Hide me!

Claire II

Julie (my partner) is the only person I’ve been involved with, who I could imagine raising children with. In fact, one of the reasons I knew I was going to marry her was how incredible she is with kids.

 

We have always talked about it since our relationship started. We’re starting to do something about it now that we’ve returned to Canada from Scotland. We met in Canada and spent a year in Scotland so that she’d get to know my family, friends and culture in a more in-depth way.

 

Although I ticked ‘woman’ on my survey reponse I am a non-binary gender person, genderqueer. While Scotland has come such a long way in terms of LGBTQ rights and visibility, Canada (and Toronto more specifically) really has more LGBTQ parenting visibility and support networks already in place. We have several LGBTQ friends and acquaintances who have become parents and we can have frank and open discussions with them regarding all our concerns or fears.

 

We are probably going to try and conceive through a donor but right now it’s a financial impossibility. We are still discussing whether to go with an anonymous or open ID donor.

 

As I don’t have a desire to be the birth parent, I have struggled with the thought that the child wouldn’t feel as bonded towards me or that it wouldn’t feel like as big a part of me. However, I know now that just my intention to have a child is already determining the child we have. Had Julie not met me and had a child with someone else, then it would be a different human being altogether.

 

We both have felt angry at times knowing that it’s not as straightforward for us as with heterosexual couples and that we will no doubt be judged more harshly as parents by small-minded people when we’re out in public with our children, but these feelings pass and life is really too short.

 

Plus we have the luxury of living in a city where there are many LGBTQ parenting support networks and we have friends who are already parents.

 

Lynsey

Children have always been part of my life plan.

 

I first investigated the possibility of co-parenting with my ex-partner and a gay man, but sadly it didn’t work out. My ex-partner was eager to have children but wasn’t interested in carrying the child herself.

 

I am very aware of my age (37) and the impact that could potentially have on my ability to conceive, so had started to wonder if it would ever happen.

 

My current partner is several years younger than me and, although she identifies as genderqueer and has a complex gender identity, she would dearly love to carry a child, so there is a real possibility that we will work towards this goal within the next few years.

Jay

I see myself as genderqueer, closer to male – a trans man.

 

I became aware that I wanted children around age 25 and started to think about it seriously at about 28. I now have two grown-up children, conceived with my partner of the time.

 

Basically, I was so desperate for children – but so pessimistic about finding a long-term partner – I chose the first decent-looking male as an unknowing sperm donor.

 

Low self-esteem made me very difficult to live with, and not being at all at ease in the traditional gender role of mother did not help. Still think I’d have made a better father.

 

My elder daughter was five when I found myself single again, which was extremely difficult. This forced me into thinking of my children at all times instead of trying to find stability for myself and it had a poor effect on my mental health: I am cyclothymic*. I was also prevented from coming to terms with my gender identity, which caused additional stress.

 

What helped me were happy pills, the local LGBT association, resources put online by organisations in different countries and having time to think for myself now the children are independent.

 

 

 

* Mental health charity Mind  defines cyclothymic disorder as: short periods of mild depression and short periods of hypomania.