My friends have always said that "Everything I touch turns to gay".
Let me explain...
In my sophomore year of college my "Sorority Big Sis" came out as being gay. Let's call her Susie for story telling purposes. She was also my roommate at our beach summer house.
My junior year in college, my roommate, Julie, confided in me that she too was gay.
My senior year in college, another roommate and dear friend, Lauren, privately told me that she thought she might be gay.
As these three women figured out there place in this world, a sorority-girl-lovers-triangle was forming right before my eyes. AND I was right smack dab in the middle. ME!
The secrets I was holding were difficult. But, oh-so-juicy! Julie was in love with Lauren. Susie was in love with Julie. And Lauren wasn't sure how she felt yet, but knew she was interested in Julie. Oy! I'll admit, I've never been the best secret keeper, so this was a real claim to fame for me.
After college my sister, Sarah, came out. She is now married to a woman named Kristen. I now have TWO sisters! Yay for Gaaaaay!
Like I said. Everything I touch turns to Gay
To me - Gay means Gold. Beautiful, shiny, rays of f*cking sunshine GOLD.
It's no surprise the symbol for gay pride is a rainbow. What will you find at the end of a rainbow?
GOLD! GOLD! Motha-F*ckin-GOLD!
In my last post, I talked about my sister being pregnant. I didn't mention that her pregnancy was by the help of a sperm donor. Or that she was gay. I don't identify my sister as being "gay".
She is my sister. That is her title to me - sister.
While I was in town for my sister's baby shower, I had an awe-inspiring heart-to-heart with her wife, Kristen. This isn't too unusual. Kristen and I often have deep conversation. She's super easy to talk to. She's compassionate. She's a great listener. And she doesn't have one judgmental bone in her body.
She is GOLD!
This particular convo with Kristen was different than our normal chats. An even stronger bond was formed that day. We were able to connect on a level that I would have never predicted. We were speaking the same language. From the same heart.
We shared something that I hadn't really considered as a similarity.
Neither of us will have a genetic tie to our child.
Although our roads to motherhood are different, they are still very similar. The feelings are similar. The worries are similar.
We talked a lot about what this meant to us. All the crazy, neurotic bullshit that keeps me up at night were also thoughts that Kristen has too.
I learned a lot from her that day. Kristen is stronger than me. She is confident and content and is ready to dive in head first and do whatever it takes to be the best mother possible. Move bitch, get out her way!
This really got me thinking...
Gay people will ALWAYS need additional resources (a third person) to have a baby. This is just something they expect to encounter. It's part of their life.
This thought made me sad.
Just because this is a part of their life, it doesn't make it easy. I don't think people really recognize this. I admit, I hadn't.
They need support just like I do. They need love and compassion just like I do. They need a shoulder to cry on, just like I do.
Throughout my struggles to conceive, I've leaned a lot on women who have been through similar experiences. When I found out I was "infertile" the first person I called was my ole college friend, Lauren. She was my first shoulder to cry on. Yes, Lauren is gay (remember her from earlier?). Lauren, too, has struggled with infertility.
Yes. Lesbians can be infertile too.
Shamefully, I have thought to myself that two sets of eggs (two women) sounded a lot better than one shitty set. But, what I didn't think about was the fact that being pregnant and having a genetic tie to your child is something both women might want to experience. And if one of them can't conceive there is certainly grief that comes with that. No different than me.
It still hurts like hell.
Lauren had the same angry, jealous, ugly feelings I did while trying to conceive. I'd imagine she was even more angry than I was at times. She didn't have a penis lying around like I do (ie. husband) to access when she wanted to take a break from doctors visits, to see what happens. She had to whip out her checkbook every single time she even wanted to attempt to be pregnant.
OH! Did I mention that Lauren ended up marrying Julie!
They are seriously the cutest, right?
Lauren went through six grueling rounds of insemination. SIX!!! The doctor assumed their sperm donor was the problem. After all the emotions of finally deciding on a donor (which is NOT easy) and six f*cking rounds of the good ole turkey baster bullshit, they were instructed to find a new donor.
Sadly, that didn't work either.
You can imagine the toll this took on their emotions, their finances and Lauren's body. Assisted reproduction at it's finest!
Finally, Lauren was diagnosed with endometriosis. She's actually one of people that educated me on the symptoms to look out for and was a big part of why I got my diagnosis. She had the surgery like I did where they scrape out all of your insides to remove the endometriosis. After that, they splurged for IVF, and POOF - PREGNANT!
Sure, this family might look different to some, but really they are no different. They just want to do what's best for their kids. They worry about their children getting sick or hurt just like every other parent. They love the hell out of these babies and do whatever it takes to protect them.
They also worry about their child being bullied, just like you. They worry that some stupid kid will make fun of them for having two mommies. They know that not everyone will agree with their family. They know that at some point, one or both of their children will be discriminated against because of their family makeup.
But still, they handle adversity with pure grace. They are proud of their family. And so am I.
The bond between them is unique. It's truly special. They are very,very close. People will stop and ask..."So, who's mom?" and the answer is always "We both are" with a huge, PROUD, smile.
Sure, they face challenges like what to be called "Mom, Momma, Mommy, etc" but they always make sure to feel equal as parents. Neither is more "mom" than the other. Lauren is celebrated on Mother's Day, and Julie get's her celebration on Father's Day.
It works for their family. And it's adorable.
I love these women with all my heart. I admire them for their strength. I admire them for the parents that they are and the lessons they teach us all. Those two little babes are the luckiest little twins in the world. They get TWO, beautiful, strong, selfless, loving and FUN mom's.
Why anyone could ever shed any ill-will on something so beautiful is beyond me.
I hope that you will think about these things when a gay couple shares their road to building their family with you. I ask that you respect their journey. Show them the love and support they need.
Because chances are, you will never, ever, hear them complain.