As part of the LGBT pride month I wanted to take a moment to think about the difficulties, stigma and judgments same sex parents must have to face daily, when all they want to do is create a beautiful family filled with love and comfort.
Being ‘straight’ married and with a son, I tried to put myself in the shoes of same sex parents. How would I feel if everyone always asked me these extremely personal questions?
- "How did you guys have your kids?" my answer, none of your business
- "When did you realize that you were straight?" my answer, none of your business
- "Which one of you is the dad in the relationship?" my answer, none of your business
- "Are your kid’s real siblings?" my answer, none of your business
- "Which one of you had 'em?" my answer, none of your business
It is just incredibly invasive to even imagine people think it is OK to casually ask these questions.
I spoke with the lovely ‘same sex’ parents; Amy & Lucy @our_divine_darlings who have a beautiful son called Arlo and another cutie on the way.
Hi Mummy & Mama, thank you so much for letting me chat with you both, I really appreciate your time and firstly I would like to say Arlo is so beautiful and your posts with him make me smile every time!
I wanted to get an insight into both your experiences:
- Have you experienced any uncomfortable situations where people have asked you inappropriate questions which they think are acceptable about you and your family?
The top two questions we are often asked that you would not ask a heterosexual person are:
How did you get pregnant?
Who is the father of your children?
These questions and more importantly the answers to these questions are deeply personal. We have become so accustomed to answering these and whilst we feel we have some responsibility to educate people as we are acutely aware how ill-informed, ignorant or naive some people are we also feel people should stop for a minute and think about what it is they are actually asking us. For example, I would never ask a heterosexual person what position they were in when they fell pregnant?!
- Did you have a long and difficult journey to become mothers?
We were truly fortunate and whilst IVF is a very taxing journey emotionally, physically, and financially we fell pregnant first time with both babies.
- Do you feel there is still a huge stigma in Australia when it comes to starting the process to become a ‘same sex’ family?
Yes and no. If you do your research and ask around you will find a lot of information, resources, communities, and businesses that are incredibly supportive of same sex families. I can only speak from our experience which was with a generic fertility clinic i.e. not a Same Sex specialist clinic where the nature of our relationship, our gender or sexual preference was never even a question.
- What advice would you give to other ‘same sex’ couples who are starting the journey to become parents?
Honestly, we would say do your research, speak to other same sex families, join a community like Rainbow Families. Going into this process as informed as we could be taking away a lot of stress. It is also important to ensure you are in a ‘good place’ personally. Any fertility journey/ parenting journey can be quite scary, stressful, and full of the unknown so make sure you have a good support network of friends and family around you. Talk about your journey, the highs, and the lows. Finally, make sure you have a good GP, our GP has been instrumental in the success of our journey to becoming parents.
- On a lighter note do you have any funny stories you have experienced on your journey becoming parents?
We have many stories some a little too personal to share (but hilarious). One that stands out for me is when we did our antenatal class and were given our babies for the class. Lucy named ours Susan (after the street we always park on when going to our fertility appointments). Not only did Lucy drop Susan twice during class she also left Susan in a café. suffice to say it made me extremely nervous for our poor baby, thankfully I can confirm that to date Lucy has never left Arlo in a café!
Modelling the Hayes Tote in cappuccino!
To finish, I love this quote I came across from a parent who was picking his son up from school, a little girl asked his partner how he could have two dads. I think his response is amazing:
"There are many different types of families. Some kids have a mum and a dad, some kids live with just their mum or just their dad, some kids live with their grandparents or maybe aunts and uncles and some kids have two mums or two dads. Isn't it neat that there are so many different types of families?"