Queer Parents Poll - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Queer Parent Poll
I am 100% heterosexual 18 100.00%
I am bi, leaning more toward men than women 16 100.00%
I am bi, and equally attracted to both men and women 18 100.00%
I am bi, leaning more toward woman than men 28 100.00%
I am 100% homosexual 17 100.00%
I am single 8 80.00%
I am in a monogomous relationship 58 100.00%
I am in an open/poly relationship 19 100.00%
I am satisfied in my relationship 63 100.00%
I am dissatisfied in my relationship 13 100.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-19-2006, 03:15 PM
 
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This lesbian vs. queer thing is an age old argument in the queer community. Crappy behaviour goes both ways... slamming "100% lesbians" sucks, as do covert declarations that lesbianism is better or more "pure" than bisexuality... the line about "100% penis free guarantee" comes to mind.

I think it would be great to see bisexual-partnered-with-a-man mamas behaving in ways that respectfully acknowledge the privilege inherent in living a het lifestyle, regardless of one's sexual orientation.

And I think it would also be good to see lesbian mamas respect the diversity of sexual orientations, and welcome bisexual mamas as valuable members of the queer/glbt community.
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:23 PM
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Have I mentioned that I you, thismama?

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Old 02-19-2006, 03:30 PM
 
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Thanks! :
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Old 02-19-2006, 03:49 PM
 
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Oops. I'm afraid my comment that I don't feel like I belong in this space because I've been happily married (to a woman) for 18 years was taken to mean the wrong thing. I don't feel excluded because there are women married to men, or folks who may indeed be questioning here. It is just that I don't have issues directly relating to my being gay. (or lesbian or whatever the current label is!) And there certainly is not the issue of having to "wade" through those posts. It seems pretty quiet to me.

I've actually had my eyes opened a bit by reading posts here. And I think I may look at/treat others around me (irl) differently because of this.

It all seems good to me. I hope I did not offend anyone by my comment. And if I did I'm sorry.

Me.  With 1 spouse, 4 kids, 16 chickens, 74 matchbox cars, 968,562+ legos, a dishwasher waiting to be emptied, a washing machine waiting to be filled and a lost cup of tea in the house.

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Old 02-19-2006, 04:13 PM
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mumm - no worries! Thanks for clarifying. This is a tough topic, and one that is being debated on larger levels than just here -so I may be being ambitious in thinking we can solve it for our little corner of the world.

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Old 02-19-2006, 07:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by thismama
as do covert declarations that lesbianism is better or more "pure" than bisexuality... the line about "100% penis free guarantee" comes to mind.
Ya know, I responded to a POLL asking me how *I* identified. And this is how I identify. I am a lesbian who does not "do" any kind of penetration, if ya wanna know specifics. This was an "identity" poll, and I shared MY identity.
In NO WAY did I declare covertly or otherwise that lesbianism is more "pure" than anything. I have NO problem with bisexuality. My partner identifies as bisexual, by the way - no, she did not come with a 100% penis free status to our relationship. She would have voted different than me in the poll. No better, no worse, just different!. You won't hear me knocking bisexuality.

Much of gay theory does not include poly under "queer". I don't think if you go to most national gay organizations you will find "poly" as part of the focus. While most gay folks are liberal and count poly as our friends (or also i.d. as poly themselves) I think it relates more to relationships/intimacy than to queer parenting.

The conflict I see here is only when this space is used for "cruisy" purposes and some of us who are here to read parenting stuff are made uncomfotable by that. It's not parenting talk. It's "I am unsatisfied by just my husband and I want to explore that". I am just not comfortable reading those threads here. It feels like when a male-female couple go to gay bars to cruise for women. For the lesbian couples sitting around being watched/appraised, it feels yucky.

Sorry, too much OT.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:08 AM
 
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I have recently started checking in to this group...I am happily married to my dw, we've been together for 17 years. We have a son and are ttc #2. I'm surprised at the results of this poll- I love the fact that its an open-minded accepting group of women...it is, right?
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:03 AM
 
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Bi/men (I am equally attracted to both male and female bodies, but I mesh better with personality traits that are typically [though certainly not exclusively!] "masculine", so that tipped the balance for this poll's purposes), poly, satisfied.

To lesbian mamas who feel like they don't belong, is there anything we can do to remedy this? To me, anyway, "queer" is a broad and friendly encompassing word, but if it's getting too dilute for you to feel comfortable with, I'd personally like to know if there's anything any of us can do to respect your space here more.

Best,
Kieran
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by KieranD
To lesbian mamas who feel like they don't belong, is there anything we can do to remedy this? To me, anyway, "queer" is a broad and friendly encompassing word, but if it's getting too dilute for you to feel comfortable with, I'd personally like to know if there's anything any of us can do to respect your space here more.

Best,
Kieran
Well,
I don't know what would happen to it this time, but I remember someone tried to start a "Lesbian two-mom thread" and it seemed to meet with a cold reception, the discussion got heated, and then the thread kind of died out. Two mama families have some very specific issues that bi/poly with men involved families don't have. Bi women married to men don't usually have the adoption/lack of adoption access issues that we have, the non-bio mom issues, the possibilty of two breastfeeding mamas (boy I WISH I had found mothering and a two-momma breastfeeding thread three years ago!). I don't go to this forum much except to welcome new members and check to see if anything interesting is going on. There was a lesbian TTC thread that I wanted to be a part of, but since we've had to temporarily postpone TTC, It has been hard for me to check it. There are ways in which a two-mama family that does not go by established gender roles, experience AP differently, we have some different strengths and challenges I would love to see this forum discuss these types of issues.
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamimapster
Well,
I don't know what would happen to it this time, but I remember someone tried to start a "Lesbian two-mom thread" and it seemed to meet with a cold reception, the discussion got heated, and then the thread kind of died out.
It got heated because it turned into a discussion of how other ppl who were "less queer" were "taking over" the board. I had made a comment in another thread about loving Pride as a big party. A poster made incorrect assumptions about my sexual orientation and marital status, and talked about how she felt the non-lesbians were not political in the way she felt was proper. She talked about that in the lesbian two-mom thread, I challenged her, and it blew up.

I can't imagine that a simple lesbian two-mom thread that was not used to judge everyone else would get heated.

Quote:
Two mama families have some very specific issues that bi/poly with men involved families don't have.
That is true. But bi/poly with men mamas have issues that two mama families don't have. (ETA: I agree with Kincaid that poly is not necessarily queer. But if mamas who are poly are also bisexual, they are queer IMO.)

Certainly there are HUGE differences. Women in het relationships absolutely have privilege that two-mama families don't have. But middle-class married lesbians have privilege that single lesbian or bi mamas living in poverty don't have.

I'm a single lesbian (well I identify as semi-bisexual, but all my relationships to date have been with women). I co-parent with a gay man, a friend who I chose to have a baby with. If I decided only ppl in my situation were the right kind of queer, I'd be posting alone.

I don't understand why bi/poly mamas posting about their issues excludes two-mama lesbian families? Or why two-mama families posting about their issues excludes single lesbian or bi mamas?

My strong preference would be to create a forum culture where everyone feels welcome.
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Old 02-20-2006, 04:46 PM
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I think that the poly threads are what is bothering me most.

Since they tend to be a discussion of how to navigate having a poly relationship - they don't tend to be about navigating a same sex relationship. Does that make sense?

I also think that it tends to fall under the "alternative lifestyles" camp, which too many people lump being queer into - like it is a choice, or an option. Which I REALLY detest and don't want to see here.

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Old 02-20-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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Many, many lesbians feel that it *is* a choice. The choice/genetics thing is an ongoing argument in the queer community.

For me, I see the poly thing as being a relationship style, like Kincaid said. Poly vs monogamous. So maybe that doesn't belong here.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:09 PM
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I won't disagree that bi women HAVE a choice in what gender they choose to date. That is obvious - when you are attracted to everyone, it is easier to choose. I don't think anyone has a choice in who they fall in love with - believe me, there are a couple I would have chosen never to meet(men and women)! But that is not what I was talking about...

I was talking about the straight community feeling that being queer (in ANY form) is a choice. That you can choose to be gay or straight. And all of the less attractive forms that argument may take. : Having poly threads here seems to lend credence to this argument- everyone is default straight, and chooses to have alternative relationships. Make sense? (Still drinking my coffee...not sure if I am making sense.) So yeah, exactly what Kincaid said - about it being a relationship related conversation, or relationship style choice. I think we agree.

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Old 02-21-2006, 12:52 PM
 
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Well, what I am saying is that many queer people, many lesbians, feel that it *is* a choice. That we chose our sexual orientation, as did straight ppl, and that the emphasis on genetics is a response to homophobia... "well it's not our fault, it's genetics. So you can't blame us." Some of us see this as a sort of play on the whole "sick" thing, reinforcing it.

That's not my view, I tend to think it is at least partly genetics. But I don't get into that with homophobes. Instead I ask why it is necessary to figure out the "why" of my sexual orientation, when nobody sits around trying to figure out the "why" of theirs. So what if it's a choice? Unless they are arguing that it's a bad choice, who cares? And if they think it's a bad choice, I would rather argue about that.

But yeah, I think we do agree. I am with Kincaid about the poly or monogamous stuff belonging somewhere else. Altho I wouldn't want to see queer poly mamas excluded from posting here. I'd like to see that relationship style seen as valid as much as a monogamous relationship style is.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:19 PM
 
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The discussions of the past can be pulled up with a search if anyone wants to form their own opinions. It is a complex thing, take a look and form your own opinions.

What I hear bi with a guy/poly folk saying is "why can't we all just get along? There is room for everyone." Very fair point. I relate it to this.... think of a lesbian bar. My partner and I go to a lesbian bar to step outside the hetero constructs that dominate where we live. We don't "hate" men by a long shot, we don't dislike associating with straight women, but I see a lot of value in going somewhere that the dominant paradigm has been set aside and we are no longer the minority. So what happens when a lesbian bar gets discovered by girl/guy couples who are feeling "alternative"? What happens when lesbians are the minority?

To me, this space is "alternative" as it relates to sex and partnerships. But it's not a gay-parents space talking about issues related to being a gay parent. That's what I was looking for in this forum.

Seeing threads here about being married to a man but wanting to experiment with a woman on the side... it's just so inappropriate to me. Would that be appropriate at a Rainbow Families meeting? Nope! Would a poly conversation be appropriate at a PFLAG meeting? Heck no! I think we should use some of those same "filters" here. People aren't talking about their sex lives at COLAGE or HRC meetings. Threesome talk is totally inappropriate at a PFLAG meeting, not because those people are close minded or think some people are less queer than others, but because some spaces are meant for certain topics and not others .

Adina, I think it goes back to what the board owners envision for this space. If you do a sort of the thread view on this forum (by post count or number of hits), you will see that the majority of the threads are about sexuality/relationship status. I think it's good to look at what the mods want from this forum.
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Old 02-21-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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I appreciate the clarification, and I completely agree. While I do consider myself a queer parent (despite currently having het privilege), I acknowledge that discussion of sexuality is not the same thing as discussion of parenting.

It must be really frustrating to see, over and over, "how do I initiate a threesome?" put in the same category as "how do I ensure my child receives the same treatment as the child of a heterosexual couple?".

I read this forum because I know eventually my child will become aware of my sexuality, and I like to be prepared for how he and his/our social circle around us may be impacted. Big thanks to the lesbian and bisexual mamas who continue to share their parenting experiences so I can continue to learn.

-Kieran
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by KieranD
It must be really frustrating to see, over and over, "how do I initiate a threesome?" put in the same category as "how do I ensure my child receives the same treatment as the child of a heterosexual couple?".
Yeah, good point.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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I don't want to discredit anyone concerns here, but it appears the polyamory stuff does come up yearly. Searching this forum only for threads containing the term "poly" brings up a total of 6 threads since 2003. And only 2 threads with the word "threesome" in it, and 2 threads with the word "polyamory" in it. And alot of those threads overlap with each other. I don't think given those number you can say it's an all the time occurence.

I really don't mean to push this thread further off topic, but it seems to be a real misconception of what the bisexuals on this forum are posting about.

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Old 02-21-2006, 04:32 PM
 
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All you have to do is look at the last two pages of this forum to see the focus is mainly on women married to men who are looking for places to meet lesbians, or talk about the crushes they have on women. One that made me chuckle last week was "where are there bars like the women on the L word go to?" I read that to my partner and she rolled on the floor laughing. If I went to the main Parenting thread and posted "Where are there moms like on Melrose Place?" people would throw their cloth diapers at me!

I agree that polyamorists are a mistreated group and maligned group of folks. When all you want to do is love it sucks to be discriminated against. I am all for the right of poly folks. But at the same time, when I am seeking "safe" mental space (like a lesbian bar) part of what I want to be free from is folks who are cruising for a relationship in addition to their heterosexual one.

Pynki, I don't think the disrespect and dismissiveness that lesbians say they feel here is a misconception. For a while someone had the signature "I'm a lesbian and my husband is too." When I come to post about being a lesbian parent in a country where you can have your kids taken away, can't get married, worry about the school systems, etc.... it's mentally icky for someone to tout their husband is also a lesbian (presumably this is a HAHA he like tits and ass too kind of joke). Was that your signature, Pynki, I can't remember?

Doesn't matter whose it was, but please don't dismiss another "yearly" group of lesbians coming forward to complain about the Queer Parenting forum.

And how come we always get so many new members in these threads? I never can figure that. LOL
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by seed
I just want to make sure that we acknowledge that poly doesn't automatically mean sex-crazed, flakey, or straight-but-kinky. For me, being poly doesn't mean that I don't have sexual boundaries. It means I fell in love with more than one person and am working hard to figure out how to be safe and stable within that.
Seed, thank you for your comment. I was feeling the same way but couldn't formulate what to comment. People have a lot of assumptions I think about what it means to be poly. Not everyone who is poly has a two partners, etc. That's not our situation. There are just us two, and that's how it will stay!

I think having a "two mamas" thread would be great! What I didn't like was the "Monogamous committed lesbians parenting or TTC" thread. We will be two mamas, we're TTC, and we're committed. Does it matter that we're nonmonogamous? Yes, it's important to have our own "spaces" but seriously my life is not that much different than other two mamas TTC.

I agree with seed that as long as discussions stay parenting/ttc/etc focused and don't get into discussions about sex lives I don't think there should be a problem.

I am enjoying this disussion and appreciate people's candor and respect too.
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:43 PM
 
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Kincaid,

Nope that one wasn't mine. I understand why it was offensive to lesbians though. I think part of the great divide on this issue is that in my experience bisexual women seem to come out later. Usually from a desire to not be "different" if they don't have to be. Most of my gay friends come out in their teens. They would ask anyone who they thought were gay where the other gay people were. I think we're seeing alot of the same thing from some of the bisexual parents who are coming out later here. I don't know how coming out was for you, but for alot of my friends it's been hard on them. Many of the same things come up if you do it later in life too.

Because bisexual and married with kids is really invisible to society at large. I only know one other bisexual mom in my area, and she moved to Arizona. So, now I have no one who even really "gets" where it is that I'm at.

I think part of the reason many of the bi parents post here sporatically or just don't is because they don't feel "queer" enough. They know their issues are different that parents who are single and gay, or gay and coupled.

I hope I'm coming across clearly with the intent I mean.

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Old 02-21-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Pynki
Because bisexual and married with kids is really invisible to society at large. I only know one other bisexual mom in my area, and she moved to Arizona. So, now I have no one who even really "gets" where it is that I'm at.
Pynki, I very much agree with this. I know a couple of mamas who were in a same-sex relationship, and had kids with their same-sex partner, then the relationship ended and they ended up re-partnering with men (they were both bisexual). It seriously saddened me to see not only how the lesbian community treated them (everyone assumed in both of these instances of course that they were lesbian, not bisexual, so of course were surprised when they repartnered with men) but also watching how they became invisible as queer women. I get the other end of it - people assuming things about me because I'm partnered to a woman.
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Old 02-21-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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One that made me chuckle last week was "where are there bars like the women on the L word go to?" I read that to my partner and she rolled on the floor laughing.
I didn't read the thread, but that could well have been a coming out question.

Quote:
when I am seeking "safe" mental space (like a lesbian bar) part of what I want to be free from is folks who are cruising for a relationship in addition to their heterosexual one.
But that's just it. This forum isn't Married Monogamous Lesbians Only Parenting. It is Queer Parenting. Women who go to lesbian bars, who happen to be poly in a relationship with a man, are queer just like everyone else. What is wrong with them posting about their relationships as they relate to parenting, just like married monogamous lesbians do? Why does one exclude the other?

Quote:
For a while someone had the signature "I'm a lesbian and my husband is too." When I come to post about being a lesbian parent in a country where you can have your kids taken away, can't get married, worry about the school systems, etc.... it's mentally icky for someone to tout their husband is also a lesbian (presumably this is a HAHA he like tits and ass too kind of joke).
Yeah that was a very offensive signature. I remember whose it was, she was pretty weird and outrageous in a number of ways, and I don't think she is around anymore.
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:13 PM
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I feel very uncomfortable with the above comment. A poly relationship has same-sex dymanics within it. For what it's worth, I was in a lesbian relationship for five years before we brought our male partner into it. I hardly think I should lose my queer credentials because of that.
I think perhaps you misunderstand me. I am not saying that you should "lose your queer credentials" because you are in a poly relationship. I am saying that those threads have different needs than the QP forum. While there is overlap, they are different things. Navigating a relationship with more than two people with children involved is different than, though just as challenging as, having kids in a monogamous queer relationship. I am not saying that it isn't, I am questioning whether the chit-chat threads belong in THIS particular forum, or whether the belong in Finding Your Tribe, with specific issues threads regarding the queer pairings in those poly relationships housed in QP.

We are looking at what we want for this forum, and it has been brought up more than once that all of these things fit into the general Parenting Issues forum, and that we shouldn't be segregating our Queer Mamas by forcing them to post in QP. Talk of doing away with the forum all together has occurred.

I am NOT comfortable with that idea. And I would imagine that you all aren't either -or maybe you are. Maybe this forum HAS outlived it's purpose, and it is time to move on, and then these issues won't be present - because everyone will be parents on this board, period. (Present company excluded...still. She's cooking as fast as she can! )

But I need to know WHAT people want out of this forum?

I will be undertaking pruning of relationship threads as set down by the rules we applied to Parents as Partners, and the no sex talk rules.

So, removing those....what is left? What do YOU as members need from this forum?

I envision this as a place to discuss the challenges, issues and joys that are unique to being queer with kids. With the definition of queer (for the purposes of this forum ONLY): parents who are involved in a same sex relationship, or parenting in a way in which being queer will present these challenges. (Cause, frankly, until my baby is MUCH MUCH older, being queer is NOT gonna be an issue for me in my parenting - as it isn't with many bi-women monogamously married to men, and I recognize that.)

Does that make sense?

I am trying to nail down a definition, which will be posted as a sticky at the top of this forum. This forum is tough to moderate and has pretty nebulous guidelines...I want those firmed up and be able to give people a "here, this is what belongs in this forum, here is what it is about." Which I can't do right now.

And I am trying to do this without offending anyone, without excluding anyone, and maintaining a safe queer space on MDC.

I know many of you don't know me from Adam (or Eve), but let me give you a little bit of background. I moderated this forum after indiegirl decided she couldn't do it, and only recently handed it over to Raven, as I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. (I also moderate all of Fertility, News & Current Events, Activism and Yarn Crafts.) Raven has had some things come up and I have taken this forum back, as I have personal ties to this subject, and feel like this forum, and sometimes the people in it need an advocate. I am pretty loud about this forum when discussing it with the otehr mods and admin, and very vocal in supporting our queer members. Please don't misunderstand these questions as being non-supportive, or trying to force anyone out. That is certainly not my intent.

I focus on the poly threads (which I know are not numerous) because that is one issue that has been brought up to me, and because it illustrates the problem I am having with the moderation of this forum. It is by no means the only issue, nor the most prevalent. Just the clearest example of a thread that doesn't quite belong here.

Anyway, I am sure I am just pissing folks off now by trying to explain. Suffice it to say that I am truly trying to work for the best interests of everyone here. I just need a bit more input from folks as to what they need.

My apologies if I sound like a giant asshole.

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Old 02-21-2006, 11:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AdinaL
With the definition of queer (for the purposes of this forum ONLY): parents who are involved in a same sex relationship, or parenting in a way in which being queer will present these challenges.

Does that make sense?
not really... :
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:02 AM
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Okay - in example form:

I ID as queer. I am bisexual, equally attracted to both men and women. I am married to a man, expecting a baby. Any parenting issues that I have are not going to involve my being queer. I don't have to have the discussion with my kids about why they have two mommies, or two daddies and a mommy, or that mommy feel like she should be a daddy, etc. My parenting issues can easily be answered by the hetero populace.

Therefore for the sake of the forum entitled Queer PARENTING - I have very little to post about. Granted that may change, but currently, me posting about my parenting issues, is pretty irrelevant? Whereas someone who has those issues impact their day to day - like you! - will likely have more threads to post that are relevant to this forum.

I was not trying to define queer for society as a whole - but for what queer PARENTING issues would encompass. Going to a gay bar to pick up a poential third for a relationship would not be a queer PARENTING issue - it would be an adult relationship issue. Telling your child that there will be another adult moving in to be a part of the relationship that the parents have - would be. Just like discussing The L Word is not a QP issue - it is a Television forum thread. Or how to go about TTC in a same sex couple would go here, but advice on TTV supplements would go in TTC.

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Old 02-22-2006, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:34 AM
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For example, two women were going back and forth once on a thread about possibly hooking up and that certainly could have been reserved for pm'ing!
That needs to be reported. That is not appropriate in any forum on MDC.

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Old 02-22-2006, 12:40 AM
 
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I dunno Adina. My kids are in school and I am openly bisexual. We discuss my bisexuality in front of the kids because it's who I am. I'm not ashamed of who I am. I do worry about what will happen one day when they tell some one at school. As with most things, it doesn't do me much good to worry about it until it happens. I won't stop being proud of who I am, or stop being vocal in my very small rural area with my children that there isn't anything wrong with who I am, or anyone else who ID's as queer.

I don't face the challenges that lesbian moms face. I don't claim to, but I have issues that are wrapped in same sex identifying that the straight women around me don't.

I'd hate to feel left out of this forum because who I am is bisexual, but what I am is married to a man.

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