Yes, Some Lesbians Want Children Too
Today, I walked into my apartment the way I do every other day, but what waited for me inside was unlike anything I’ve walked into thus far. I found pacifiers, diapers, bananas, and packages of things that I wouldn’t have known where to apply. Teething rings. Tiny shoes. I found baby things. Everywhere.
Granted, it wasn’t completely random. I knew my roommate’s sister and family would be in town, but I wasn’t expecting the juxtaposition that was “my life avec baby.”
Do you know what it’s like to be a twenty-six year old lesbian from Olivehill, Tennessee, living in Los Angeles, California? Let me tell you. It’s tough.
On one hand, I’m still that sweet southern girl who grew up hauling hay, harvesting crops, and tending to the farm animals before rushing off to school on the bus my grandfather drove. I was raised to work hard, respect women (though for some reason this only applied in public), love my parents, and take care of my family.
Now, on the other hand, I’m an all black wearing, ball busting career woman in Los Angeles finishing up my time at Warner Brothers, writing during most of my free time and avoiding the disaster and time-suck that is Tinder.
I’m proud of myself. I’m so excited for my new job, and I know that I've finally accomplished a huge goal that I set for myself three years ago when I moved to California. I’m happy with my life, but I’m also at the age where this “family phenomenon” has surrounded me.
My Facebook is flooded with pictures of baby showers, weddings, and kids number 1-3. People are constantly bringing their children in to work, and my mother randomly asks about “whether or not I’m planning on giving her a grandchild soon.” I appreciate her for limiting her expectations to one. It’s less intimidating than the goal I had set for myself.
My “plan” is to birth one child, adopt one, and have my partner choose whether or not to give birth as well. That’s the reason I work my ass off now. To make sure that all 2-3 of my future children can grow up with more opportunity than I had. I believe that is the responsibility of all parents, and that all children deserve that.
Today, I spent lunch with a pregnant colleague who told me her little one gets excited when she consumes a lot of fluids. The first time she kicked, my friend had drank so many bottles of water the baby hit her in the wrong place and made her upchuck her breakfast. Still, the way she described it was almost like it tickled. Like being kicked felt like cuddling by the fire during a teeny, perfect snowstorm, and she was throwing up diamonds and glitter.
I want to feel that way too. Vomit and all. I had a really close bond with my mother, and I’ve always wanted to share that with someone else. I’m not quite ready for it yet, but I want a future with that in it.
For some reason, that surprises a lot of people. They never expect “someone like me” to want children. I spent part of my senior year of high school with one (sometimes both) of my twin brothers sleeping on my chest. I've helped raise other people’s children since I was thirteen years old. I've wanted a family of my own as far back as I can remember.
Being gay makes that really difficult. First, finding a partner is practically impossible considering the statistics of how many women are interested in women, then narrowed to how many are available, then to how many am I attracted to, and finally how many of those are attracted to me. May the odds be never in your favor, am I right?
Then there’s the act of getting married. I come from a lower class family, so I would have to get married closer to home if I wanted my family and friends to attend. I’m actually pretty OK with that. I always thought an outdoor wedding with a barn reception would be really cute, but the issue is that same sex marriage is still illegal in Tennessee. (So is giving and receiving oral sex, but no one seems to hold anyone accountable for that…)
I can’t get married back home, so I’ll have to pay for a bigger California wedding. Fine. I love my state. But then there is the task of actually getting pregnant. If you’re not aware, that’s a serious challenge for gays and lesbians.
The birth control of being a lesbian only has its perks until you realize that you’re actually ready to have kids, because in vitro is expensive. Every time you try to conceive, you’re spending between $12,000- $15,000. That’s not money that most people have lying around; especially at this age, and especially if you have to try multiple times. Even if I tried to adopt, that’s also expensive and isn't legal for same-sex couples in every state.
It’s tough having so many obstacles against you when all you really want is a family to love – and for people not to condemn you for it, antagonize your children over it, or propose laws against it. What’s so bad about having two moms anyway? I would have loved that.
I’m not saying I’ll be ready to have kids tomorrow, or even two years from now, but I am saying that I would like a fair shot at my happily ever after. I want the kids, dog, and white picket fence. I want the wife who does yoga with me before work, and plans our vacations to Europe around the stories in books she read as a little girl. I want to be a mom. A wife. A human. I want to be equal.
I’m just a girl who loves a girl. It’s not a gross thing. Or weird. Or a sin. It’s just me – a person – loving another person – paying taxes – hoping to raise my future children the best way I can and leave as little of a carbon footprint as possible.
is a writer, artist and human/animal rights activist based in Echo Park- Los Angeles, CA. The Stephens College graduate loves poetry, camping with her rowdy friends and tequila of many varieties.