feature image via Shutterstock
This past mother’s day, Waffle had a conversation with his mom where she asked if he would be celebrating mother’s day or father’s day next year. It’s something we’d been thinking about for a while. There’s a clear and direct answer, but we were stuck on how to present it to family members in the most casual way possible.
Before we got hitched in 2011, Waffle and I had “the chat” with his parents about his gender identity. People know Waffle by different first names (Waffle is his nickname and his actual last name) and call him different pronouns. I sometimes use different pronouns. Waffle is fine with she/her or he/his and doesn’t care too much either way, as long as people are being respectful. Like Leslie Feinberg once expressed, “For me, pronouns are always placed within context.” Waffle’s family mostly uses she/her. My family mostly uses he/him. Coworkers use she and friends use whatever they know Waffle as.
We just didn’t want our family feeling weird or making it weird at our wedding when they heard people using different names and pronouns than they were used to. We wanted people focused on the celebration and the fun and the silly children’s book readings we had picked out for the ceremony, not on Waffle’s gender and/or if they were being bad allies or whatever.
This is one of the readings we used. (We didn’t make this video or use this song, though) Do you see a theme?
I worked with our Unitarian minister to write a pronoun-free ceremony script. The wedding went off perfectly. People were cool. Waffle’s parents didn’t have an issue with it at all, though I think they were and are still kind of confused about how to address Waffle because he identifies as queer and isn’t binary trans.
I was just talking with a friend about how it seems LGBTQIA generations are about ten years apart. Like, because progress and culture has shifted so rapidly for our communities, the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s were really distinct eras of “being LGBT” and the 00’s and 10’s are a whole other world. Waffle and I came of age as activists and queer people on the back-end of the Queer 90’s. There weren’t words like “demiboy” and “demigender” yet and words like “genderqueer” were relatively new and still had a specific political connotation. Singular they/their wasn’t popular yet. Zie/sie/hir/hier were the most widely used gender neutral pronouns (though they never caught on in the mainstream). I think this is why genderqueer or gender non-binary or gender variant have never worked as identities for Waffle. It doesn’t feel authentic to his experience of coming out and finding an identity that fits.
(I can somewhat understand. “Pansexual” was still a pretty new term when I was coming out, which is why I still stick with “bisexual” and “queer.” Pansexual doesn’t mean anything to me in the context of my coming out experience, even if it’s an accurate description of my sexual and romantic attractions.)
Waffle cut his teeth on Leslie Feinberg‘s Stone Butch Blues. If you can be a lesbian or dyke politically, but not be a woman, he’d identify as that, but he feels it’s a little odd to claim “lesbian” if he isn’t comfortable claiming “woman.” So he identifies as a boi in the butch lesbian context of the word, but also as trans and queer. Sometimes when we’re out in the world, strangers perceive us as two lesbian women and he’s mostly OK with that. Sometimes people perceive him as binary trans or binary male and he’s mostly OK with that, too, though neither is correct. To Baby T. Rex, Waffle will be “Dad” and we’ll celebrate father’s day.
Polly Pagenhart, author of Lesbian Dad, defines a lesbian dad as:
les•bi•an dad n, neologism 1. a. A lesbian or genderqueer parent who feels that traditionally female titles (i.e., “mother”) don’t quite fit, and who is willing to appropriate and redefine existing male ones (i.e., “father”): She was a tomboy when she was a kid, so it’s not surprising she’s a lesbian dad as a parent. b. Often a non-biological parent in a lesbian family, and/or one whose role relative to the child in many ways resembles that of fathers.
Some lesbian dads and genderqueer parents come up with another word for “parent” that’s gender-neutral or use a word in another language or from another culture like “baba.” Much like using they/their pronouns and identifying as genderqueer doesn’t feel right to Waffle, using a different word for “dad” doesn’t really work for him either.
Long story short, we always knew Waffle would be “daddy” to Baby T. Rex. The furkids already give him a card on Father’s Day, after all.
At the same time, being visibly queer is important to be us and being misinterpreted as a same-gender couple is only, like, 70% wrong. The difference is that “dad” to us doesn’t mean “will teach kid about power tools” any more than “mom” means “will teach kid how to bake cakes.” I mean, we might do those things, but not because of the gender roles attributed to our monikers. Actually, I hope Waffle teaches them how to bake, or maybe we should relegate that to their grandparents, because it’s neither of our strong suit.
Sometimes I worry about how our kid is going to explain us to adults they will encounter outside our home (like teachers). On paper we’ll appear to be a lesbian couple. However, our kid will know us as “mom” and “dad.” Explaining these concepts to a kid is something I look forward to. It won’t be too hard. Kids have a much easier time with gender fluidity than adults do. (In some ways, our 7-year-old niece understands Waffle’s gender the most out of everyone in either of our families. She calls Waffle “Aunt” and also uses he/his pronouns, which his family thinks is funny, but is actually fairly accurate.)
I think Remi will be on board without any problem. What I wonder about is how to prepare Remi for going to school and discussing our family with cis adults and authority figures who think Remi has “two mommies” and who are generally ignorant about trans identities. I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Any advice, non-binary parents out there?
For now, I’ve just got to get this darn Baby T. Rex safely out into this beautiful, gross, dangerous, brilliant, terrible, incredible, wild world.
10 Random Baby-Making Feelings I’m Currently Over-Processing
1. Water, Water Everywhere and I’m Gonna’ Sip Up Every Drop
I think I’ve mentioned before how ridiculously thirsty I am. (Yes, you can interpret that any way you want.) I was settling in to do some lengthy work last Sunday afternoon and had to take a picture of my hydration station. Yes, I drank, drunk, drink-ed all of that in one sitting (with bathroom breaks).
I wish I could say it’s having a positive impact on my skin, but honestly I have no idea what my skin is doing right now. All the dermal things I have that typically flare up are flaring up real extra and I have an unusual excess of skin tabs (sexy!) and I started getting a super fun rash under my arm last week. Also, the physical exhaustion is coming back as I get closer to the third tri. So when people tell me I’m glowing, I kind of feel like they’re full of shit. I am, however, very, very, very hydrated. By the end of the day, I feel like a filled-up water balloon and my belly looks like one, too.
2. Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah (Hello Heteronormativity)
I know I just got done telling you that Waffle is going to be a Daddy Dino to Baby T. Rex, but I have to say that it’s a little weird that the hospital we are using only has forms that have “mother” and “father” as options. Same-gender marriage has been legal in NYS since 2012 and is now legal everywhere. This is a fairly large metropolitan hospital, so I’m just surprised.
One of the biggest reasons we went with getting me knocked up is that Waffle can simply sign the birth certificate as the second parent. It’s one of the legal benefits of marriage. Waffle has zero interest in changing his legal gender markers or his legal name, so it’s going to be kind of awkward for a multitude of reasons when we turn in our paperwork with his stuff under “father.” Waffle doesn’t like to draw a lot of attention to himself and doesn’t feel particularly passionate about coming out to my medical providers, so we’ve been flying under the radar as assumed-lesbians at our medical provider appointments.
For all these reasons, we prefer gender neutral language on paperwork, when possible. I called the hospital to find out if there was another less-gendered version of the form, like one that just says “parent” and “parent” or something, but there isn’t. So it is what it is. Our midwives marked Waffle as my “spouse” and made a note to call him by his last name in their files, so that’s cool, at least. If all goes according to plan, the midwives will deliver the baby.
Side Note: I briefly considered having a homebirth to avoid dealing with this kind of awkwardness (and because it can be a really cool and empowering experience), but ultimately we both feel more comfortable at a medical facility. It’s a really personal choice and I respect people who choose homebirth as well as those who don’t. I’ve heard about good and difficult experiences with both. With it being our first pregnancy and having access to relatively LGBT-inclusive care providers nearby, we decided to go with our gut instinct, even if it means I don’t get to labor in one of those cool inflatable birth pools for the living room.
3. Reader’s Choice: Dino Decals
We need your opinion on dino decals for the nursery. Which one of these sets do you like best? Tell me in the comments, please. Big decisions.
4. What (Weird) Dreams May Come
Many people experience vivid dreams while pregnant. I typically remember my dreams once or twice a week. Lately, I’ve been remembering my dreams pretty much every night. I started writing down the really funny or strange ones:
- I was at work at McDonalds (which I actually worked at for, like, 5 years-ish in real life) and I was stationed in the grill. If you don’t know this already, McD now has an all-day breakfast menu. It’s real legit. Anyway, I was in the grill and I was making “round eggs,” which are the ones that go on Egg McMuffins. I just kept making eggs and making eggs and filling up trays with eggs until I’d made far too many eggs and my manager was like, “OMG KAELYN! Stop making eggs!” I don’t know what this has to do with anything, but it seems somewhat related to getting knocked up, I think.
- I was drafted into wartime service (who we were at war with was unclear) under the Trump administration and I was scheming plans to go AWOL. This dream was terrifying for a multitude of reasons.
- Some exceptionally vivid sex dreams and that’s all you need to know, except that they frequently end with me being unable to climax and feeling hella frustated in my dream and also in real life when I wake up.
- I spontaneously gave birth to a fully-formed baby at 26 weeks. It was a medical miracle! Or, at least, no one thought it was that concerning other than that I didn’t know I was going into labor at first. Then, my milk came in all weird and gross and I was trying to play it cool like I knew what I was doing with breastfeeding, but I was really panicking because it was the wrong consistency and color and I kept pumping and it just kept getting worse. I think I may have breastfeeding anxiety. I mean, I definitely do.
5. Rounding Third
Can you believe I’m just about in my third trimester? Maybe you can, because you only just learned I’m carrying a smol human in my body. But it feels like a big thing to me, like, we’ve been doing this for so long and we’re almost to the finish line! Also, oh holy mother of pearl, we’re almost to the finish line!
People keep asking me if I’m nervous about giving birth and it’s hard to answer. I’m not particularly nervous right now. I mean, human beings have been giving birth since we came to exist on the planet. It’s definitely doable. I feel like it’ll be fine, whatever happens. I’ll be ok. I’ll recover. I’ll figure it out. But I’m sure I’m going to be a little freaked once I actually start going into labor. That seems like a normal reaction to going into labor for the first time in your life and also to the possibility of having a very painful experience like, you know, your privates exploding. I doubt I’ll be feeling all casual about it, like, no worries, just making life with my body real chill like.
However, I wouldn’t say I’m stressing about it right now at this very moment in time.
I’m fairly close to that day, though. There’s about 20 million things I want to get done before my due date, before I’m in it with Baby T. Rex for life, ride or die. It’s weird how when you’re waiting for something, it feels like the waiting is forever, until it gets close and then it feels like you’re recklessly hurtling towards it.
Like when you’re going on a big trip and you can’t wait. You’re counting down the days. But then it’s hours before you leave and you still haven’t packed anything and you’re cramming all your shit in a bag, hoping you didn’t forget anything important as you rush out the door (to catch your flight to A-Camp). Or maybe that’s just me…
Either way, it’s going to be T. Rex time before we know it! Most days I’m not overthinking it, just doing my day-to-day and going down my to-do list and looking towards the next couple weeks ahead. Normal life. Then I have these brief moments of semi-panic and I remember that we did this thing for real and, like, what goes in must come out, if ya’ know what I mean. There’s no turning back now! This brand spankin’ new human being is going to come into the world real soon and it’s going to change everything.
Sometimes when I’m in that headspace, I turn to Waffle and randomly exclaim, “This is happening!” I should probably stop doing that as we get closer to, like, the possibility of me going into actual labor.
6. Things I’ve Googled In the Past Week:
- “armpit rash pregnant”
- “fetus kicked the cat”
- “gestational diabetes injera”
- “tea tree oil safe pregnancy”
- “first time breastfeeding tips”
- “best breast pump”
- “nipple piercings breastfeeding”
- “Korean children’s books”
- “nursing bra best for big boobs”
7. Cats in the Snoogle and the Silver Spoon
Jeter has taken up residence in my Snoogle. What, you ask, is the Snoogle? It’s an outrageously expensive (for a glorified body pillow) and also life-changing pregnancy pillow that is the sole reason I can sleep soundly at night. I’ve been a stomach sleeper my whole life and fairly early in my mid-first trimester, I needed to start sleeping on my side. It was extremely hard for me to retrain my brain to fall asleep on my side and stay that way all night. Also, I was waking up with a sore back and hips. I tried adding more pillows. I tried hugging a pillow all night. I tried gently lifting my stomach onto an extra pillow. I tried creating a fortress of pillows all around me. Nothing worked. Enter the Snoogle.
It’s basically a body pillow, but in a weird elongated C-shape kind of like an open paper clip. You curl up in the thing or straddle it or hug it or use it to support your back or marry it. All I know is it works. It’s very bad for my romantic life, because it creates a literal impenetrable barrier down the middle of the bed. If Waffle wants to cuddle, he has to spoon the Snoogle to get to me. If I want to cuddle, I have to launch myself over the thing to get to him. But the Snoogle is fabulous for getting a good night of rest. For me and for my cat, who thinks we got the Snoogle especially for him to curl up and snooze in. He’s such an entitled little asshole. Like he doesn’t already own every other sleeping surface in the house…
8. Baby Wearing, Not Something a Wealthy White Pediatrician Invented
I want to wear my baby. My mom used to wear my sister in a metal-framed back carrier. My sister’s adoption paperwork said (in rough English translation from Korean) that she “likes to be a backpack.” One of my earliest memories is playing in the backyard with my family on a sunny day, my mom doing yardwork with my little sister strapped onto her back.
Baby carriers have come a long way since then and have really picked up popularity in America since the introduction of “attachment parenting” by pediatrician and bestselling author, Dr. William Sears. Babywearing is a key component of attachment parenting theory and is said to be beneficial for forming a parent-child bond, promoting infant health, facilitating breastfeeding, reducing infant distress, etc. etc. etc. There are now babywearing mom groups and play dates and a plethora of carriers at different (mostly expensive) price points. Babywearing has practical benefits for parents, too, freeing up both hands to do chores and allowing more mobility without having to cart a carrier or stroller around all the time. These are all valid benefits of babywearing and part of the reason I’m interested, but I get really frustrated seeing image after image of babywearing as a modern white mommy thing.
One thing that Dr. Sears’ followers don’t often acknowledge is that babywearing isn’t a new idea or even a Western idea. Carrying a baby using a sling or wrap or carrier has been practiced all over the world long before it became popular in industrialized countries. It isn’t a cool new thing for hipster parents and eco moms and feminist dads. Women of color have been doing it for centuries.
In Korea, babies are traditionally been worn by the mother on the back in a podaegi (포대기). The baby is worn on the mother’s back so the mother and child’s hearts are in alignment and the baby can hear the mother’s heartbeat. I absolutely love that! I plan to wear my baby in the front (which is also common in modern-day Korea), but I love the idea that babywearing is part of my cultural tradition and not just something a white pediatrician invented to sell books in the 90’s. I plan to use a baby wrap, which seems like a good choice for my round belly and big chest and is similar in style to a podaegi.
The idea of wrapping your baby goes back to women of color and particularly indigenous cultures. Japanese women used to carry their babies wrapped in their obi sashes. Brown and black women across cultures and continents have been wearing their babies in cloth wraps for a long time. While it’s ultimately good that there is respect for a traditional and natural way of carrying and bonding with a baby, especially one often used by poor women, the “industry” of parenting has white-washed the concept of babywearing. Wraps and carriers are super expensive and marketed primarily to middle-class moms. If any acknowledgement is given to the cultures that babywearing comes from, it’s in the “ethnic” naming of techniques like “African-style babywearing.” Google it. Count how many pictures are of white moms v. brown moms.
I’m admittedly planning on getting one of those expensive baby carriers and fancy wraps. I believe babywearing really is beneficial for parents and for babies (though I’m not a devotee of attachment parenting). I just wish it wasn’t yet another thing that’s been whitewashed and commercialized in the “mommy industrial complex.” (Is that a real thing? I just made it up tongue-in-cheek, but I feel like it’s a real thing.)
9. A Moment of Appreciation for Pregnant Peoples with Kids and Single Parents
A good number of people I know are pregnant right now, too, and most of them are on their second or third kiddo. I just want to say that it’s incredible watching them do their thing. Just being pregnant is a lot to deal with on top of, you know, life. Doing it while also raising an additional small person is awe-inspiring. I have the luxury of taking a nap after work if I feel like it. They probably do not, particularly if they don’t have another parent or caregiver around to share the work of child-rearing. Maybe it seems easier the second or third time because you know what’s up, but having all this stuff happening to your body and being tired and stressed and being responsible for a little kid on top of it just seems like a lot. Big kudos, second-time parents and single parents!
10. Queer Mom and Dad Dino’s Last Babymoon
As you read this, we are on our way back from our last road trip to NYC for several months. We’ll be pretty firmly rooted closer to home for the rest of this pregnancy and, I imagine, several months after Baby T. Rex arrives. As I’ve mentioned before, Waffle and I went kind of out of control over the past two years indulging in grown-up experiences and (cheapskate, but fun) travel and lots and lots of things that will be less-accessible after we have a little one in tow.
Of course, we plan to keep doing things as a couple even after we have a wee T. Rex and there are lots of babysitting offers from family members, but I imagine things may shift for us once we have a kid. Once they’re old enough to travel with us, we may want to bring them on our little mini-vacations. We may be more inclined to save up to take them to cool kid-friendly places. I don’t know for sure, but I have a feeling our priorities will be different. Also, we’ll have a lot less discretionary income for these kinds of things.
So we’re living it up for one last weekend: seeing friends and shows (American Psycho on Broadway is one of them!); taking in a long, scenic drive from our home in Upstate NY to NYC; and partying it up (sober-style) one last time before it’s Dino Time!
It feels a little sad, like we’re saying goodbye to one era of our life as a couple and as individuals, but also like we are coming out on the other side a little more ready for the next chapter to begin. I think it’s going to be the best chapter yet!
top right dino decals.
also, pleeease elaborate on “fetus kicked the cat”
I share both of these feelings!
I am trying to determine just how much Remi can hear/sense the cat. Sometimes when Jeter cuddles with me near my belly, the baby starts kicking where Jeter is. Supposedly the baby would be able to hear the cat now, so I feel like it’s not a coincidence.
fetus kicked the cat sounds like a punk or metal band.
Lower left corner decal!! Also this is a great article and I love your family!
Yes, lower left decals!
Thanks for voting!
“(Waffle is his nickname and his actual last name”
My face after reading this: :D :D :D
I THOUGHT WAFFLE WAS HIS COLUMN CODE NAME FOR PRIVACY
TURNS OUT IT IS HIS ACTUAL NAME
That kinda makes my Monday, tbh.
It is true. And leads to lots of good breakfast-related jokes:
Same this just made my morning.
The top right dino decals are my favorite.
I’m not pregnant, but I want a snoogle. The product images make them look so comfortable.
I can’t recommend it enough!
bottom left dino decals.
re:babywearing and white pediatricians- doc sears contributes to the conversation about vaccines in very unproductive ways, (sort of capitalizing on the “it’s your choice” aspect- which it is, but it’s also a substantial public health issue and not just a matter of individual choice and preference)- ergo he is not that great and who cares what he thinks.
birth certificate stuff can be weird/confusing/surprisingly not dramatic. This is also none of my business, but I sat through an entire workshop recently where a lawyer I like and respect spent the whole time jumping up and down on the stage about second parent adoptions.
I’m sure that’s somewhere in your brain, I just felt like Alison would yell at me if I didn’t mention it, because she’s omniscient?
babymoon! so fun!
Dr. Sears is weird for a lot of reasons. I try not to judge, but I’m definitely in the YES PLEASE VACCINES camp. And also, he and his wife kind of creep my out.
I am very confused about this workshop situation. What was the reaction re: second parents adoptions about? Aaanyway, it’ll be fine. I’m just surprised they haven’t updated their paperwork yet since our state has allowed same-sex and same-gender parents to sign birth certificates together for four years now. WHO KNOWS? I’m really glad we don’t have to deal with second parent adoption!
I just wanted to say that I love this series. As someone who never saw themselves as having children because I thought it would somehow make me less me (if that makes sense), this is one of the most inspiring, cheering, revelatory things ever.
Also – top left because volcanoes are fantastic.
Thanks so much! I am writing it down because I felt the same way when we started on this adventure two years ago. <3
Lower left corner decal. It’s so cute to me! Also, I loved reading this especially the part about baby-wearing being a brown/black cultural thing long before it was white-washed.Isn’t everything?
Oops I meant lower right.
Pretty much everything, yes.
You might like this blog post on The Toast on that topic by Aaminah Shakur and this follow-up on the author’s own tumblr.
I love the dinos in the pics with the dominoes or the desk!!! They are super cute <3
Re decals… top right and top left are my favorites, but if I had to pick one, I’d probably go with top left. It is the most colorful, has dinosaurs that are not TOO unrealistic or cute-sy, and has the most variety. Lower left is not bad, but loses points for the somewhat flat color scheme and limited variety. Lower right is my least favorite… too cutesy, and the big staring faces seem kind of disturbing to me.
Side note – if you get one of the ones with pterosaurs, make sure T. rex understands that pterosaurs are not dinosaurs… they are archosaurs. #ThingsHerpetologistsCareAbout :D
Also, a question for the author if she has the time… I had an interview for a job in Rochester recently, so there is a slim chance I could be moving there. Is there a decent sized lesbian community? I am currently living in central PA and literally go years between dates due to the lack of queers in the area.
Thanks for the note about pterosaurs! Is that the correct name? I keep seeing pterodactyl? Is that not the same thing! Oh boi, I need to study up on my prehistoric facts!
Also, good luck with your interview! I live here and there are other queer women here, for sure. It depends what you’re looking for in a community, but there is a respectable LGBT population here for a mid-size city. That said, a lot of the cool queer women are younger, due to a bunch of colleges in the area. There are a lot of service providers and organizations for LGBT people. Also, there is an emerging Rochester Straddlers group that I’ve been helping to put together since I started writing here. If you end up moving here, feel free to join up!
Pterosaurs is the general name for the group, whereas Pterodactyl is shorthand for a particular genus (Pterodactylus). So for an analogy using non-extinct animals, Pterodactyl is to pterosaur as Homo (human) is to primate. But people use Pterodactyl as a general term all the time… it’s harmless enough. :D
Thanks for the tips! I will keep that in mind if this job works out!
Thanks for the science lesson and clarification! Waffle got this cute board book with lots and lots of dinosaurs with complicated names. We’re going to have to study up for story time!
Decals in order of preference: Top left, bottom left, bottom right, top right.
hey hey! i’m 27 weeks along as well. my butch spouse uses she/her pronouns and i sometimes say ‘my wife’ but she’ll be daddy to our little baboon come august. top left for dino decals, and my cat loves sleeping with the bump so gets kicked fairly often. she also loves sleeping in the nursing rocker…not gonna be pleased when i’m the one occupying that chair.
Congrats, preggers twin! I’m glad your cat is also getting beat up by your little one! I wonder if cats can sense the change in pheromones or something.
My mother has this story that the cat became extremely jealous when she got pregnant with me, even biting her once for no apparent reason, but that he got over it when I was born. Apparently he spent a lot of time in my playpen and we had a great time.
I’m a little nervous about introducing the cat and the baby, mainly because our cat is afraid of everything, but I’m hoping they’ll come to love each other!
I like the top left dinos the best, partially bc of the colors but also because the T. Rex/Allosaurus/whatever carnivore has an egg and they’re always seen as vicious predators, not as parents. I just have a lot of feelings about dinosaur stereotypes. (I watched the Land Before Time series so many times as a kid and I still love Chomper #noshame)
Aww, that’s a great point about the parental T. Rex decal!
I totally have a Little Foot stuffed animal from my childhood that’s going in the baby room! Such a good movie!
Not pregnant at all but I might have to look into getting a snoogle.
Would honestly recommend it!
This is the best article I’ve ever read about queer parenting and gender and body pillows. I love everything about it so much that I could just faint.
ALSO TOP RIGHT DECALS!! They are so squishy and snorgly and perfect.
You. You are too sweet. You and Maddie like the same details which makes a lot of sense. Maybe you should platonically co-parent a baby dino together!
Haha I cannot say we haven’t though about it ;)
omg @kaelynrich i’m glad our mutual dino decal preference was enough to indicate our possible future as queer platonic parents
@madderka, you and @audreyfaye would be the cutest co-parents! Oh my gosh. I’m just imagining Audrey dressing your baby in tiny baby crop tops while you make pear tarts in your quaint English-inspired kitchen. You’d have a rooster egg timer and a cow milk pitcher. It would be perfect.
Jeter and the Snoogle! So cute! Thanks for mentioning it-recommending it to a pregnant coworker.
Hope it helps your coworker!
Top right or bottom left!
The top right decal is a clear winner for me. The dinos are so much more expressive, which lends itself well to story telling/imagining. They are actually coloured/shaded instead of just being one flat colour and I think will hold visual interest longer. Also I just love the art style.
Thanks for your thoughts! They’re pretty cute! I like the silly faces they’re making.
Top left dinos! I love the colours and they are super cute without being too ‘cutesy’.
Also, I’ve found this series really interesting so far even though I’m not anywhere near having kids. If/when I do have kids, I will be also be navigating issues related to being a sort of non-binary, doesn’t-fit-in-gender-box, how-do-I-explain-this-to-people parent, so it’s great to see those things being discussed on the Internet.
The internet is the best place for these discussions, really. I’m glad you’re enjoying reading! I’m enjoying writing and dialoguing with ya’ll in the comments!
Top left dinos, and totally with you on the differences between queer generations and their identity descriptors.
I went to LFT Lesbenfrühlingstreffen last week (btw, save the date for next year, pentecost-weekend in Kiel, Germany), and amongst others, there was a workshop on
intersectional childrens books – thinking of Waffle, you might especially
enjoy Eric Carle’s “Mister Seahorse” http://www.eric-carle.com/ECbooks.html#anchorseahorse
Thanks, ophelia! I’m into it! I love Eric Carle’s books!
Me too :) Of course I grew up with “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” (already a classic then), now I was delighted to learn that there are plenty more!
What I like most about the Seahorse-book is, that Mr.Seahorse is so encouraging to the other animals! (though I am a little sad, that these are exclusively “male” fish, but well, that’s the book’s theme, I guess)
I often change pronouns when reading kids’ books. It makes it more fun! I like to read the Pout Pout Fish with Mr. Fish kissing another Mr. Fish, or a Ms. Fish and a Ms. Fish, to mix things up!
I like the top right decals the best. They look the most expressive/ friendly.
Top left decals with the red dinosaur and exploding volcano!
Thank you so much for writing about the white-washing of baby wearing. This is so important to talk about.
Also, I definitely feel you on the LGBT generational gap. I have friends who are only 4 years younger than me, but it feels like decades when it comes to identifiers, gender expression, and sheer comfort in LGBTQI space. Makes me feel old!
Thanks, @emma2711! I like the colors on that set the best, too!
I think part of the reason I have a hard time getting into the “earth mama” stuff is how much of it is actually appropriated from indigenous cultures and moms of color and repurposed for white moms.
The unofficial generation gaps within millennial queers seems like a real thing! I taught an undergraduate class on LGBT American culture at a college this past semester and was surprised at how very different my experiences were from my LGBTQIA students’ experiences even though we’re technically in the same generation. It makes me wonder how much is going to change in the next 5-10 years, by the time Baby T. Rex is old enough to engage with LGBTQI representation in pop culture.
I just have to jump in here because the whole LGBT generational gap concept is something that coincidentally I’ve been thinking about a LOT over the past few days. I’m only 22, and yet more and more frequently I’m finding myself having “back in my day…” type thoughts when I see queer teens discussing stuff. It really is SUCH a different world than it was 6 years ago when I was first starting to come out to myself.
I think maybe part of it might be how in most communities cultural history is primarily passed from parent to child, but that’s pretty rare in LGBT culture because most queer kids are born to cishet parents. So instead we learn a lot of our culture from whatever part of the community we find earliest, who tend to be the members closest to our own age. We rarely get much contact with our community’s “elders”. And I feel like that probably accelerates cultural changes, because we tend to end up only getting a first hand account of the most recent history, anything going back more than 10 years (even less, probably) is mostly passed down second hand. And then by our mid 20’s, we’re already the ones passing down the history to teenagers. And so there’s just a really short cycle? Does that make any sense?
Anyway, as for the dino decals, I vote top left (or maybe bottom left).
I never thought about it that way before, @Aoife, but that makes a lot of sense! I think you’re onto something there for sure…
That makes a lot of sense! I think it’s probably (definitely) true!
Yes, at this space the world should be a much friendly place for Baby T. Rex to grow up in!
I feel this so keenly. The generational space we occupy is a huge part of the queer experience. I often get this WHOA feeling talking to people only 3-4 years younger or older than I am. It’s like we live in different worlds. I don’t want to go on about this, as that would derail the conversation around pregnancy, gender and non-binary parenthood, but I do believe this is a super important topic and would LOVE to read a “roundtable” article with contributors of different ages (and other relevant demographic factors such as race, etc) digging deeper into this conversation. It’s an official content request I’m sure a lot of readers here who appreciate KaeLyn :D
And thank you for writing about such an intimate topic. It’s wonderful and illuminating and makes me think, and I’m always grateful for the way in which you’re willing to make yourself vulnerable to others and translate that experience into excellent writing.
ALSO: Top right dinos, definitely, because pterodactyls are amazing! (And I am a fellow Land Before Time devotee…)
I second that roundtable on age and generational gaps!
And I second your thoughts on KaeLyn’s words. I am so impressed by her ability to share all this with us because it is so intimate. It really blows me away and moves me deeply. It makes me so grateful for this space that is Autostraddle.
It’s funny that you say this, because I’m working on an inter-generational roundtable for World AIDS Day that will hopefully come together with queer women who were active in the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s sharing our perspectives on the topic of HIV/AIDS.
I think one thing that we sometimes forget is that our communities literally lost a whole generation in the 80’s and early 90’s to AIDS. Like, our elders are scarce not only because it was harder to come out back then, but because a whole generation was wiped out by AIDS and/or traumatized by it.
I really like what you all said on the topic, because I agree! I’d love to explore it more in-depth at some point, @emma-aular, @lavandinette, and @aoife!
I like the idea of celebrating half-way between or on a different day. That’s a great idea!
Thanks for your thoughts on the decals!
Top right! The little stubby dino arms are so cute.
“Remi Waffle” has a very Belgian ring to it. (Assuming you’re going that route last-name-wise.) Also it just occurred to me that the combination of your last names results in an enticing description of breakfast, and now I’m hungry.
Yes, the name will be Remi Lee Waffle! My Korean family name (my legal middle name) and Waffle’s last name. Remi is actually French, spelled “Remy,” traditionally. French-Belgian waffles sound really, really good tho!
As a French reader, I can assure that both Remy and Remi are traditional. Personally I’ve definitely known more Remis but haven’t looked up national statistics.
It’s a fantastic name :)
Oui, je sais, but they speak French in (parts of) Belgium which is why the combo of French name + “Waffle” made me think of it. :)
And that was supposed to be a reply to KaeLyn’s reply, not my own comment.
Oh, and the reason we didn’t hyphenate when we got legally hitched is that our names sound ridiculous/delicious together…like an off-brand pancake syrup.
Remi Lee Waffle, you already have a boatload of lesbians on your side!
(or a website full)
Vote for top left dinos!
Thank you so much for sharing this!
And for the decals, I vote bottom right. Though top right is also adorable and I would probably have chosen top left if the volcano didn’t stress me out.
Thanks for the feedback!
The whole first half was very interesting and might be relevant to my future. I dunno if I want my own kids(I may save dna at a bank) or adoptl; but, I always wonder what to call myself as a parent. Lesbian dad seems interesting, but I’m not too big of a fan of male pronouns(as an amab trans). Transparent introduced us to Moppa, and that’s one option I was thinking of. Any way can we petition to make parents day thing?
What do you gentle queers think of Moppa?
I like the idea of Moppa! Queer Mama Haley’s partner, Simone, goes by Monie, and might be relevant to your interests. You can read/watch about that in this episode of Queer Mama. I like the idea of coming up with a name that works for you, when and if you decide to have kids!
Hi Al, I would strongly recommend seriously considering banking gametes. My wife went one time before starting meds for her transition. She wasn’t sure if she would find a partner with whom to have kids, but three years later we met and now we are trying to make a baby. (Also I recommend if at all possible going to bank more than one time as the one time she went was stored in four vials and we are on try number four which is a bit stressful to say the least.) Anyways, I have feelings on this matter. :)
Top left definitely.
Also I feel really bad- I’ve been reading this series with GUSTO and not commenting to show my appreciation. So here goes:
I LOVE THIS AND BABIES AND TINY DINOSAURS AND YOUR NAME CHOICE IS AWESOME AND THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT THE WORLD IS REALLY COOL.
Thank you, @dottydresses! It means so much to me. Thanks for commenting!
Top left!! Love your writing!! It’s amazing how as people we experience similar things but in different ways. So great to learn different perspectives!! BTW the dreams will keep getting weirder :)
Haha. Oh no. I had a super weird one last night. I don’t even remember what it was, just that I woke up and was like, “WHAT THE F WAS THAT ABOUT?!”
omgyesssss the snoogle <3 <3 <3
The Snoogle is Real.
Upper left dino decal for sure, that volcano spewing Lava alone seals the deal
1. Lesbian dad is literally my gender identity, bc my gender confused me so much that I couldn’t look at it without putting it into a societal context to make sense of how I feel
I do not exist in a vacuum basically
I could only define it as it relates to others
And coming out as a “they / them” feels so bizarre to me that I am only out as such with people I meet in queer spaces
And I sort of feel like having, for example, a significant other or my parents call me “they” would feel weird
Like as if you can emotionally level up to “she / her” with me or something
Like pronouns are thing one can earn
Idk I have a lot of feelings about this
2. Once, when I was a baby queer and also going thru some p cliche mental illness Shit, I found polly pangenhearts blog in the middle of the night while pacing my basement obsessively
(I’d eaten dinner; pacing instead of sleeping was my punishment. This made perfect sense at the time.)
Anyway, like a mentally ill person, I then wrote a rambly email to Polly about how much I appreciated her blog and how nice it was to see examples of grown up LGBTQ women who have normal lives and how many feelings I had
And she wrote back this really heartfelt response, which I no longer have because I deleted that email account a long long time ago, and anyway
It was very sweet. Like, ludicrously kind of her. Thank-you for reminding me of that bitter sweet memory
And I’m so excited for you re: dino
Thanks for sharing all of this! I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Polly, but I very much appreciate her blog and the contributions she’s made to the discussions on queering parenting and lesbian parenting, among other stuff.
I can’t speak for Waffle because I’m not him and my gender is fairly cisnormative, but I can say that there are no adequate words to describe his gender. Somehow, though, I understand as best I can as someone who isn’t him and who loves him. I think there are lots of people with gender feelings and identities that can’t be described in the words we have available in the English language. We definitely do not exist in a vacuum! Thanks for sharing and I get it, as much as I possibly can. I hope your friends and loved ones do, too!
Thank YOU for sharing
I love reading these
i like the bottom left dinos :)
I know I’m commenting on this two days too late, but this column is really important to me. I’m GNC & identify as a lesbian in label although I’m *technically* bisexual (I like other NB/GNC people), because that’s what feels comfortable for me. I definitely see myself having a family later in life, so it’s great to read about how someone I can relate to is navigating that. Thank you for sharing this with all of us!
Thanks to Waffle for giving me the green light to write about it and thank you for sharing, too!