While there are more and more LGBTQ families than ever, thanks to changing societal norms, advances in IVF and IUI treatment and the fact that there are just more people in the world than ever, there are still questions that people have. That people ask or want to ask. People are curious about things that are different and while LGBT families have been around for a while, het and cis families are definitely the norm.
I personally am okay with most questions and I’ve been asked a lot of questions over the past fifteen months. And not just from straight people either, I’ve been asked questions by people in the LGBTQ community too because we’re at the forefront of some serious change here, making families and lives that are out in the open without fear or prejudice (eventually) and being LGBTQ doesn’t immediately make you an expert on how to do that.
Not everyone likes being asked questions, and there are some questions even I don’t like being asked. Some shouldn’t really be asked but I understand that most questions are because of a lack of understanding rather than complete ignorance. Some are just because people can be complete jerks.
So below, here some commonly questions of LGBTQ families and the answers.
Who’s The Dad/Mum?
Um, no one? This is quite common, along with who is the man/woman in the relationship. I find some cis people find a lot of comfort in their pre-conceived gender roles but you wouldn’t ask that of a single parent. We are both of the female sex so we’re both mummies. There is no dad, that’s how it works. No husband, no dad, no man. Just a cis lesbian woman and a bisexual genderfluid individual raising a little crocodile. We fulfil both roles but we don’t need to be a dad to do that.
Who’s The Real Mum/Dad?
Er, we both are. Using the world real invalidates me as the non-biological parent – the person who did not donate any genetic material to this endeavour but was no less part of the process of conception and birth. This is the one that hurts the most. I don’t mind being asked who carried the baby, and there may be some dads out there who don’t mind being asked which on of them donated the sperm. It depends on how comfortable you are talking about. For me, I’m happy to talk about it but not everyone is.
Is The Dad/Mum Involved?
Again, this is different for everyone. Some couples may want the donor involved in some way, but for most people, they don’t want or need a third person involved. Snappy does not know the donor but seeing as he is a family friend he may meet him eventually and he’ll know his ‘biological‘ cousins. I’m not sure what we’ll tell him when he gets older, probably that this man is part of him in some way, that he helped us make him, he and his wife (our friend’s sister).
What Does Your Kid Call You/What Do You Call Yourselves?
I don’t mind this one so much, it kinda makes sense and this one changes depending on the couple. For me and bethend, it varies. When we’re speaking Welsh, bethend refers to herself as ‘mammy’, and she often called me podge mummy. I tend to refer to us both as ‘mummy’, and sometimes I do call myself podge mummy. Eventually, Snappy will settle into what he wants or needs to call us, whatever sticks. It happens with grandparents a lot. Despite her best attempts to change it our friend’s mum is called gaga, my nephew calls one grandad ‘Gaia’, one grandad ‘dap‘ and my dad his other granddad, ‘grandad Phil‘. Maybe I will always be podge mummy. Maybe Snappy will call me something else entirely. Only time will tell and this is just us. The next couple you come across will be entirely different.
How Did You Do It?
I’ve been asked this by a few people. One colleague asked because this may affect his daughter in the future. One colleague asked.because her cousin did the same thing but wouldn’t tell her anything and she was dying to know. My mother in law asked because she was interested in how we made her first grandchild. We’ve told the story and the circumstances to couples who are looking to do the same thing. Some people are genuinely curious, some people are plain nosy. Most people have good intentions. Like I said when all your life you’ve been told that it takes a man and a woman to make a family you’re naturally going to be interested in how it’s done.
Will You Be Upset If They’re Straight/Gay/Trans?
I think this one is a bit redundant perhaps. Surely the people least likely to be upset with a kid’s sexuality/gender are the people who are already LGBTQ? I would never judge anyone for their choices, let along the way they were born, more so it was my own kid. It’s one of the stranger questions, to be honest.
Got Any Questions?
Ask me anything. I’m pretty much willing to answer most questions about most things really. If I wasn’t willing to talk about stuff I wouldn’t a blog and a big mouth. So if you have any questions leave them in the comments below or if you’d prefer, email me via our contact page.
For a list of LGBTQ terms check out my Queer Lexicon 101.