My partner and I have been wanting to make our own family for some time now and over the last few years we've been trying, in my body. I am a 40 year old non-binary queer that has lived in Oakland since the late 90s. As it turns out, trying to make a human in your body can be quite challenging. Below is a short synopsis of our process.
At the beginning of 2019, a handful of states across the country began adopting new and progressive laws similar to New Jersey’s Babs Siperstein law. Among other benefits, this change provides a non-binary option for parents to select on the birth certificates of their newborns. Germany took a progressive leap and recently upgraded birth certificates including the option for intersex as well as the option to eliminate sex identifiers all together. These recent changes in the codification of live birth legal documentation suggest a unique surge may soon flood the mainstream- one that will invariably influence the timely erosion of rigidly held stereotypes within our gender-binary-obsessed society.
In an article titled ‘Pride beyond parades: How the LGBTQ celebration is enjoyed around the US’, journalist Elizabeth Wallace explores alternative Pride events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising.
Never before have conversations about sexual harassment and violence been so commonplace. Around the world, feminists are declaring that they #BelieveWomen and women are telling their #MeToo stories. Despite a wave of fierce backlash to the feminist movement, we have broken the silence around the interpersonal and systemic violence that so frequently faces women, female-bodied, queer and trans people.
But I can’t help but notice a huge blind spot around birth.
I wonder what would happen if breastfeeders — those willing and able — shook loose their trendy yet staid suckling sheets. Let's really consider the benefits of beholding, not blanketing, baby's inherent and blissful bond with the breast. One does not have to be a lactivist to see that breastfeeding is not only interpersonally precious and ideally nutritious for baby in the long-run, but it is a boost to public health as well. To this end, when considering natural nursing in public, the question is simply this: Is it really too intolerable to bare?
Those of you who are heterosexual or bisexual may have, throughout your dating efforts, put considerable time and attention toward finding the guy who would be the one—your beloved “baby daddy.” This elusive man would have such noble characteristics as a strong and loving relationship with his mother; be adept at practicing random acts of kindness, such as paying it forward at the tollbooth; he would have a decent job he enjoys in a field contributing in some way to the greater good; and he’d be an all-around great guy in the sack.
Congratulations! You have mastered the art of early parenting. You’ve figured out how to make it through the day on very, very little shut eye; you’re managing to shovel in cold bites of leftovers from the ever-so-appealingly-prepared Meal Train drop offs; biodegradable bamboo diaper changes on the fly are already a breeze; you’ve got the supplemental chestfeeding system down like it’s nobody’s business; and, you skillfully snatch scarce seconds uploading the cutest sleeping baby pics ever, so your eagerly awaiting Instagram family of friends can virtually coo with you.
As my bio-clock struck thirty, the resounding tick-tock of surging pregnancy urges pushed me eagerly into musings over a wide range of reproductive and family building options. Having hoped from the days of my youth that I would grow a baby, as a queer-identified, single person, I began to seriously consider how that might actually happen.
I wondered if I would eventually marry a woman with whom I’d raise a family, perhaps via the offering of a donor-relative on her side. Maybe I’d seek out a close friend to share in a lifetime of parenting. Perhaps I’d meet a gay male couple who’d be delighted to co-create a kid or two.