Token Family

Coming out is a tough thing. There is often a lot of build up, thousands of scenarios made up in your head and hopefully a giant much ado about nothing. There is the big coming out to friends and family and lots of little ones to follow. I didn’t realize this in the beginning. When I got married, others just assumed it was to a man, and I let them.

Until I had kids. Now I come out daily. I’ll be in Costco and tell Noa to go find ‘Mama.’ Some nearby individual will politely interject, ‘Oh, you’re not her mom?’

‘Yes, I’m her mom. But she is lucky enough to have two.’

Noa will then explain that she has a ‘Mama’ and a ‘Mommy.’ Duh.

Or someone will ask, ‘Who did they get such blue eyes from?’ Clearly noticing I don’t have blue eyes. ‘My wife.’

There was another incident on an elevator once where a woman said, ‘Wow, she looks so much like both of you, which I know isn’t possible.’ Cue awkward silence and a quick elevator escape.

And then there was the time Betsy spent 10 minutes with the Century Link salesman and he finally said, “Is your husband here?” Because she’s just a wife.

Until now the kids haven’t known any different. We have several lesbian friends, one with kids, and we change most stories to read “Mama and a Mommy”. In Noa’s world, most people have two moms. Except her cousins.

Noa started preschool today. And we are the only two mom family in the school. The token same sex couple, doing our part to bring diversity to the school. When I introduce myself to other parents and say, ‘Noa is my daughter that’s her other mom, Betsy’ I hold my breath for the response.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not worried about my ability to raise healthy kids in a same sex family. Science tells us these kids do the same, if not better than heterosexual families. She has two moms in a healthy, loving home. But I do suddenly feel a strong need to expose her to more same sex families. For her to make friends with other kids with two moms or two dads. Just because she doesn’t have any classmates with same sex parents, she’s not alone.

I have my theory on why kids from same sex parents do, the same if not better than heterosexual’s kids. One, they’re wanted. Which isn’t to say heterosexual couple’s kids aren’t wanted. But you don’t hear about the gay men on the corner having an ‘oops’ baby. These rascals are one hundred percent planned out and wanted.

But more importantly, we don’t follow heteronormative roles. Betsy cooks and cleans. I manage the money. We both work and stay home. We build shit, like wainscoting and a chicken coop. Because gender roles are so outdated.

And yet I worry about her being in preschool. About making friends and telling them she has two moms. I’m sure it will be harder for me than it is for her. I mean she currently thinks that wearing underwear is what makes someone a girl and wearing diapers makes you a boy. In her world it is.

Eventually she’s going to realize her books actually say ‘mommy’ and ‘daddy.’ That having two moms isn’t the standard, although it is super cool. I hope that Betsy and I can teach her that when asked about her dad she isn’t afraid to tell them about her two moms.

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