

  38. That was an awesome post to read!

    As a young women brought up in a very open minded accepting family I struggled for along time with the decision to settle down with a man or a women, in the end it was easy. I married my best friend, who happened to have a penis πŸ™‚

    We aren't your 'average' married couple with kids. As alternative parents we have faced our fair share of judgments. Our reason for having a child has come in question a few times. We pierced our daughters ears when she was 2mnths old (God forbid) by a professional, that was questioned A LOT. Our decision to home school has been even harder to defend but enough rambling. My point is that these question, whether they come from an ignorant, curious or whatever place, happen to all of us and it is refreshing to hear these experiences come from all different perspective's.

    So thank you πŸ™‚

  39. I'm not a queer mama yet (hopefully soon!) but I'm sure I'll have to trot out my favourite reply when someone asks me an offensive and super personal question: "Wow, that was such an inappropriate thing to ask a stranger/someone you barely know/whatever. You must be really embarrassed for having asked me that!".

    Usually people just catch flies for a minute or two afterwards….

  40. As a femmie queer mom myself… Right on sistah! I can not agree with your post more. And really also highlighting those fabulous straight folks who are not totally creeped out or creepy that we too snatch up as friends t make our family great!

  41. I'm recently married to a dude and you brought tears to my eyes. If we were ever to meet I would hope you would give me a hug.

  42. I HAVE TWO-DADDIES!!
    I actually grew up with my mom after my parents split. My dad wasnt around when I was really little but started to be around more when I was in middle school. Thats when he got with his partner (who I just call by his first name – just like I call my moms long-term boyfriend by his first name). I think that even if I grew up living with my dads I would be just as fine as I am now. I was never ashamed or anything about my openly gay dad. I actually remember when my mom told me, she was crying and I was just like "yea so…" (I was in the 5th grade – I think she was just afraid to tell me, plus there was more to the story I wont go into). My husband says I have 1mom and 3dads (2&4 if you cant inlaws). I have 16month old twins… so they havent started saying "grandma/grandpa" yet really. But I have a 4yr old nephew that calls my dad "grandpa" (even though my sister isnt his kid, but her father is a loser). he also calls my moms bf "grandpa" and usually calls my dads partner "grandpa as well. Sometimes though he calls him "grandpa-ma" I said it as a joke one day just because he is even girlier than me, use to do drag, and use to say that he was the best step-mom ever… so I asked if he wanted my nephew to call him grandpa or grandma – but we have that relationship so I can say that…. no stranger should say anything like that.. or ask something about that.

    Some stuff people say makes me so upset. I even had someone tell me that they have nothing against gay couple etc. but they dont want them to be able to adopt children… OMG! SERIOUS?! I wont really get into that now, but I would rather have 2same sex parents that love me than none.

    1 agrees
  43. I love this. I also refer to my husband as my partner quite often and my niece, who has two rediculously loving / wonderful moms is one of the happiest kids I know. I am currently pregnant with a girl and have a friend who is having a boy. She suggested an "arranged marriage" for our little ones and I said "I'd really like her to choose her own partner and who's to say she's going to like boys anyway?" She looked at me like I'm crazy and I said to her, "well I don't know about you, but I'd just like her to be happy and healthy and someday find love with whomever she chooses."

  44. thank you for this post! my partner and i are parenting my 4-yo son from a previous relationship. we went to his kinder open house last night and found ourselves being looked at A LOT by the other parents and kids. this is new territory for us and we're a bit curious as to how to negotiate through this new obstacle course of life complexities as gay parents of a little boy in a community that doesn't have a very large or obvious lgbt enclave. it's not about my or my partner's comfort – rather, it is about guiding our son through the next 14 years so that he grows into an honorable man who is proud of his family, contributes to his community and knows himself.

  45. thank you so much for this post. i can absolutely identify with everything you're saying, and we haven't even conceived yet!

  46. As a therapist, I know how many children don't have one really excellent parent. It always kills me when people response either to gay parents, single parents, or other non-traditional parents wondering if it's fair to the children. I often want to say, is it fair to YOUR children that you (insert various mental health, marital problems, etc.). Straight, married people don't feel the need to assess whether they are good enough parents that it's fair to their children, and neither should anyone else. Anyone who can be a loving parent has a right to do so and is doing right by their child no matter their family structure. I think it will be better for all children when more kinds of family structures become more common/VISIBLE in our society. I am personally looking forward to that, and your post is helping make that happen. Thanks!

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