Archive | January, 2008

Where the diaper meets the road

images Part five of a six-part series of excerpts from “Confessions of a Lesbian Dad,” originally published in Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-biological Lesbian Moms Tell All (Ed. Harlyn Aizley. Boston: Beacon, 2006).

[Series intro and backstory here.]

The birth of our child was a lot easier than I thought it would be. On me, that is. It helped a great deal that the birth went fast and without real complication, aided in no small part by Jennifer’s tremendous focus and breath capacity (figures: she’s an opera singer). Lindy, our midwife, quipped, “It looked like you were giving birth to a stick of warm butter.” I had been bracing for anything, since of course that’s what always can happen.

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Gestation: Baba goes to Pride

images Part four of a six-part series of excerpts from “Confessions of a Lesbian Dad,” originally published in Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-biological Lesbian Moms Tell All (Ed. Harlyn Aizley. Boston: Beacon, 2006).

[Series intro and backstory here.]

Happy as a clam was I, when I went to my first LGBT Pride Celebration as a soon-to-be Baba with my now-pregnant sweetie. I was, I dare say, prouder at that Pride than I’d been since I went to my first one more than twenty years back. And there have been some doozies. New York’s twentieth anniversary of Stonewall. DC’s twenty-fifth. Dyke Marches in three — no, make that four cities. One of which I helped lead, unpermitted, through city streets (in fact, that’s how I snagged the mother of my child, but that’s a story for another day). Now here I was, erstwhile lesbo rabble-rouser turned soon-to-be-lesbo dad. I had me a name: Baba. We had us a peanut in Jennifer’s belly, and she was starting to show.

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Conception

images Part three of a six-part series of excerpts from “Confessions of a Lesbian Dad,” originally published in Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-biological Lesbian Moms Tell All (Ed. Harlyn Aizley. Boston: Beacon, 2006).

[Series intro and backstory here.]

I confess: coming up with the name “Baba” for my kind of parent — a kind of Mama-Papa hybrid — didn’t dampen my worries about being expendable, unnecessary, adjunct, optional, and otherwise of lesser significance to the whole baby-hatching scheme. Conceiving of isn’t believing, in other words. Being situated in the fluid space between the massive and massively charted continents Mother and Father, while right for me, gender-wise and parental role-wise, still left me bobbing around in an unmapped sea. I could have used an anchor, which I imagined our child would be. But until the little nipper materialized, I felt easily threatened. And it wasn’t just by my partner’s easy identification as the biomom. I was just as tempest-toss’d by the breezy nonchalance with which fatherly authority could be conferred, by friends and strangers alike, upon our donor chums.

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Baba, a name I call myself

images Part two of a six-part series of excerpts from “Confessions of a Lesbian Dad,” originally published in Confessions of the Other Mother: Non-biological Lesbian Moms Tell All (Ed. Harlyn Aizley. Boston: Beacon, 2006).

 

[Series intro and backstory here.]

A few months after I outed myself as a butchy lesbian not-mom at a family dinner party, my old grad school comrade was visiting. Susanne — German, feminist, hippie, vegetarian, and now New Orleans-based professor — is the classic Straight-But-Far-From-Narrow hetero ally. For years she resisted getting married — for solidarity purposes — until her lack of a green card was going to boot her out of the country. When she did marry, it was during the intermission of a Grateful Dead concert, and the service was conducted by a 19 year-old gal deputized by her mother, the local Justice of the Peace. Over ten years later she and David continue to call each other “partner.”

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