You don’t know how desperate you are for adult friends until you try to make them. As a newly out queer adult at 32, I was mostly interested in dating and figuring out how I as an individual woman fit into the larger world of queer women. Being a single mom, I was less interested in making mom friends of any kind, honestly. When you’re a single mom, having mom friends who are married is kind of exhausting. You’re at two different places in your lives — while you have the commonality of motherhood and maybe friendship outside of that, your priorities are different. They have a spouse: someone to pick up the slack, to watch the kids, to bitch about. And it’s hard to make single mom friends because…who has the time to socialize?
It wasn’t until I entered a relationship with my now fianceé that I even began to think about what making queer mom friends would look like. The pandemic was still raging, so it wasn’t easy. And it’s not like there are many meetups advertised that are geared specifically for queer moms — even in Los Angeles. I was finally ready to build my two-mom squad, and then I was stumped. Where are all the queer moms hanging out? Are they hanging out without me? Soon, I found my answer — they’re on social media.
Well shit, I thought to myself.
Let me be abundantly clear: I am EXTREMELY online. Social media is definitely my thing. It’s my job; it’s where I live; it’s where I feel comfortable. So it’s not that making friends on social media feels particularly hard — most of my friendships started online. But the thing I noticed is that to create a community of friends as a “social media queer mom,” you need to create content. Basically, you need to become an influencer. Which I most certainly am not.
I have nothing against queer mom influencers — I think they’re great. I am truly awed and amazed by the amount of time they put into cultivating their pages. And I understand why they do it. For them, creating content is a way to bring visibility to LGBTQ families. We absolutely need it. It just sucks that the most visible way to exist online as a queer parent is to be an influencer. What about those of us who don’t fit that mold?
Let me tell you, I am no influencer. For someone who is extremely online, I take a very passive stance to being visible. I barely remember to update my Instagram. I posted something recently and realized it had been months since I posted my own face on my feed. The idea of having to constantly create content makes me exhausted. Mainly because I’m not clever or consistent enough, but also, I have the most uncooperative family. My partner will yuck it up sometimes, but it’s out of her comfort zone. And my son? For a kid who wants to go viral, he sure is camera shy. When I ask him to take a picture, he’s like “absolutely not.”
I like talking about my family. My son is a really smart and funny eight-year-old. He likes Legos and Minecraft. He’s good at math and loves music, and he’s so freaking cute — I literally can’t stand it. And my partner Beth is amazing. She’s kind and loving and truly the best person to complete our family. We have the cutest puppy, and our cats are so lovely. In theory, we’d make excellent content creators. But the truth is: being a content creator is time consuming! You have to constantly make content to stay ahead of the algorithm. I don’t have the energy to work a full-time job and then corral everyone into making a bunch of videos that involve costume changes, lip-synching, or learning dances. Plus, my video editing skills suck. I’m not paying someone to edit 30-second videos.
Recently, I was talking to my therapist about this. Where do those of us moms who just want to make friends with other two-mom families go? I don’t want to use TikTok dances to try to make friends. I just want to awkwardly go up to another mom and say: “I see you also have a child and a wife. Do you want to come over for dinner?” Surely there have to be other queer moms who love Target, leggings, and Golden Girls reruns? Can they please announce themselves? Bueller? We live in Los Angeles — there have to be plenty of two-mom families in this city! But the only two-mom families I know live in different states, so they’re not people we can see with any sort of regularity. We have become IRL friends with one two-mom family I met on Instagram through work, but their kiddos are a lot younger than mine, so trying to coordinate time for playdates is tricky.
And I know I can just slide into the DMs of one of the queer mom influencers I see and strike up a friendship. I’ve done it before! (It was mainly for work, but still.) But most of them aren’t local, and while I love having pocket friends, I want to have another family I can call on a Friday and say “want to come over for pizza and a movie tonight?” I see some of these influencer moms plan trips to visit each other, and I can’t help but have FOMO. Where is my queer mom squad damnit?
Queer mom influencers are open about a lot of things in their lives: relationship struggles, motherhood stuff, and the pressure of being an out family. (Another reason I know that influencer life isn’t for me — I don’t want to invite negativity into my social media feed.) But none of them talk about how hard it is to find other queer moms IRL. Creating a community online is great, and I’m happy they all have managed to do that, but what about their immediate communities? Since I am indeed very online™, I know what you see on social media isn’t the whole story. So what is the whole story?
I wish more queer mom influencers talked about the struggle of creating community IRL. Maybe I’d feel less FOMO if I knew they were struggling the same way I am. If you’re a queer mom without an online presence, are you even a queer mom? (Yes, obviously.) Sometimes, it doesn’t feel like it. As we start to shift the narrative about raw honesty online about motherhood, I wish that queer moms opened up more about how hard it is to create their inner circle.
I’m hoping that as we begin to do more things outside the house, my partner and I will be able to try to make some more two-mom family friends. Until then, I’ll just scroll through Instagram and whine, because FOMO is real. And I don’t like knowing people are having fun without me.
I feel this so much, Sa’iyda. I am a 2 mom family in NorCal and I feel like it is impossible to find queer mom friends, let alone mom friends in general. It is a serious longing to make that connection with other queer parents and make close friends in general, I mean this is CA there should be so many of us! And yeah, also seeing the influencer queer moms makes me want to be friends with them too, but also I don’t feel cool enough to be friends with them. Sigh. Anyways, if you are ever in NorCal, our little 2 mom family would love to hangout with you :)
i hope to take you up on that hang visit one day Ruth!
Fellow queer mom here 👋 My partner and I are not on social media and I do feel like, esp living in a small town, that we barely know any other queer folks, much less queer couples with kids. The queer friends we have are from our respective workplaces and don’t have kids. All of my parent-friends are straight, some single and some married, and made out of my daughter’s friendships to their kids. They are great people who have been friends through the dark times of the ‘demic, but it’s not the same as having queer friends. My partner and I were recently at SF Pride (30-40 min from our town) and we were both like, I wish we had gay friends 😂
Thanks for sharing this Sa’iyda so we know we’re not alone.
definitely not alone!
As a queer single parent, this made me laugh several times. Also I’m excited for more articles about being a parent!
Thank you for this article! I literally was just talking to my therapist about this as well. Where are you my fellow queer moms?! I need someone who can relate, desperately.
OH MY GOD YES. As I am currently doing a weird dance around my house to keep my napping baby asleep in his carrier on me, I feel this so hard. Queer mom groups!!!!!!!! I need them!!!!!!
HELL YEAH PARENTING CONTENTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just here to say: this is all very real, and more parenting content, please!!!!
I feel this so much. As we got older and settled all the way down, eventually getting married and having two amazing kiddos, our queer community withered. Post Pride, after basking in all the gay vibes I find myself pining for more queer families to hang out with. Sigh!
Glad to see this content!
Hey Sa’iyda! I see you, I hear you, I relate to you and I only have one question for you. I have a wife and a son and I live in Los Angeles….Wanna hang out?
PS. I am also very excited for more parent content!
PSS. I have been reading Autostraddle since forever, and this is the first comment I have ever left.
hey Kelly! absolutely! check my profile for my contact info ;)
🙋♀️Um hi yes please. Not a two mom family but a bi mom trying to be my own whole person. If you’re in Portland, I’d love to make irl plans with you that we take turns canceling due to colds from daycare.
PS Shouldn’t feeling swallowed by mommi feel cooler and sexier than this?!
I don’t think they/we are hanging out without you. I tried to organize a Queer parent playdate group a year ago and it didn’t work out well. Local Queer parents are poor and working a ton. Many are disabled and playdates are difficult for them. There was no time that worked for multiple families to meet up.
This resonates. In theory we want it, but unless we live next door it’s very hard to gather.
Keep trying! I felt a similar desire to find queer families. My husband and I are both Bi/pan. and the bi invisibility can make it really hard to find other queer families. The key is to keep trying and create the community you are longing for. And repeat! it can take consistency before things pick up, where people say oh that sounds like fun, I want to do that! Some families I might see just 1x/ few months. I have organized a few queer families meetups that have been really sweet in my tiny rural Nor Cal community. Covid was extra hard to hang w/ people but I think we are all feeling a similar desire for community with our kids. I organized a range of events; picnics w/ games and prizes, pool party, park meetup, clothing swaps, art time. They have all drawn a different range of people. After 4 years of reaching out and making repeat contacts and putting myself out there I finally feel like I have some queer family community. Everyone is so busy, many invites are declined, but it feels good even to have a brief text/ phone chat w/ other queer parents.
I don’t think they/we are hanging out without you. I tried to organize a Queer parent playdate group a year ago and it didn’t work out well. Local Queer parents are poor and working a ton. Many are disabled and playdates are difficult for them. There was no time that worked for multiple families to meet up. Many of the local Queer moms are also very introverted.
Legit walked up to a queer couple at the farmer’s market and said something along the lines of “I see you are queer and have a baby. I am also queer and have a baby. Would you like to be friends?”
I know this won’t help you Sa’iyda, but for queer parents reading in the UK there’s proud 2b parents (for queer parents of all genders) who meet regularly and have parents only sessions as well as family activities.
I’m not big on joining things but they made me feel really welcomed.
They are also on Facebook.
YES ALL OF THIS.
It is so, so hard. Part of it is that, well, we’re moms–with kids and schedules and jobs. My kid is still in the nap age bracket and just setting up a birthday party or playdate is hard because it feels like every child has a radically different nap time lol.
Also, I find that a lot of queer parents want to “parent their values”–which is great, but when even small-scale parenting choices are ascribed to those values and your choices don’t always align…it’s hard not to feel judged, insufficiently radical, or out of the clique. One of my acquaintances is a well-known queer parent influencer and the amount of work she puts into it is amazing but as you said, I am just not that person and am hopelessly out of my depth in terms of ‘creating content’.
We do manage to have an annual meetup, a few Pride events, and a group that meets monthly where I’ve made connections. My daughter has gone on playdates and had birthday parties with a handful of other kids with 2 moms (or a mom and Abba, or a mom and “Da”, which is what she calls us). These experiences mean a lot to her and to us. I’m hoping that over time–and as our kids outgrow picky eating and naps and daycare schedules and agonizing over screens/plastic/baby food brands–we can form deeper connections.
I just want to awkwardly go up to another mom and say: “I see you also have a child and a wife. Do you want to come over for dinner?”
I have considered doing this so many times! Just queer parents in Goddess-forsaken Indiana desperate for queer parent friends who understand.
You should approach them. Don’t be she!!!
I have run up to people and asked, “are you two mums?” and made some really good friends.
The kids love other two mum familles. Be brave. Just do it.
*Don’t be shy*
My wife, son and I recently moved to a small town in southern NJ from Philly and I feel this so hard! Miraculously, there was another kid with two moms in my son’s music class and my wife literally went up to them after class and said “uhm I am also a gay and please do you want to be friends?!” And it worked 😂 if you’re queer parents near OCNJ, we’re down to be friends!
This article fascinated me, all my friends are queer moms! Made through meet ups and the like for queer parents. And I have actually approached people in playgrounds and invited them along. Wishing you well finding your people!!
Ditto to everything others have said. I also think making queer friends with kids can also be difficult based on the age of the kiddo. We have a middle schooler in NorCal and have found the most groups/meet ups are for parents of younger kids.
Feel this too much. There used to be kids/family meet-up at the local LGBT community center that we’d take our kids to, but that closed years ago. It feels like making mom friends in general is hard enough since you have to consider both parent AND kid compatibility, and that’s before limiting the pool by sexuality.
I really love this! Thank you! I’m a single queer mom and even in nyc it’s hard to find us.
Yes! I feel like this every day and I’m in Brooklyn, NY (which now I realize is filled with other queer parents wishing they had friends…)! It’s hard to go seeking queer family friends as a single parent.
I feel this! I’m a new queer mom in SoCal (have a three month old) and already feeling the split between straight mom/fam friends and non-parent queer friends. Also occasionally think, wait should I put our life more online so we can and queer parent friends?! And then prompt feel exhausted by just the idea of it. Would love to see more parenting content on here! (echoing someone else to say I am a longtime reader and this is the first comment I’ve ever left)
fellow queer mom in LA here! thank you for writing this. finding friends who share your particular life journey is so hard.
All of this! My wife and I have three kids under 6 and it just feels so lonely at times. I know no other two mom families who want to be our friends or that we have really clicked with. So one, just because we are queer with kids doesn’t automatically mean we are going to be best buds and two, I also don’t know how to find others who I might actually have something to talk about besides children.