Hide me!

Paul

Children have always been a part of my life, as a member of a large extended family. I was married at 19 years and my first child was born when I was 22 and my second when I was 25. I remained married until I was in mid 30s when I had a breakdown and was forced to address issues of sexual abuse as a child and also my sexual orientation.

 

Being a parent has always been the most wonderful thing I have achieved in my life. I have had to address bias and homophobia but rarely directly, as people tend not to be brave enough to say anything to a 6ft man.

 

Everyone’s situation is different and you should do what is right for you. Do not allow anyone to tell you what and/or when you should say anything. Be honest but keep yourself safe.

Hannah

As a pregnant woman, people think I must be straight. It annoys me sometimes.

I am very happily married to a man with a child and a bit [pats bump] but I’ve never considered myself to be straight. I’m bi.

 

When I was young, my mother would tell me that one day I would meet Prince Charming – or at least [smiles, then says in a Jewish accent] a doctor, a lawyer, a professional man. It took me a long time to come out to her.

 

When I did it was on the phone and I was in New Zealand. Her reaction amazed me. She said, “Are you? That’s interesting. I envy you.”

 

After all that time with me worrying about telling her, she blew me away.

She must have been married about 37 years by then. I often wonder what would have happened for her if she had been born 30 years later.

 

One of the greatest teachings I had was with my first girlfriend. She had had a child and the relationship with the father was over. She said, “Hannah, it’s not about being bisexual, it’s about falling in love with a person.”

 

People have said all my life, “If you’re bi you must be sitting on the fence” but I know I’m not 100% straight and I know I’m not 100% gay. I’m just open to possibilities and they change every day.

 

I’ve been lucky enough to meet a man who likes a strong woman. It’s not an open relationship but we are open to possibilities, me with women, him and men.

 

When you become pregnant people tend to see you only as one thing. Sometimes at the school gate I want to shout out, “By the way, I am not just a mother!” [Laughs]. “It just struck me, they think of me the way I thought of my mother.”

Linda

I have a seven year old daughter with my ex-husband. When we reached the stage in our relationship where we felt children were the next step, we started trying almost immediately and I fell pregnant a year or so later.

 

I have always known that I wasn’t straight, but I had never been involved in a serious same-sex relationship. My husband and I broke up when our daughter was one.

Until I met my partner I was a single mother. When I met my partner, nearly a year ago, I knew the time had come (at 33!) to out myself to friends and family.

 

Thankfully, most of them were completely supportive and lovely.

 

Most of the concern expressed was about how my daughter was going to deal with it. Since I have raised her to be tolerant and not to judge (and as she was only six and doesn’t quite grasp the ‘different’ nature of our new family yet) she hasn’t even batted an eyelid.

 

My partner has moved in with my daughter and I, and we’re settling down into a happy family unit. I know my partner had never considered children before she met me, so this has been quite a journey for her.

 

There are not a lot of resources for LGBT step-parents. I know this is one of the hardest things my partner has had to face. She’s running blind. We only know of one other couple who have been in our situation, and they live in America.

Lindsay

I’m sort of bisexual as I have had sex with men but I identify as a gay woman.

 

I didn’t want children. I got pregnant from a drunken encounter and it wasn’t diagnosed until I went into labour.

 

I’m now the proud co-parent of a gorgeous and hilarious two year old girl.

Louise

I’m bisexual. I have always wanted children, ever since childhood. I have thought about it seriously for many years, but never been in a position to do anything about it, due to being either single or in relationships which did not allow for it to be realistic. This changed when I started seeing my current partner, and we decided very quickly that we wanted to start a family.

 

We were lucky enough to conceive naturally within a couple of months of deciding we wanted children, and now have a beautiful nine month old son.

Louise II

I am a bisexual woman who is married to a bisexual man. When I was 26 and he was 24 I became pregnant unexpectedly and we had a daughter. I always wanted to have kids.

 

Now we have a seven year old, and plan to have another baby in the next year.

Lucanne

I first became aware that I wanted children around the age of 27. I have two children by my former partner – through a heterosexual relationship. The children are now adults of 24 and 27 years.

Maria

When I was growing up it was taken for granted I would find myself a suitable husband, get married and have children. I was 19 or 20 when my boyfriend and I first talked about our shared future. We married when we were both 22 and had three children in six years.

 

I have three adult children and a grandchild. I wouldn’t consider having another baby now but would consider co-parenting if I was with a younger partner who wanted a child.

 

My relationship with my children was very difficult when I first came out and got worse when I started a gay relationship. However, now they’re in their 20s things are fine.

 

I got involved in various LGBT projects and learnt that I was not alone and had nothing to be ashamed or guilty about. This helped me to stay strong until things got better. Find a group who can provide you with support and friendship. My main sources of support were others who were in similar situations and straight friends who didn’t start treating me differently when I came out.

Nikki

Well when I was 18 I discovered I had polycystic ovaries. I hadn’t actually thought of kids properly ’til then so I started thinking it was time to talk to my partner about it.

 

They weren’t keen so I left it and eventually we broke up.

 

In time I met my now wife Louise, a transgender woman, who was then Paul and just starting to transition (male to female).

 

We got together and spoke and we both agreed if we were going to have kids, it would better to be sooner rather than later due to Louise wanting to attend the gender clinic etc.

 

So within two months of us trying, we fell pregnant but didn’t realise until we were 7/8 weeks pregnant.

 

We are now 23 weeks, due a son and on the gender clinic waiting list.

 

We were judged by all our friends. Some even went as low as to say a miscarriage would be a blessing for the baby as it would be too confused with a “dyke mam and tranny dad.” I said, “It’s two lesbian mams, nothing else.”

 

There is hardly anything out there for trans people and their partners. We’ve been told that we don’t fall into the LGBT category as its anatomically a woman and a man.

 

We’ve even had hospital staff ask us about the situation, asking Louise, “Are you in fancy dress?” Then when we say no, it’s: “Oh, OK then.”

 

When I say, “That’s my wife, the other mother of my child,” they look at me funny then lean in close and ask, “If she’s your wife, how did you get pregnant?”

 

I say, if you’re happy with the situation, don’t let anyone get you down! You’ll be great parents no matter what branch of the LGBT umbrella you’re under!

Tracy

My daughter was my blessing in disguise and totally saved my life.

 

I had had an abusive childhood and had struggled through that. Then when I was 17, I really liked this girl and when she asked me out, I couldn’t wait. When I met her, she met me with a group of her ‘friends’ and I ended up being assaulted by them all.

 

I didn’t want to be part of a community that did this to each other. I thought this was the norm.

 

So I met a guy six weeks later and conformed to what I thought life should be and what society wanted me to be. I had my daughter at 23 and she has been the thing that kept me going, my tower of strength.

 

I was in my ‘marriage’ until I was in my early 30s when I finally couldn’t bear it any longer. My daughter is totally cool about m