Growing up I always thought of my sister as the gay one. Because, well she was, and is, super gay. But apparently I am too.
I know that shouldn’t come as a shock to me because I’m married to a woman, but I never labeled myself as gay. More as a woman who fell in love with a woman, and should we ever break up likely would never fall in love with a woman again. I don’t fit into a box. But then again maybe I do.
My kids turned three. That was a lot for me to ponder emotionally. So I decided to have a big party. And to my surprise every one I invited came. Which meant my house was full of 30-40 people with lots of kids. We hadn’t had parties since we had the boys.
Something people don’t talk about who have twins or multiples is the incredible isolation that occurs when you have more than one newborn. It seems ironic because we doubled our family size but the truth is, twins are a lot. We were exhausted. We had nothing in common with singleton mom’s and in fact wanted to strangle any singleton parent who made ANY comment about having a new baby because for real. Twins are harder. Fact.
The breastfeeding also caused isolation. The boys needed to breastfeed in order to keep up my milk supply. So I couldn’t pump and bottle-feed for the first 18 weeks. It was all my boobs. I couldn’t leave the house. It sucked.
But then time goes by and slowly I began to feel human again. Breastfeeding stopped. Sleep improved (Jackson still got up 5 times last night because his damn blanket fell off but it’s still better). Little by little we are progressing to fully functional adults again.
So we threw this party. I have to get mushy about it. Not usually my style. But there’s some mushiness to be had.
I was introducing people to my mom and I realized literally we have some of the strongest, kindest, most fun people in our lives. The nurse who took my wife in when she was homeless was there, with her partner and her kids. We’ve maintained that relationship for eleven years. And it all started because she literally opened her home to my wife at a time when she barely knew her. A therapist I’ve known for seven years was there with her partner, who my son is obsessed with, and we’ve gone two different roads professionally to end up in very similar situations with very similar clients, and if you had asked me seven years ago if she would still be in life today I don’t know, I might not have pegged it.
A few psychiatric APRN’s I became friends with over time, who mentored me and who I’ve mentored were there. And four of us who all graduated high school together. Again, never would have thought the four of us would be in touch fifteen years later. But there we were watching our kids now playing together.
My bestie was up from Florida, she brought wine, no toys, and I’m like yes she gets it. She knows this is for us not them. Her niece asked her why she was coming to our house instead of celebrating her Dad’s birthday that night. My friend wisely said, “Some day you’ll understand,” instead of bashing her dad for being homophobic, which he is. My friend was explaining to her niece as vaguely as she could that Queer folks have to pick our families sometimes. That my wife had to pick hers, as the one she was given disowned her.
That my family was there, as they always are for us, but that my friends have also been my family. That I need some nurse friends to talk nurse stuff with. I need some high school people because they are the only ones in the world who will totally get me because they know my history. They saw me in my teenage and pre-teenage glory. And most importantly they saw me straight. They knew me as a woman who dated men at one time. And that history is part of my narrative, and only they truly get it.
I also have to say that my friends are freaking fun. There is no one awkwardly standing in the corner quietly. There is loud, there is singing, hugging, swearing, and laughter, lots of laughter.
In this world full of so much negative I have learned how much more important it is to surround oneself with the positive. These are the people who texted my wife and I after we posted the blog about the farmer taking back the firewood from her, and they wanted an address and spray paint and who knows what else. (We didn’t give out the address). It adds a layer of protection and comfort to know that we walk out into the world and face discrimination and hate we have this protective layer of people willing to come forward and stand with us.
It’s so important to find your people. My people are apparently loud, Queer, fun, nurses, lesbians, kinky, bold, and smart. So my sister’s not the only gay one in the family anymore.
Apparently I’m a whole lot of Queer if there is anything evidenced by the people I surround myself with. I feel blessed my sons will grow up surrounded by my crazy Queer friends. Because they are good people. No one better to be a part of their lives.