Baby Talk

Last month, Kate and I spent two weeks vacationing in Nova Scotia. We saw an impressive number of my relatives in that time span, including a couple of babies. Both of these babies were cute (obviously), and tiny, and incredibly smiley. We took turns holding them as they made the rounds, making goofy faces until they giggled, and snapping selfies of each other. Amid all this adorableness, Kate and I got asked that age old question:

“Are you two thinking about having kids?”

It’s a standard question for newlyweds. When my aunt posed it, Kate and I were pleased. We were being asked intrusive personal questions, just like any other couple! We smiled and admitted we’d thought about it. We have thought about it. But the reality is, when it comes to this particular question, we’re not like any other couple.

There are no accidental pregnancies for a same-sex couple. There aren’t even any easy ways to have a kid on purpose. For the majority of hetero couples (those without fertility problems), starting a family is pretty straightforward. Once you decide you’re ready for kids, all you need to do is have sex. Conception requires no money and minimal effort – it’s actually fun (if you like that sort of thing)! Nine months later, you have a kid that belongs to both of you; a living being created by the physical expression of your love for each other. How beautiful!

Biologically speaking, it’s not possible for Kate and me to have a baby that’s half hers and half mine. That’s just science. It’s a shame, really. I feel like our impossible baby would be very cute. She would have blue eyes and blonde curls, and she would grow up to be smart, and kind, and sensitive. She would be strong (like her mother), and skilled at making puns (like her other mother). She would definitely be a she, since neither of us has a Y chromosome to contribute. But we can’t create her together. We’re not equipped. Continue reading “Baby Talk”

Advertisements

My Dad: Bisexual Ally

Guest post by PhebeAnn.

My dad and I have always been close, but we have especially been so since my mum died in 2001, when I was 17, and my dad became my only parent.

I remember when I was around 12 – this would be the mid 90s – I told my mum that although I sometimes had crushes on boys, I thought I might be gay because I was definitely attracted to girls, and not just in a friendship way. My mum’s response was basically that I was too young to know and that while it was okay to experiment, she really hoped I wasn’t gay because gay people’s lives are difficult.

I don’t remember talking to my dad about my feelings at that time. After my mum’s response, I was hesitant to talk about my sexuality again. But then, when I was 18, I fell in love with my friend S., a straight woman. Falling for S. is another story, but suffice it to say, I have never been so lovesick before or since. This love was so elating and torturous that I couldn’t keep it to myself.

I remember telling my dad “Dad, I am attracted to girls,” to which he replied cheekily, “me too!” His casual answer is memorable because to him the news was just that: casual. It didn’t change anything between him and me. I’m a bit of an oddball, and so is my dad. He is the one person in my life who from the minute I was born has always accepted me for exactly who and what I am and has never asked me to be anything else. My sexuality was no different. When I told him I was in love with S., he was not surprised. He knew her well as my friend, and likes her very much. He grieved my unrequited love with me and provided a shoulder to cry on many times.

Our discussions were mostly focused on my feelings about S. We didn’t talk about labels as far as I recall. I don’t remember ever telling my dad I was a lesbian, which is how I identified at the time.

Continue reading “My Dad: Bisexual Ally”

A Mother Speaks Out

(Originally posted on November 7, 2012 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

Guest Post by Sandra (a.k.a. Mo’s mom)

To borrow a well-known phrase from a famous organization, I would like to begin by saying: “HELLO, MY NAME IS SANDRA AND I AM THE MOTHER OF A LESBIAN.”

At 62 years of age, I can honestly say I never expected to be saying this. But, after being introduced to this site by Mo, I wondered if perhaps there might be an audience out there to hear what one mother’s thoughts might be, especially if some lesbians have still not figured out where their own mothers stand. So this is my attempt to share my feelings with you. Continue reading “A Mother Speaks Out”

No Monsters Here

Mothers-in-law are seemingly the stuff of nightmares: they are the antagonists of horror stories told between friends and coworkers, and as villains in pop-culture, right up there with evil step-mothers.

I’ve had my share of horror stories concerning the parents (especially mothers) of people I’ve dated. I dated a Filipino guy in high school, and his mother would lecture him – right in front of me – about how he should be dating a nice, Catholic, Asian girl. I am neither Catholic nor Asian. It was about as awkward as you’d expect.

My only multi-year relationship (aside from my wife) was with a Canadian-Indian son of immigrant parents. His parents refused to acknowledge me once we started dating, and for two and a half years I was not allowed at his house. He would never tell them when he was with me. His parents frequently pressured him to not only leave me, but also tried setting him up with other women.

This was all before I came out – imagine the reaction if I had been openly queer, too! So it only makes sense that wading into the queer community’s dating pool was a little intimidating, especially concerning parents of prospective partners. Continue reading “No Monsters Here”

Family

The streets of New Orleans are bent with the memory of water.

If you know anything about us at all, you know that ten years ago the city suffered the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. When you drive through the streets today, you can see the dents left by the water and the turmoil. Potholes and sink holes are still cropping up across town, and in some areas when new rain falls, it collects in the center of the streets, which appear to have nearly bent in half under the weight of all the water they carried.

I wasn’t here during The Storm. I was away in California, where fires sometimes consume the mountains, but things are rebuilt and life goes on.

But I do know what it means to be bent under a weight, to carry memories that change the shape of your foundation. Continue reading “Family”

Telling Mom

(Originally posted on May 11, 2012 at I Dig Your Girlfriend.)

I love my mother.

I came out to her eight years ago, in an email, with practically the whole nation of Canada between us. I had only come out to a few people by then; people whose reactions I could more or less predict with confidence. But telling Mom was proving to be a challenge. Months earlier I had tried to do it in person but chickened out.

I was genuinely unsure of what she would say. She grew up Catholic in a tiny east coast community where gays might as well have been mythical creatures. It’s only now that I can look back and realize that I grew up that way, too.

There was nothing special about the day I decided to tell her. I guess I just felt ready. But I wasn’t brave enough for a phone conversation, so I laid it all out in an email. I reread it a few times, and then I hit “send.” I tried (unsuccessfully) to get a good night’s sleep. Continue reading “Telling Mom”

The Ties That Bind

Guest post by Conar.

All right, friends. Today, we spin our queering wheel and turn our vehicle toward that most frustrating of topics: the homophobic relative.

*dramatic music*

We’ve all got one. Sometimes several. They rear their ugly heads at Thanksgiving and Easter alike, extracting cringes from all assembled with such oft-heard phrases as: “Well, I don’t hate them, I just disagree with them,” “Are you sure you’re gay?”, “You can’t like men AND women, that doesn’t make sense,” and my favourite: “Well, your lifestyle is your choice, I suppose.”

These phrases are usually (though not always) preceded or followed by casual racism, or sexist jokes, or both. My least favourite uncle is a walking stereotype of the bigoted redneck, and I am very grateful I only have to see him once or twice a year.

However, today we are discussing a different type of person, and often a much more difficult one to deal with. I like to call this person the Backhanded Bigot. This is someone who is not obviously homophobic or transphobic, who doesn’t say anything actively hateful, but can be dismissive, insensitive, and otherwise harmful, often without even realizing it. Continue reading “The Ties That Bind”

Quietly Queer

About a week ago, my grandma called me. We barely got through the pleasantries before she started to cry, and thanked me for the card that I had sent her. When she told me that she wasn’t sure that she “deserved all that,” I immediately started to choke up, too. I had sent her a Mother’s Day card on a whim, just to tell her that I loved her and was inspired by her. I’d barely even thought about it. But to grandma, it meant the world. This is the kind of relationship my grandmother and I have. It really is something special, something that I struggle to put into words.

When I lived in Edmonton for a couple of years, I had a lot of trouble with housing arrangements, and ended up living with my maternal grandparents for most of my time there. It was hard, in the beginning, but as I matured and we got used to each other, it became intensely positive. We would all go on little dinner and ice cream dates, sit out on the deck and chat, eat slices of apple before bed. She would hold me when I was crying, help me when I was in crisis, and make me laugh every day. We became dear, dear friends. The entire time, I was keeping a secret. Continue reading “Quietly Queer”

Copycat Queer

Fifteen years ago, I became a vegetarian.

I’d never really liked meat, unless it was a neatly trimmed chicken breast or the hyper processed junk you get at McDonald’s or other fast food places. Juicy homemade burgers made me gag. I had little interest in steak. I hated pork, and would nip tiny bites into the back of my mouth, swallowing them whole just to avoid tasting it or feeling its texture.

We had family stay with us during summer when I was young – aunt, uncle, and cousin. For medical reasons, they had adopted a vegetarian diet, so we provided as much vegetarian fare as possible. Before this, I had no idea you could opt out of eating meat. I learned a few years later from my cousin that my mother had taken her aside to ask her not to encourage me towards vegetarianism. But the desire not to eat meat was already strong in me. I became vegetarian shortly after their visit, to my parents’ dismay. Continue reading “Copycat Queer”