Saturday, April 12, 2014

Does it really matter?

Our Family - L, C, R & Me
My adjustment to being an out and obviously queer parent, as opposed to being a passing-for-straight parent, has gone rather smoothly I'd like to think.  There have been a few shocked reactions from family and friends, some other reactions that were less than stellar, but for the most part the people in my life have taken matters in stride.  So what if I want to raise my kids with another woman, no biggie.  They can see that she loves them just as much as I do, so to them it makes no difference what her gender is.

People that we know are generally pretty awesome, and the important ones are totally supportive of our little family.  Every now and then though, we come across new folks.  The first meetings typically have people thinking L and I are sisters since we have the same general build and are both blonde and blue eyed.  Once we clarify for them, though, that we are a couple rather than siblings then that is when the questions start.  The question that is almost always the first to be asked is also the one that bothers me most:  "So, who's kids are they?"  Or, another variation that irks me, "Are you their real mom?"

Normally I stutter and stumble through answering that, because honestly there is no simple way to answer that without slighting L.  In all the ways that matter she is just as much their mother as I am.  Who cares if we weren't a couple when they were born, who cares if I was the one who pushed them out of my body instead of her, and who cares that, yes, they have a dad too and not just a sperm donor?  I mean really, in the grand scheme of things, why does any of that matter?  Not to mention, it isn't really their business anyway.

For the love of whatever you hold dear, people, please don't ask queer parents who the "real" parent is, or who the kids "belong to".  The people that you see with them, the people who are loving them and teaching them, playing with them and caring for their boo-boos, are the people who are parenting them.  It doesn't matter the technical relationship between the parent and the child, what matters is the work put into the relationship and, most of all, love.  Those parents could be one bio mom and one non-bio mom (like in our house), they could be the kids' uncle and his partner, they could be a blended family with kids from both partners, or they could be parents totally unrelated to the kids by blood because the children are adopted.  If the children are loved and well cared for, it really shouldn't make any difference who is parenting them.

L is just as much a real mother to C and R as I am; the only thing missing is genetics and legal paperwork.  And honestly those don't mean nearly as much as the love she and the kids share between them.  The next time somebody asks me who C and R's "real" mom is I'm not going to stumble anymore, the only answer they will get from me is, "Does it really matter?"

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