Attention Lesbian Mommies (and Gay Daddies, too)

I’m doing a research paper on lesbian mothers, and as part of the assignment, I have to get direct quotes from primary sources. Specifically, the prof wants us to talk to real people. Now, there aren’t many lesbian mommies and gay daddies walking around campus, lemme tell you. And the LBGTSU (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgendered Student Union) couldn’t really offer much either. So, if I could hear your opinions and stories on the subject it would be of great help. Anyone, in fact, could respond be ye gay, straight, bi or just confused. I am interested in hearing opinions on how it may affect the child, how it affects you, what encouraged you to choose a life with (or without children).

FYI: I am a college-age lesbian who is interested in someday having a child, thus the chosen subject.

Birdie! Long time no see… how’s tricks?

I can offer scant help… however, you might want to take a look at the documentary “Our House” that was shown awhile back on PBS. Also, there are several bi Dopers that have kids… they’re around here somewhere.

Also, I’m going to email you the name of a friend of mine. No promises, but he might be able to help you out.

Hey :slight_smile: I’ve been busy with school and all. I’ve been working on a few short films, just finishing a short story (i’m up for a fiction award!), and have been training my rat. fun fun fun! and now this research paper! if i don’t get enough info for this paper, i’ll just research body art/ modification, i guess. but i’m more interested in the first topic. thanks for your help!

on another note, my daddy knows about my girlfriend and is A-OK with it.

how have you been?

Have you ever heard of the book, “Heather Has Two Mommies?”
It’s really sweet, a LITTLE bit graphic for kids (I would think that trying to explain sperm and artificial insemination could be kind of confusing to the poor wee ones!), but it might factor in…

Yes, I have heard of the book. In fact, the author Leslea Newman came to our school as a guest speaker. It’s cute. I have a 5-page list of books and resources for this particular subject. The tricky part is finding a library that has these books.

Take a research trip to Ann Arbor! Lotsa homosexual couples with babies here. And you can meet Cranky!

A Bi mom raised by lesbians checking in. Anything specific you would like to address?

Weelll…my aunt’s wife is a lesbian mom (so’s my aunt, sort of. At least since when they got married, when he we 15.)

She came out (and got divorced) when he was about ten I think. And aside from a non-homosexuality-related table saw accident, he’s fine.

My aunt’s ex has had two kids with her wife. I remember hearing about them searching for a donor who looked like her (except a little taller :slight_smile: )

I also heard they were the (anonymous)plaintiffs in a landmark case about the non-birth mother being allowed to adopt the kid. Unfortunatly I’m not in touch with them anymore.

I dunno. Is there anything I can tell you?

Oh, and if you go here:

and look at Father’s Day, June 19th 1998, Episode 106, there’s a show I remember hearing about Dan Savage and the baby he and his boyfriend adopted. It’s Act Three.

Passing well, despite hard core drama at Dartmouth. Quietgirl is also well, although she is disapproving of my tendancy to fall asleep between four and six in the morning. Can’t imagine why. I have a linguistics test tomorrow, and I’ve decided that this is a valid study method.

So you told your dad? Details!

Um… yeah, OP. there is a magazine about gay parenting. I think it’s called “Gay Parenting” or “Alternafamily” or something brilliant like that.

Kricket: anything you would have to say on the subject would be gold! you are what i dared not dream of finding… a child raised by lesbians! How exciting :slight_smile: How was your life growing up? Do you think you benefitted in some respects? Lost out on others? How does the way you were raised affect how you are raising your children?

betenoir: Thanks for the link!

Andygirl: He found out because i took her home with me to see an art show in Miami (Art Miami 2001 – i love that show!) and he heard us kissing goodnight. He cleared his throat in the hallway then asked if we needed any more blankets. i could tell by his tone that he knew. Then i put on my away message “I love Kale!,” thinking, what are the odds of my parents IMing me at 11 PM? Well, apparently, they were pretty high… :slight_smile: Ah, well.
Thanks for the magazine info. I’ll definitely look into that

I’m bi and my husband is gay - we are raising a daughter who is currently 9 years old. Ask away.

Is your relationship publicly known, or is it just known that your daughter is being raised by two men? Has she encountered any trouble? does she know? What are the circumstances of her birth (adoption/previous marriage/other?) Again, what benefits do you see by her being raised this way? Detriments?
PS-- Thanks for all your help, everyone!

It is publicly known. Her school is aware of my and her Dad’s orientations and that we are in an open marriage. I’m a woman.

So far she has not encountered any trouble, as on the surface things appear pretty average although both of us date openly. She does know (as much as any nine year old needs to know about her parents sex lives) that we are different. We did try to integrate a lover of Bill’s into the family structure when she was younger. He lived with us for a couple years. She knows her Daddy loved him. She sometimes attends a local gay-daddy coffee hour with Bill and enjoys it very much. I believe this helps her reinforce to her that she is not the only child who lives in a “different” family.

I became pregnant by a lover a few years into our marriage and Bill and I decided to become parents - her birthfather is uninvolved at this time by his own choice. There is an old, lengthy post detailing how we came to be married, etc… here. My husband adds a post or two later in the thread as Bill The Galactic Hero.

::silly:: Exceptional fashion sense and a great love of Grace Jones? Teasing! I’m going to have to think on that and post on it later tonight. IOW - Let me sleep on it.

More questions?

Commander, please accept my apologies on my mistake of your gender ::blush:: My first thought was that you were female, but i assumed i must be wrong and didn’t want to insult you.
My, you have a fascinating story! The coffee-hour sound great. I wouldn’t have thought that the situation of having a gay father was common enough in any given area for a group to form. It’s very encouraging.

I’ve got to run to art class now, but please keep the information coming. This is all extremely helpful. :slight_smile:

Another bi mommy of a son, monogamous, married (to a guy, that is). Not all that interesting, actually. Pretty indistinguishable from straight at the moment. One of my sisters is a lesbian in a long-term relationship. They have no kids, but are very involved with neices and nephews, which keeps the topic open. But as for your questions (in case they might help, given the low population here … I’m kind of on one end of the range, just barely outside the ‘straight’ definition, I guess):

Is your orientation (in my case) publicly known? My friends and family (with the exception of a few very elderly ones) know I’m bi. Publicly, well, if it comes up, I may discuss it, depending on the venue. I’m fairly open about it.

any trouble? Not so far.

does he know? I have no idea. He’s three. It doesn’t seem real relevant at the moment, but he probably thinks it is normal for men to point out attractive women to their wives, and vice versa… (“Ooh, she’s a babe!” “Yep!”)

What are the circumstances of his birth Standard boring ‘straight-parents’ version. Long labor, as if that mattered in this case.

What benefits do you see by him being raised this way? As opposed to just in an accepting environment? I guess if he ever comes out, it won’t be hard to deal with. Actually, he came out as gay last week (“I’m gay, mommy, I’m a boy and I like boys - I’m just like my aunties”). Okay, he likes girls, too, so maybe he’s bi. Then again, he’s THREE. He has also been farm animals, a spaceman, and a knight in the last 24 hours. He’s asked to marry me, his cousin (female), and probably some of the kids at school. He plays mommy, daddy, and baby, just like many kids. I guess I’d say he has more range to play in without getting his creativity stomped on. I don’t get distressed if he wants to wear the feather boa or play tea party, or carry a purse. We periodically discuss standard gender roles, but more along the lines of ‘most boys’ instead of ‘boys’. Most boys don’t carry blue beaded purses. But some do. And if he wants to wear maribou slippers with his knight costume, I won’t stop him.

Detriments? Hmmm. Well, I remember having to come up with good answers to nosy questions just about my SISTER, back in school. (Not even my mom.) I wasn’t usually fast enough or clever enough, and usually sounded a bit dorky. But then that was probably just ME. I ended up taking on the role of ‘enlightener of the masses’ in jr. high. Any time someone made a crack about lesbians or gays, I’d up and volunteer that they didn’t know what they were talking about, my sister was a lesbian, and she was great. I did stop a few people from talking, got some real questions, and got some dumb ass questions (like, ‘how do you know, did she try something with you?’ I think I replied, ‘she’s a lesbian, not a pervert.’), and some people trying to be nice in the wrong way (like, ‘really, you shouldn’t say things like that about your sister - you can’t beleive everything you hear!’ to which I think I replied, ‘she told me herself’). It was a bit much to ask of a kid, even though nobody asked. I just couldn’t let people be mean or cruel or stupid about lesbians, because I knew one who I cared about. (I hadn’t a clue I was bi at the time… I didn’t know that was an option! Sigh.) I don’t want my son to feel he has to defend me, but he might not tell me that he is doing that. That’s a detriment. I don’t think he should have to defend me to others, even if he wants to. I’m not sure how to prevent it, or manage it. Keep talking about the subject, I suppose, and deal as things come up. And of course, I also don’t want him to feel like he can’t tell anyone, either. That requires judgement that most young kids don’t have.

Actually, I just was discussing this with my sister’s partner. Let me see if I can find the email… darn, I’ll have to have her send me that one in reply, it isn’t in my sent items…

Reconstructing that email: All kids have to learn how to be safe, both socially and sexually. All kids need to learn about peer pressure, friendships, trust, what to be open about (and when and with whom), and what to do when something goes wrong. The implications are different when the family situation is different, but the topics exist for everyone. Whether my son is gay or bi or straight, there will be things I have to talk to him about that EVERY parent should probably be talking about, but may feel that don’t HAVE to say because their family is inside the ‘norm’ (they think). I will make sure that the whole range of content is discussed, because if he is straight, he STILL needs to know that being ‘out’ (or any kind of ‘different’) can put people at risk for violence, emotional torment, and mistrust, that sex requires precautions for everyone, and that giving in to peer pressure can get good people doing stupid and dangerous things. I assume that straight or not, he’ll have friends and/or acquaintances who are all over the spectrum. He may end up being more compassionate, more understanding, and more accepting than the average kid. I consider that a good thing. I just hope things have changed enough that he doesn’t feel he has to defend me (or his aunts) to his friends.

For more answers, you can check the gay parents board on (iVillage), or do a search for other message boards.

Thanks for the info, hedra. You brought up some interesting points about raising your son in a more “accepting environment.” And the drawbacks of that environment not always extending as far as school… It’s a lot to think about. Would you mind if i quoted you in my paper?

Well, I didn’t have any problems with having two moms. It was kinda cool that it made me different, and nobody gave me a hard time about it.
I got to see all kinds of different couples, and meet some very different people.
I even got to make the break up call for two guys! That was pretty cool. It ended well, but emotional for them.

As for raising my children, I am very open and honest. They know that dad and I have very close friends, but I am not sure if they understand the sex part of it. If they ask I will be honest and explain in a way that they will understand. The kids range from 11 to 3 so it really hasn’t come up yet.
If any of our kids decided to go either way or both, I would be loving and supportive.
I think even with out having the parents I had I would be open-minded.
I would like to think that society is getting better about it also. I know, everybody has to have a dream.

My father was gay, but very closeted most of his life. He & my mother divorced when I was six, but I always was close to him. It wasn’t until I spent a couple of summers with him in London as a teenager that I realised he was gay…I went & hung out with him at a couple of his favourite gay/friendly pubs & had an “Oh, wow, my dad’s gay!” revelation. After a short period of adjusting to the new paradigm, it made absolutely no difference. I spent time with him & friends of his in San Fransisco (It’s a weird experience visiting a condom supermarket on Castro with your father :))…and we used to point out cute boys’ butts to eachother.

He was always my Dad, never my gay Dad.
Don’t know if this is really a response to the OT. I do know a family who are two men & one woman, raising two boys. From the little I know of the kids, they are quite confused and angry. They are more “friends of friends,” but if you want me to get any more dope on them, e-mail me.

yeah, you can quote me. I figured you would, since this was for a paper…

Oh, and I’d like to note that being different wasn’t all a bad thing. I didn’t mind the attention, and I did like being able to provide the jr. high version of the ‘straight dope’ … It was awkward at times, and I was never the cool kid, but I doubt I would have been cool no matter what. It just isn’t something that looking back I should have HAD to do, you know? I’m dreaming here, too…