please explain - Mothering Forums
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Queer Parenting > please explain
Israel's Avatar Israel 04:23 AM 04-05-2003
Hello everyone. Maybe someone can explain this to me....

How do lesbian/gay couples reconcile their gay lifestyle and children? If you choose to not be in a heterosexual relationship, why do you choose to seek the fruit of heterosexual realtions, i.e. children? Does this not seem an unnatural act?

Nicke's Avatar Nicke 02:43 PM 04-05-2003
Well, maybe you can explain to me what is so unnatural about wanting to love and nurture a child, regardless the parents choice for a life partner?
Mallory's Avatar Mallory 02:51 PM 04-05-2003
Seems kind of strange for a first post doesn't it?:
Elphaba's Avatar Elphaba 02:55 PM 04-05-2003
fruit of heterosexual relations?

come on queer mamas, where are you?
Nicke's Avatar Nicke 02:59 PM 04-05-2003
Originally posted by Mallory
Seems kind of strange for a first post doesn't it?:
I thought so too.
tara's Avatar tara 03:20 PM 04-05-2003
tara smells a troll. tara won't play.
Rachel Fox's Avatar Rachel Fox 03:21 PM 04-05-2003
Seems kind of strange for a first post doesn't it?

I concur!
Israel's Avatar Israel 04:38 PM 04-05-2003
Without a doubt I will tell you that I do have more conservative views on this. I am not ashamed of that. I am not a "troll" but I am interested in the thought process behind gay parenting. WIth so much emphasis on being "natural" in mothering magazine and these boards, I find it interesting that there is advocacy of extremely intense medical intervention in an unnatural way (i.e. conception via test tubes,etc. in a medical office is not a natural act). I think it is a cultural lie that we convince everyone that we are all equal with equal roles. Example, I as a male cannot give birth and role of dad is different than mom! Equality is definite, but we are not equal in roles. Difference in roles does not mean one is better or worse. We are taught to embrace "cultural diversity," yet everyone stands on their heads and screams at the mere metion that there is a difference between men and women. I am trying to understand the liberal mindset on these boards and thought I would be honest about what I believe and ask a question. Please tell me that you all are not "tollerant" as long as everyone is equally liberal???? My wife and I get mothering magazine but some of what I see seems entirely anti-healthy child raising. THis is my viewpoint, not necessarily that of my wifes. SHe can speak for herself.
I am looking for some balanced discussion on issues where obviously there is a differnce in opinion.
tara's Avatar tara 04:41 PM 04-05-2003
Hmmmm... So you come here and tell us you think gay parenting is unnatural, unhealthy and unequal and then want balanced discussion? Sorry, Israel. That does not feel to me like a respectful beginning to a discussion. I'm still not going to play.
aolwife's Avatar aolwife 05:03 PM 04-05-2003
Ideally, if we lived in groups and villages where each person contributed to the good of society and everyone did what they could to make sure EVERYONE was taken care of it would only matter if you could love a child unconditionally. If we were truly a loving society, all the children who are not being taken care of properly in our country would be. If we didn't care about sexuality maybe all the babies in daycare for 10 hours a day while both parents work could be in a home with a loving adult.

There are so many children out here who are in bad situations and I'm not just talking about the poor. There are more heterosexuals who go through extreme medical practices going against nature just to have a baby that they will put in daycare in 6 weeks. There are single mothers who can't qualify for state daycare who shuffle their children from babysitter to babysitter, some of whom they've never met, just so they can work enough to pay rent and put food on the table.

I personally do not believe in technical baby making (test tube babies, IVF) but I only express my opinion through life choices. I do however believe that gay couples should have the opportunity to raise a child. I am in the process of contributing to a situation where a gay couple will have the chance to bring a child into this world. I am very proud to be a part of this and I think this couple will give me a run for my "best mommy of the year" competition!
cynthia mosher's Avatar cynthia mosher 06:16 PM 04-05-2003
This thread was removed from the board for my review to make sure the discussion was acceptable for the board. Though I am concerned about a new member posting such a question and I have made that clear in this thread, I think this is a discussion that can be had respectfully and some may wish to take part in it, as aolwife has demonstrated in her post.

However, I totally understand the feeling that this is an inflammatory topic question with prejudicial intent and some of you may not want to be involved in it. We will be moderating it carefully and will step in if any inappropriateness occurs. If you note such before we do please let us know.

Peace everyone

Edited to add: If most of you here in the QPing community feel uncomfortable with this discussion please let us know. I am more concerned about the members of our community than I am the interests of a new member and won't hesitate to remove this discussion if that is what you'd prefer.
mplsmom's Avatar mplsmom 07:46 PM 04-05-2003
Thank you, Cynthia,
Israel, I am wondering if you posted similar questions in the infertility area, the multiples section (most multiples are concieved with much more 'unnatural' means than most of our childen are) and in the single parents area?? If not, why??

I am a pediatric registered nurse. Before I even thought of becoming a parent, I took care of several children of gay and lesbian parents while they were ill in the hospital. The first child was born to young straight parents, he had multiple medical problems. His birth parnents gave him up to a gay couple, they could not handle the demans of his needs. This childs dads are great. Every one loves this child, and his family. The child has so much more to expect from life because of his dads. Througout his multiple, long hospital stays, one parent was always with him - to comfort him, read to him, what ever the child needed.
The second child has two moms. She became very ill with a serious, but very curable illness, requiring a week's stay in the hospital. Her brother was cared for by friend, so both of her mom's could be with her. Again, this child was healed with help from the love and support of her moms and community.
I now work in peri-natal nursing, taking care of premature and sick babies. You would be quite amazed to see what some straight people go thru to have babbies.
I thought for many years before I had a child. Most of us do not have 'woops, I pregnant, now what' experiences. Our children are chosen, wanted, cherrished. That is a lot more than I can say about many of the children in this world.
Israel's Avatar Israel 01:31 AM 04-06-2003
No I didn't post this question in the infertility forums, etc. b/c that was not so much my intent. Though since you do ask I do have extreme reservations regarding, as aolwife said, "Baby making." In that process multiple babies are made but only one is kept and to me that does make sense. One of our friends just had in-vitro fertilization and her little baby is pretty darn cute! Sad to think of the embryos that were tossed though. That is just my opinion though b/c I think life is pretty sacred. When so many children need to be adopted it, personally, I am saddened by the loss of life it creates. As I stated in my other post I am trying to gain insight/understanding into my sister who is gay and suddenly wants a child.

My wife says I have jumped into things too quickly without introducing myself. maybe we can talk about not immunizing...? Our family is upset that we go that route.

Originally posted by mplsmom
Thank you, Cynthia,
Israel, I am wondering if you posted similar questions in the infertility area, the multiples section (most multiples are concieved with much more 'unnatural' means than most of our childen are) and in the single parents area?? If not, why??


mplsmom's Avatar mplsmom 01:41 AM 04-06-2003
"As I stated in my other post I am trying to gain
insight/understanding into my sister who is gay and suddenly wants a child."

Ok Israel, I understand now.
Why do you want (or have) children??
sandy's family's Avatar sandy's family 05:09 AM 04-06-2003
It sounds as though Israel your real issues are with the fact you have a sister who is a lesbian. I'm wondering if you have even asked your sister the questions you have presented here? I wonder if you have talked to your sister at all about her being a lesbian or has your religious beliefs kept you from listening? I doubt she wants your approval. If she knows you and respects your beliefs she would not expect it, however, Im sure she wishes to be respected for her decisions in her life and if that includes a family then try to open your mind and listen. Without all the issues about wasted embryos and all you have to at least think about all the children born unwanted by even one straight parent because of careless sexual encounter. Your sister wants to bring a child into the world already wanted and loved. That's really what having a child is about. The rest is all about our own inabilities to understand.
JessicaS's Avatar JessicaS 09:05 AM 04-06-2003
I am not homosexual but I have some feelings about this.

I think of all the children born unplanned or wanted to couples that do not even like each other by the time the child is born, children born unloved, unappreciated and it is pretty hard to feel negative about a loving couple who wish very much for a child and must work very hard to become pregnant.

I have a friend who was raised by same sex parents and she is a thoughtful, kind person who is well liked and respected by many. I wish there was more people in the world like her.

I think it is great. I wish them all the joy in the world.
mplsmom's Avatar mplsmom 09:32 PM 04-06-2003
Israel, Have you been able to focus your thoughts you??
Do you have a problem with your sister being a Lesbian?
Do you have a problem with others being gay or lesbian??
Do you have a problem with people other than a married man and woman having children?
Do you have a problem with people creating children when there are so many children who need homes??
Does homosexuality conflict with your political or religios beflies??

I am willing to talk about this issue, more for your sister's benifit than for your's.

Here are some web sites that you will want to visit in your journey.
alexa07's Avatar alexa07 02:19 AM 04-07-2003

I am not a lesbian and am raising two daughters in a fairly traditional way (married to DH). But I do not even understand your question. I love being a parent to my two DD's. It is certainly nice to co-parent with someone who is as biolgically connected to your kids as you, but its only a very small part of it.

Wanting to nurture another life has, as far as I could possibly see, no connection to one's sexual preference. Wanting a child who is biologically connected to you also seems to have no connection to one's preference, except it is of course harder if you are not in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. Just as it would be harder if you were in a relationship with someone who could not have biological children. But lots of things are harder in life for some people, it doesn't mean there is anything wrong with wanting them or taking the extra steps that might be necessary to get them.
bunny's mama's Avatar bunny's mama 03:10 AM 04-07-2003
i find this whole thread upsetting and out of place on these boards, especially as introduced by a new member.

i began to write a long and sincere reply to isreal's questions, but stopped and erased it because i don't see the need for anyone here to be in a position to have to defend why two loving individuals want to have children together. it's just that simple.

this has always (well, almost always) been a safe, supportive forum for queer parents. IMO, that's how it should stay.

and isreal, it's not about censoring you because you have a different viewpoint.
sandy's family's Avatar sandy's family 03:13 AM 04-07-2003
If you can't try to help the blind ignorance of others , opinions will never change. I say let him ask and educate him.
Amazlilith's Avatar Amazlilith 01:23 PM 04-07-2003

What you must first and foremost realize is that we did not choose to be lesbians. We are who we are because that is what we were born to be. Children are not in anyway associated with only heterosexuality. That need to be a parent and to raise a child is inherent in some of our blood.

If you are trying to understand your sister, LISTEN to her. No one is saying that you have to agree, but you need to try and understand. What you will lose in the end is your sister and your niece or nephew. And that would be a tragedy. My family is also very conservative and close-minded. With them it has come down to they will NEVER meet my daughter, they will only get to see her in pictures.

Although, there are some families that had medical help in creating a family. There are those of us who have adopted and other who have had no medical intervention. In no way are any of these children "unnaturally" created. The children of Lesbian and Gay are some of the MOST WANTED children.

Being conservative does not mean that you need to have blinders on to the world. It doesn't mean that you need to be insensitive to the humans around you. Be open to the world, learn, and make informed choices on what you believe.

Also, a piece of advice. When you are looking for answers on a board for a specific group, you would do well not to insult them. You would get a better response.

Just some food for thought....
tara's Avatar tara 01:45 PM 04-07-2003
Thanks to the mamas here who have reached deep to respond thoughtfully and respectfully on this thread...
adinal's Avatar adinal 02:31 PM 04-07-2003
Hmmm...there are so many things that I want to say.

I am bi - but in a committed relationship with a man - that was just how it turned out. I want children. I am also in the process of trying to conceive my first - for the last year. I am starting the long an arduous process of trying to figure out why I am not conceiving. This has been completely heartbreaking as every month af shows up. If I had ended up with a woman, I would still want a child. I would still be going through this process. Nothing would have changed except the gender of my partner.

I guess the idea that just because you can't conceive naturally that there is something anti-healthy about how you proceed really irks me. Or that to subscribe to a natural parenting philosophy you must be heterosexual, and conceive only through having intercourse. Fact is, natural parenting is really on the fringes of what society considers normal. And most of the folks who practice it are also on the fringes of what society considers normal. Not saying all, we have a whole lot of fairly conservative, mainstream folks here. But the point is that everyone on this board loves their children, or children to be, and that really is the most important ingredient ot having them. I guarantee when I finally get pregnant and have a baby - the fact that the Clomid made me a little nuts is going to be the last thing on my mind.

It isn't about how you conceive, or who you choose to raise a family with, or IF you choose to raise a family with anyone at all. It is about wanting a child and wanting to love a child.
madison's Avatar madison 04:32 PM 04-07-2003
Thank you, Cynthia, for setting some ground rules.

That being said, I will go ahead and post my thoughts.

I am a single mother by choice, and a lesbian, due in July with my much anticipated first child, conceived via donor insemination. I could not be more excited and utterly delighted!

I can see you are operating from some assumptions that I would say, based on my personal experience, are false assumptions. I know many people who operate from your world view (as I perceive it) and get these questions occassionally, so I'd be honored if you'd listen to my side of the story.

The first false assumption in your post, based on my experience and that of my friends/acquaintences, is that everyone is heterosexual by biology and choice. That is not true. There is a wide variety of orientations that fall along a continuum, both in human nature and the animal kingdom. Same sex orientation and affectual connection are a natural part of the continuum, though an admittedly small percentage. The percentages range between 1 and 10% of the population, depending on which study you look at. But almost all studies/scientists/psychologists (and queer people, lol) etc agree that there DOES exist a natural population of same sex oriented people, both male and female. This is my belief.

The second false assumption in your post, is that there is a "gay lifestyle", as if we all lived and acted the same both sexually and just in life in general. Unlike religious groups, or races, or tribes or socio-economic groups etc, which share either a racial make up or common belief system or social status, the ONLY thing gay & lesbian folks have in common is their orientation (the fact that we fall in love with people of the same gender). That's IT. We have no common religion, no common race, no common socio-economic group, no common cultural shared group beliefs. There is such a huge variety! By saying "your gay lifestyle" - it's just limiting and assumes we all party and screw around and are only interrested in having sex with whomever we can as often as we can. That's incredibly insulting and, well, just plain ignorant of the complexities of real life, and reduces me to a characture. There is no gay lifestyle. I have a real life. I am a real person. I am not reducible to a stereotype. I know why there IS a stereotype - ie gay men are party boys and lesbians are macho dykes who wear lots of plaid shirts - is because 1) some gay men ARE party boys and some lesbians do wear plaid, lol and 2) reducing real people to stereotypes makes others feel safe.

The third false assumption in your post is that I CHOOSE not to be in a heterosexual relationship with a man. Even if I DID get together with a man, it still would never be a hetero relationship, because my nature is not hetero! I am biologically female and biologically lesbian. That is the way my brain is wired. I am not interrested in men. I find nothing attractive about them, though I love many of them as friends and family members. I AM attracted to women, the same way you are attracted to the opposite sex. I find my emotional fulfillment in women who are wired biologically just like me (and not all of them, to be sure, lol, I'm picky). I do not choose not to be hetero. I AM not. I choose to be who I really am. I choose to live an honest life, not living a lie pretending to be something I'm not.

As to the "fruit of a heterosexual relationship" - hmmm. What an odd way to put it. I believe your assumption here is that only a man and woman, married and committed to one another, are capable and elected to raise biological children, and that families should be limited to only those families that "qualify" under your very limited definition of a nuclear family. In my point of view, a family is a much broader term. It encompasses extended family, "chosen" family , god-parents, guardians, step-families, multi-generational families, adoptive families, etc. My term for family encompasses much more than ONLY the nuclear family. Some children are lucky that they have nice nuclear families with a mom, dad and kids. That does not mean children who are being raised in other family systems are losing out! Just because your biological "private parts" fit together easily does not mean you are a good parent or potential parent.

Parenting means much more than the ability to have sex and produce a biological offspring! In gay & lesbian families, there are no "oops" babies (except in gay-straight couples where one "comes out" after being married & a parent). Every child is a much wanted and planned for child. No one "accidently" becomes a parent. For lesbians, the path to parenthood is biologically easier, since it usually only involves a source of sperm. For gay men, the path is more difficult and always involves outside sources - like an adoption agency, social workers, surrogate agencies & counselors, foster-care social workers etc. With all the "hoops" gay men have to jump through to have kids, you can bet that 1) only the serious dads will follow through and 2) those kids are very, very wanted & planned for and well taken care of. Just because a man & woman have the capability to have sex and produce children does not mean in any way that those people are going to be good parents. Likewise, just because two men or two women do not have "complimentary" private parts does not disqualify them from being good parents. A good parent is full of love, compassion and knowledge, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Regarding "parenting being an unnatural act" for a gay or lesbian person. Why does who you fall in love with matter in parenting? A parent is a parent, not a partner or spouse. The roles are completely different. Why would nurturing and caring for a child be affected by your orientation at all? I can see the concern/assumption is that queer people, usually implied to be gay men, are pedophiles. Sorry, but most pedophiles are straight married men who molest their own children. Statistically, the most dangerous person to a child is his/her own biological father. Parenting is a very natural act for those with the temperment, regardless of orientation or gender. I know wonderful gay & lesbian parents and absolutely crappy straight parents. A more useful way of determining if a parent is a good one is HOW they are with kids, rather than WHO they are and who they fall in love with. A natural act is to nurture if you are a nurturing person, regardless of orientation. A natural parent (noun), one with the personality to undertake such a mission, will naturally want to parent (verb), regardless of their orientation.

Also, regarding "natural" parenting - I'm assuming YOU assume "natural" conception to be defined as intercourse only, and all other variations (donor insemination, IVF etc) are "unnatural" because they are not intercourse. Well, it all basically comes down to an egg and a sperm in the end, doesn't it? Regardless of HOW what get's where. Doesn't get much more natural than that. I am personally exceedingly grateful to my donor for helping me to conceive my child!

I hope this helps you understand a different world veiw, a different paradigm.
Kelly71's Avatar Kelly71 04:43 PM 04-07-2003
Beautifully said.
madison's Avatar madison 04:44 PM 04-07-2003
Ah, I didn't see that Israel has a lesbian sister who wants kids.

Now the questions make a bit more sense and have a context!

Israel, your sister is (I'm assuming) just a person with a loving heart who wants to nurture and parent a child, same as any person who desires that path in life.

My advice would be to focus on her heart, not her orientation.

It's great having nephews and neices Best wishes to you and to your sister as you travel this journey.

Irishmommy's Avatar Irishmommy 06:24 PM 04-07-2003
Well said Madison.
Clarity's Avatar Clarity 06:40 PM 04-07-2003
PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.) This is the section on Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parenting.
Support for family members of people who are gay. Includes books and links to local resources. Many, many people struggle with a number of issues like yours.
Their publication, particularly look at Faith in Our Families: Parents, Families & Friends Talk About Religion & Homosexuality.

All I can add is that I never thought about the desire to parent being linked to someone's sexuality...there are very sexual straight people with no desire or ability to parent, celibate people who parent -- I just don't see that they are related. Any trip to Walmart or daytime television talk show shows me that ability to reproduce, and ability to parent, are not linked.
Lucky Charm's Avatar Lucky Charm 07:46 PM 04-07-2003
I am not entirely sure i like Israels tone in the OP.

I am not gay, and am happily married to a great guy, and have no gay siblings or cousins. my mom does have two dear friends who are lesbians, and have recently adopted a precious boy. the gay couples that i have known love each other and are committed to each other in the same way my husband and i are. and i am a very conservative person, but i never doubt their feelings for a minute! of course, like all couples in love, it makes sense to me that they would want to have a baby! and the gay couple my mom is friends with.....they are the best "mommies" a child could ever want. they so love their child, and adore him, just like i do my own.
simonee's Avatar simonee 07:58 PM 04-07-2003
I don't understand why Israel connects an individual's role as a parent with that person's sexual/social preferences... :

Aren't they 2 virtually unrelated things? Like asking why 2 people with blond hair would want children while we all know that most people have black hair...

Of course, interventionless child-producing intercourse is heterosexual, but I don't see what that has to do with it... By implying that only a child borne from such interventionless heterosexual intercourse is "valid," you basically suggests that adoption is wrong, too. Or stepparenthood...

I understand that it can be hard to be "confronted" with a sister who just came out. But Israel, remember that it's probably much harder for her than for you, esp if you were raised with the same biases. She probably wants a child for the same reason most parents do: because she has a tremendous amount of love to give. I hope you'll be able to open up to her.
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