Saturday, March 31, 2012

Daughter of a Lesbian

Guest Post by MomIsLesbian

I’m a 30+ year old woman and my Mom is lesbian. It’s no big deal. What IS a big deal is the bravery my Mom showed in leaving my Father once she realized she loved a woman more than him. That takes some guts! Especially during a time when no one talked about homosexuality and very few even understood what it was. She knew she wasn’t “normal” and she couldn’t pretend to be someone she wasn’t. Hats off to Mom!

Unfortunately, we lived in the mid-west. When I was very young, no one spoke of homosexuality. As I got older the whole AIDS epidemic started opening up all sorts of unwanted discussion around homosexuality. In the mid-west it wasn’t safe to be “out”. So, I was asked to keep my Moms relationship with her partner (whom we lived with) a secret. Most of their families didn’t even know the truth. So, even at family gatherings, lips were sealed.
As I grew up, I watched, listened, and learned. I learned that even though society doesn’t view “difference” as something to accept and welcome, I certainly wanted to. I learned that when you’re different people aren’t very nice…therefore I certainly would be. I learned that when someone is condemned by society all they need is someone to accept them for who they are. I was certainly going to do that. In other words, what I learned was that society isn’t always right and I wanted to be the person my heart told me to be…which (oddly enough) went against what “society” wanted.

This is not to say that I rebelled and got involved in politics. No, I kept to myself for the most part. However, I had some awesome friends who were “different”. I put myself in cliques and positions that had a variety of different types of people. As I went into my professional life, I chose to do work that would make people think and look at who they are/how they treat others.
As an adult I live my life. I don’t keep my Mom’s secret anymore, but I don’t wear it like a badge of honor either. I support equality and I donate money to the HRC. I vote for people who are “different” if their platforms make sense to me.

On the topic of Gay Marriage
Today, my biggest concern is the legalities of my Mom’s relationship. As my 2 Moms age, I need to be able to make decisions for them. I have no legal rights to do anything for my “Step-Mom”. My Moms have no automatic legal rights to make decisions for each other. They have to carry around Power of Attorney papers and make sure they are accessible if needed. My Moms Love each other and will spend the rest of their lives together as though they were married. However, the law doesn’t recognize that and will not allow them to take care of each other the way my Husband and I will. This is a problem that needs to be fixed. I want my Moms to have the same legal and social rights that my Husband and I have.

On the topic of Sex
I watch the gay community from inside and out. I have always been able to see both perspectives. One thing that has always bothered me is that the gay community makes homosexuality about sex. The more “in your face” sex you throw at the people, the more they will rebel against that. It’s not about sex anyway. Yes, it’s about choosing who your sexual partner is, but more than that…it’s about love. It’s about loving someone deeply, having that connection and being able to show that by holding hands, kissing in the park and being there for each other as you want to be. To me, it just seems like many homosexuals are trying to push the envelope more than it needs to be pushed. Show love, not sex and I’ll bet society would be more accepting as a whole.


  1. I always appreciate new perspectives on this blog and I think there is great value in hearing others experiences, too. I am also glad to hear that you still have such a wonderful relationship with your mom (and your 'step-mom' by association).

    I'm curious, though, if perhaps you could offer some clarification on your last paragraph.

    If I'm honest, I kind of take issue with it. I think our society and culture is extremely sexualized and, perhaps, because you don't relate to homosexuality personally, you may just notice comments about, allusions to, and images of gay sexuality more. That perhaps they stick out more because they are not part of the main stream.

    When I watch the television or a movie, open a magazine, or read a book, 99 percent of the time I am seeing the sexualization of women and heterosexuality is thrown in my face. I understand that is the majority of the society we live in and are party to.

    If I'm honest, gay-centered media do us little justice when it comes to portraying the average gay - especially gay men. We aren't all muscle gods, we don't fuck everyone we come in contact with, and we certainly don't start undressing ourselves for a quickie in the alley.

    Most of us just want to find love. To love and to be love are essential part of the human condition and physical expression is merely an extension of that love.

    Anyway, if you could share specific examples that you feel are 'pushing the envelope too much,' I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks for contributing.

    1. Also, to quote Jo, I really wish we could edit our comments. I hate how many typos I missed. Ugh.

  2. I think it's very good that you could support your mom and step-mom, and chose things you could do in your life to support diversity. The points your brought up about marriage and legalities are important, too. That's something I wish those who are anti-marriage equality for their own moral reasons would take into consideration. If people choose to spend their lives together, regardless of what others think of that choice, their rights should be protected.

    I'm wondering about the last section, though. People in my family have made comments like, "I don't care if they're gay, I just wish they wouldn't make an issue about it." But when I walk through a store or a park, I never see gay couples holding hands, or kissing, or even acting like a couple. And I do live in the Utah bubble, so diversity is a bit limited here. But my gay friends are always very discreet and subtle because they don't generally feel safe being themselves. If they're BYU students, showing even limited affection to a partner could result in losing their place in school or even their degree. At the very least, they risk hateful comments or actions by others who think their lifestyle is wrong. So, it kind of is an issue because the straight community has turned it into an issue.

    Maybe I missed your point completely. i would love some clarification about that last part, though. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Hey MJ and Tiffany,

    Thanks for reading and commenting. Here's my clarification. I do see the media oversexualizing the LGBT community a lot and that's not something the community can control. Much of what the community does IS under each individual persons control. Many of the gay pride parades and social networks are where I see what I would call the "raunchy" side of homosexuality. There's a place for that and it's totally cool to be that way in your own home or even sometimes in public. I see no problem with that. It just doesn't help the cause to constantly talk about sex, use foul language, flash people and wear, what many people would deem "sexually deviant", clothing in public gay gatherings. This is the part I object to. I've attended pride parades where this kind of oversexualization gets out of hand and I think it's unnecessary. This is the kind of thing that feeds the media. My perspective is, PRIDE isn't about sex. It's about being proud of who you are and owning it. Sex and Sexual Preference do not define a human being.

    As someone who is part of the gay Twitter community, I can't tell you how many profiles I've seen with naked pics, foul language, and every tweet is about the drugs, sex and alcohol parties they attended the night before. I'm not denying anyone the right to take part in these activities, but I don't think it helps the cause to make this the focus of being gay. I see a lot of people doing this.

    I absolutely love it when there's a TV show (Like "Smash") that shows gay couples who are dating, in love or long-time partners kissing, holding hands, showing affection and even a tastefully done sex scene. That doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I think that's a great thing, because it does keep up with the portrayal of heterosexual relationships on screen.

    I do think there is a unfair double standard here though. In order to keep equal rights moving forward, I do feel these "public display" situations need to be curbed. At the same time, I know there are many heterosexuals who do the same thing and it's no big deal. The thing is, they already have the rights the LGBT community is fighting for. Therefore, as a group fighting for your rights, you have to be more aware of what you are putting into the world. If you are going to make it about being gay, make it about being in love as a gay person...not having sex. Own who you are as a person, a human being, and citizen of this country. Let that define who you are and it will be an even bigger statement as to why you deserve equal rights. That's all I'm saying.

  4. Thanks for responding and I can see some of your points. I started responding but then decided I need a new idea for a blog post for next week since I glitterbombed all of the ideas I had in my head into today's post. Ha! Thanks.