In about a month, I will be responsible for keeping a small human alive.
A small human who will only know what it’s like to have two parents who love the shit out of her. So, as I sit here beached on my couch at 37 weeks pregnant, I cannot help but be plagued with what feels like a million thoughts — and even a million more questions. Questions like: Will she be healthy? Can I be a positive role model, or will she just inherit my nail biting habit and inability to do anything that involves math?
While I know these questions are fairly basic for any first time parent, some of my other questions relate more to my experience as a lesbian.
I will be raising this child with my wife, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t experiencing any trepidation. Now, don’t get me wrong — I’m not too worried. I happen to know how incredible my wife and I are, so it’s likely that our daughter will turn out beautifully. However, there is a small part of me that remains nervous — nervous because it seems as though a good portion of the world is still struggling to accept the LGBTQ community.
So I sit with even more questions: Will our daughter have to constantly explain herself or correct people about her “family “situation?”
I know that I find myself having to “come out” on what feels like a weekly basis when someone assumes I have a husband at home. As annoying as that is for me, I can handle it.
Will she encounter some sadly misinformed person (I am looking at you, Florida bus driver who told a boy that he and his two moms were going to hell)? Will someone tell her she “can’t get into heaven” because of her sinful parents? How do I explain to her that there are a lot of people in this world (including some in our extended family) who do not see us for the normal, loving family that we are? What kind of backlash will my wife and I receive if my child turns out to be bisexual, gay, or transgender? Why the HELL is that even a thought in my head? Why do I care; why should I care?
I am an outspoken bad ass female, always open about who I am and who I love — so why is motherhood shaking me up?
Likely because I am worried about the affect other people will have on her — which, admittedly, is combined with fear that I am going to constantly be in people’s faces, fighting and “forcing my gay agenda” on them.
These “well-intentioned” people have no understanding of the negative impact they are truly having — not just on queer individuals, but on society as a whole. And that’s what I can’t stop thinking about. Even more terrifying – some of the people haunting my thoughts believe they are helping spread goodness in the world. So, what exactly am I supposed to do with that? How do I compete with that kind of thinking?
The answer to that question is, simply, I can’t.
But what I can do is remain confident in my parenting. I can love my child for exactly who she is, and accept her as the true individual she will be. I can raise a strong, confident, and self-assured child who values critical thinking.
My wife and I can speak to her candidly and truthfully. That way, when not so fun subjects come up, they won’t completely blindside her. I will be the best mother I can be — and maybe more importantly, I will be the best woman I can be. After all, one of the most valuable ways to teach a child is to lead by example. So we will show her what it means to be strong and compassionate women in a not-always-friendly world.
While things are not always so friendly, there are some things that my wife and I are incredibly grateful for. We feel especially fortunate to live in a city that really seems to have our back — thank you, Los Angeles. We feel lucky to have found one another in such a big city, and we know how privileged we are to have been afforded the opportunity to even consider raising a little human. Our reality is that the positive truly outweighs the negative, and because of that, we can walk through our lives with our heads held high. We can take comfort in knowing that we — just like any other parent(s), grandparents, and guardians — will inevitably make mistakes, but we will never have a lack of love and understanding for our child.
Noe Kochlani is a queer mama based out of beautiful Los Angeles. Though she is currently studying child development and early childhood education, her first love is and will always be writing. She enjoys people-watching, and understands that her happiness stems from the freedom she gives herself to indulge in any dessert she pleases. Happily married and happily living, she believes good luck is something that is made, and she will do her best to continue making it. Follow Noe on Twitter for more rants and raves.