It’s tiring being a minority. Especially during four years of a homophobic and transphobic administration which emboldens people to discriminate. Especially during a time when heterosexual-cis-white people are waking to the fact that racism, homophobia, and transphobia actively exist.
I was talking to my best friend. Also a lesbian. I was saying how researchers will some times sneak into lesbian groups I’m in or post in therapist groups about the latest research they are doing about Queer parents, lesbian mom’s, etc. etc. They are usually seeking information about our “experience” of getting pregnant, giving birth, raising kids.
I was saying to my friend that these posts and queries irk me. I couldn’t pinpoint why at the moment. My friend, in her way, was like “Well then don’t respond,” shrug. I was like well duh I don’t. But I also don’t want to see those posts. I don’t want people researching me/us/lesbians/Queers. She was like why not? I think it’s good.
I had difficulty putting it into words at the time. The way the research questions are phrased usually indicate that we, as Queer people, had different experiences from heterosexual people. And I’m thinking. Uh yeah. Duh. We did have different experiences because we have to worry about discrimination. All. The. Time.
We worry about it when we look for a fertility doctor. We worry about it when we order sperm. We worry about it when we get all the stupid tests done in order to even try to get pregnant. We worry about it when we have to deal with our insurance companies. We worry about it when we have to figure out if we should do a second parent adoption. We do. We still do. Because there are cases (in Texas and other states) where non-bio Mom’s lose their children to bio Mom’s and/or bio Mom’s family because the non-bio mom has “no legal claim” to the children.
We worry about raising kids in a Queer family and if we will cause some long lasting mental damage to them by subjecting them to homophobia and Queer Family-phobia. I don’t know one lesbian or woman in a lesbian relationship while pregnant who did not get asked some fucked up question about how they got pregnant. Often by a healthcare professional or family member. Those people we are all supposed to trust most.
To do a study looking at the Queer experience of any aspect to the child conceiving, child bearing, and child raising process…seems insulting? Redundant? What are you looking for? Usually you are looking for some shock factor. Some homophobia. You are using my lived experience and my emotional hurt to what…teach? To profit off of?
I feel the Queer community could be saved these potentially re-traumatizing experiences. Just accept that it’s been hard for anyone who identifies under the Queer umbrella. Accept that homophobia and transphobia exists and is rampant in our society.
Don’t ask me to share my experience so you can get some emotional experience from me recounting homophobia. Don’t ask me to share my experience for you to profit off of.
Guess when I share my story? I share my story with Queer youths who are struggling with their identity. Who fear they will never be “normal”. I share it with young adults in their first lesbian relationship struggling with how to tell their parents. I share it with Queer people who have a shared experience who want to feel a connection and hope that they have a community bigger than themselves. That there are people out there who are living the life they are dreaming of in the closet.
We don’t need research papers for that. Why don’t you start researching straight people and their attitudes toward minorities? Why not make them do the work instead of counting on us to provide it all.
Yes I feel salty about it. Not all Queers do. Which is fine. You do you. As for me. I’ll not be participating in any studies trying to identify the Queer experience. I’ll just tell you straight up (pun intended)…we are discriminated against.
Some one some time said something horrible that made us question the decision to have children. We had children. Some one some time said something horrible right after they were born. We agonized over doing a second parent adoption. Then we scoured google to find a non-homophobic attorney.
We parent just like hetero’s. Our kids are the same as all other kids except this morning when one of my 4 year olds yelled at his brother, “I’m bringing it to the Mom’s!” Aside from being able to mention his parents in plural he is exactly the same as other 4 year olds.
Some one some time told us we shouldn’t parent kids without a Father and we would both go to Hell.
Some one some time told us we are not a real family because we are two women.
Some one some time side-eyed us and we feared for our safety with our children.
Some one some time denied us service for goods and we had to deal with that in front of our children.
We’ve been told not to take our children to Pride events due to concerns for their safety.
We’ve been questioned as to the validity of our relationship to our children by healthcare providers who want to know who the “real” mom is.
Then after all this hatred and discrimination we experience we find a safe space in lesbian mom groups and mental health spaces and we are bombarded by people who want to study us.
These are all shared experiences of all Queer parents. I promise you. You don’t need to study us. You need to study the hatred perpetrated against us. You need to spread acceptance toward us. You need to stop depending on Queer individuals sharing our experiences of homophobia to show that homophobia exists. It exists.