If you want to feel more gay, get pregnant

When I started this blog more than a year ago, I planned to write about getting pregnant and becoming a gay parent. But that story ended up being a book – a long one. Instead, this blog became a bunch of stuff about being a gay parent.

But, now I have a problem. The more I gay parent, the less gay it seems. These days, it mostly just seems like parenting, unless I kiss Pam in a public place in front of our kids. That still feels pretty gay.

And speaking of kissing people in front of strangers, we should keep doing that because sometimes it can result in national television coverage, which is great promotion for your blog if you happen to be a black, gay NFL football player. And also because people are still surprised if you’re gay and black and a football player all at the same time.

But other people don’t seem to care anymore if you are gay. Or, at least, my dad doesn’t.

“Stop telling people you are gay. No one cares if you are gay. Talk about something that matters, like the sage grouse in Wyoming,” he said.

My dad is a biologist, so his marginalized group is the sage grouse. I understand. They have rights to fight for, namely their own legitimized breeding ground. I can relate. But we are getting off track here.

My original point was about whether or not I’m feeling particularly gay. I’m not.

And as you may have already anticipated, this conversation, which was happening mostly with myself at this point because my dad is sick of talking about being gay, continued in my head. If I wasn’t feeling particularly gay right now, then when did I feel really gay? In 1997.

I was wearing men’s shoes a lot back then, and I had short hair. But then, more than 10 years later, I got pregnant and I felt super gay. I looked really straight, but I felt really gay.

This is me (right) feeling really gay. And my friend Carol (left) also feeling gay, but in the happy meaning of the word.

This is me (right) feeling really gay. And my friend Carol (left) also feeling gay, but only in the happy sense of the word.

There has been no other time in my life when people inquired more about “my husband” or searched my left hand more often for a wedding ring. But I was neither married nor heterosexual. But all of the assumptions started making me feel more self-conscious about being gay. So, I felt more like I needed to announce it to people which, I’m guessing, is around the time when my dad started feeling irritated by my constantly announcing that I was gay.

I suppose the moral of the story is that things have changed. (Is that a moral?) To feel gay, I used to need to look gay. And now it’s the opposite. If I want to feel really gay, I just need to act or look really straight. So next weekend, I’m going to have a spa day with my girlfriends, shave my legs, get my nails done and really gay it up. Just don’t tell my dad.

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The Hunt for Red October. Actually for sperm, but that doesn’t sound as cool or involve a missile.

When I was in junior high, they never explained what to do if you wanted to have a baby and you didn’t have a man in your life. Or sperm. Or at least a man whose sperm you wanted to get in the regular way. I definitely have men in my life. I love men. But we’ll talk about that later. My point is that I didn’t have a man in my life whose sperm I could have by just asking nicely.

So, after we decided to have a baby, we needed to find a way to get some sperm. Most couples don’t have this problem. At least that’s what I thought until I found that almost 10% of couples experience infertility problems. But 100% of lesbians experience infertility problems, if you count both of them together as a couple, which most people do, but some people do not. But that’s up to the Supreme Court to decide right now. Do you see how confusing this is? Let’s move on.

We needed sperm. That was obvious. And we weren’t the only ones that had noticed. My uncle did, too. He called me one night around my birthday in 2007. This is a man, whom I love, who is so full of love that he can almost never contain himself. His love is especially hard to contain when he’s had a few adult beverages and he’s on the phone with you and it’s your birthday.

I picked up the phone.

“Happy birthday. Are you going to have kids?” he says.

Do I know you? Oh. It’s Uncle Bernie.

“We are thinking about it.”

I cringed. I had already said too much! I shouldn’t have said anything. I thought about slamming down the phone. Faking a bad connection. He had a cheap cell phone. I could blame it on him.

But the door was open, and he unabashedly walked through it.

You should. Best thing that ever happened to me, he said. He knew a woman who wanted to have a child so she just went to a bar one night when she was ovulating (we ladies, we know these things using our supreme powers of intuition) and picked up a guy, and boom had a baby. You could do that, my uncle offered. It was inexpensive. And there would be lots of men who would be up for the task, he assured me.

I tried to picture it. But I doubted that it would work. Allow me to list the reasons:

1. Denver doesn’t have any bars. OK, that is a lie. But I didn’t know where any of them were. Especially ones with slutty, fertile men.

2. I would have to learn how to pick up men at said bars. That would take practice, and I didn’t have much time. I might have to take a picking-up-men-at-bars class and that would cost money. Wasted, I might add because I probably would only use those skills one other time, when I wanted to have another baby.

3. It might be really hard to track down the same slutty, fertile guy using only his first name and a foggy, well-drink induced memories of our one-night stand, if I wanted to have a second baby.

4. (And this is probably the most important one.) Pam would not let me.

So, this option was out. Next?


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