I’m a bisexual mama raising my child in queer-friendly home

Guest post by Rachael Jordan
By: Girl Guides of Canada - CC BY 2.0
By: Girl Guides of CanadaCC BY 2.0

My mom always had a box of old pictures in her closet (it’s probably still there) that, at random times, I would want to look at with her. Among Girl Scouts and family pictures, there were others: the boy she first held hands with in fifth grade, her first boyfriend, her first kiss, prom pictures, the guy she lost her virginity to, my dad. We’d go through the pictures and she’d tell me stories about each one (the stories getting more age-appropriate detail as I got older). I enjoyed these moments with my mom and told myself that as I grew up, I would save pictures to share with my future kids (if I decided to have any) so that they could have a little glimpse into me, outside of being “mama.”

I now have one of those boxes but mine is a little different than my mom’s. There’s the boy I first held hands with, my first kiss boy from 7th grade, my prom pictures, and then the first girl I kissed, my first girlfriend, my college boyfriend, the only woman I’ve said “I love you” to, and, of course, Funk.

I remember sitting in my Queer Studies class at the beginning of my pregnancy, among a bunch of other LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) students and feeling like a traitor. No one in the room made me feel that way; it was my own insecurities and my own questions of what this pregnancy meant to my identity — an identity I had to convince my family and friends was not “just a phase” or “an experiment” or “a transition.”

It just so happened that I was with a male partner, nature worked its magic, and Droidlet production commenced. Then, SLAM, the questions. Was I “copping out” into the comfort and safety of heterosexuality?

I’ve always believed that sexuality is a spectrum, that even those five letters used to describe the queer community aren’t enough, and that people fluidly move along the sexuality spectrum their whole lives. “Bisexual” seems to have fit me the best. I’ve had relationships with and am attracted to both males and females (and have been open to transgender and transsexual individuals, just no one ever fit).

It just so happened that I was with a male partner, nature worked its magic, and Droidlet production commenced. Then, SLAM, the questions. Was I “copping out” into the comfort and safety of heterosexuality? How could I identify as bisexual while simultaneously reaping heterosexuality’s benefits? Was having a baby meaning I had to relinquish that huge part of myself that I have always considered queer?

I’m still struggling with all of the answers. Being in a committed relationship with Funk doesn’t mean I’m no longer attracted to other people and the same goes for Funk. We happen to believe in monogamy, so those attractions stay just that. But just because I’m in a relationship with a male doesn’t mean I consider myself heterosexual; just like if, in the end, my partner had been a female, I wouldn’t consider myself a lesbian. This is where identity based on sexual preference gets muddled. Just like I don’t define myself as only a mother, or only a student, or only a writer, I don’t identify myself only based on the sex of the people I am attracted to.

What’s more important than my self-labeling is how I’m going to handle these questions from Droidlet as he gets older. When he asks me who the woman in that picture is, with her arm around mama, I’m not going to lie and say she was just a friend. Sexuality is such a complicated subject for an adult; I know there are going to be many, many questions from Droidlet as a child.

What it comes down to, yet again, is that Droidlet knows there is a spectrum, that there are options, that not every family has to be a Mommy, a Daddy, and a baby.

If asked, I will be just as honest with him about how people of the same sex have intercourse as when he asks me how babies are made. What it comes down to, yet again, is that Droidlet knows there is a spectrum, that there are options, that not every family has to be a Mommy, a Daddy, and a baby. Sometimes, it’s two daddies or two mommies, sometimes (like for his mama) it’s two sets of parents, sometimes it’s just one parent. Sometimes, a family is a community raising the children together.

Luckily for Droidlet, he’s got a wonderful set of gay uncles, a bisexual mama, and an aunt with a heterosexual, nuclear family so he gets to see parts of the spectrum interacting and loving one another.

Comments on I’m a bisexual mama raising my child in queer-friendly home

  1. Thanks for this. I’m a bisexual woman married to a heterosexual man, and I stay very out and proud within the queer community so I don’t fall invisible.

    We are polyamorous, but not so that I can have one of each. After all, my husband’s straight, and he’s poly too. And his girlfriend is pregnant with our baby — all of our baby — whom I will raise. Her mom just left, after helping us declutter our house to prepare for next month’s due date.

    We are certainly a community raising this kid, including friends who are straight, bi, and gay, monogamous and polyamorous and even a tad not-amorous, and both biological family members and family of choice.

    I think having a diverse community of welcoming and loving people is an ideal way to raise a kid.

  2. I’m another bi mama but my kids are 18 now and the man I fell in love with 29 years ago is also bi. Keep on holding to your own identity and don’t listen to other people’s crap.

  3. Thank you for posting this. The men and woman in my past, the ones I’ve loved and broken their hearts and who have broken mine all had a hand in making me who I am, and bringing me to where I am: married to a man I fell in love with, and who has no issues accepting this as well. I hope that these thoughts you’ve put into this post become part of my family life, and I loved the story of your mom looking through pictures with you. I hope to someday do that as well!

  4. Droidlet is very lucky to have you, and Funk. 🙂 Also, repeating for TRUTH:
    “But just because I’m in a relationship with a male doesn’t mean I consider myself heterosexual; just like if, in the end, my partner had been a female, I wouldn’t consider myself a lesbian. This is where identity based on sexual preference gets muddled. Just like I don’t define myself as only a mother, or only a student, or only a writer, I don’t identify myself only based on the sex of the people I am attracted to.”

    Bisexual folks can benefit a lot from appearing straight, but we can use those benefits to the advancement and benefit of others, as you have wonderfully illustrated.

  5. I can’t quite remember when I learned about gay. I think it was my uncle, who was gay and on the odd occassion felt the need to rock a hot set of pumps. I don’t remember asking questions though, he just was my uncle and he could wear whatever he wanted. I hope it will be the same way for my sons. Loved this post and the light it spread though. Wish there was more bisexual conversation. I’ve even had friends disregard me as not part of the spectrum because my bisexuality isn’t *gay or because I do have 2 sons from natural conception and birth.

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