Often as a queer or transgender individual, the family that they were born into, at some point ceases to feel like a family we belong to. So often we go out into the world seeking to create a family of our own. Twenty-four years ago my partner and I set out to create a family of our own. We lived in Atlanta at the time and there were many laws governing adoption and donor insemination. It was quite a complex process and for the donor insemination option quite a medicalized process. So I did all the research and identified the one clinic in Atlanta whereas a lesbian I could go and get the procedure. So we did all the things like monitoring ovulation and temperature checks and blood draws and fertility drugs. Then the day finally arrived for the actual procedure. So we show up to The Feminist Women’s Health Center and were put into a waiting room.
On the particular Saturday that we went in, it was the only day of the month that this clinic did third-trimester abortions. So here we sit in this waiting room with all these other women who are largely pregnant and I don’t know their stories. All I can think as I sit there is, I believe in an individual’s right to choose and I respect the individual choices that people make and what a contrast life was offering me right at that moment. There I sat, so desperate to have a baby of my own and there sat all those other women so desperate to not, me and them.
Living as a member of the LGBTQA community has offered me many occasions to observe me and them. Creating and raising that family of my own continued to offer me those occasions. We were successful that day and nine months later we welcomed our first son into the world. It was a world that often didn’t know what to do with the three of us...Mommy, Mama, and our boy. In 2004 we decided to give our son a sibling and started the adoption process. Again, because we were a Jewish Lesbian Couple, not a Heterosexual Christian couple we were met with many laws and barriers and complications. Once again life offered us an interesting contrast, one agency that we were working with excitedly called to tell me they had presented our profile to a young lady in Florida who was considering us and I had to explain to her that the laws in Florida did not allow for Gay and Lesbian people to adopt.
We moved on and in 2005 flew to Texas to meet and bring home our second son. We were fortunate that the county where we lived in Georgia was one of only two where a small group of lawyers and judges were quietly processing second-parent adoptions for gay and lesbian couples. So we were both able to be legal parents to our boys in Georgia, but Texas refused to put my name on the birth certificate citing some obscure public health law from the 1950s, again it was me and them. I am continually humbled by the strength, resilience, and resourcefulness of our community.
We have come so far and we continue to have a ways to go. Look around you at the family you have created for yourself and if you are still in the process of creating that family reach out, there is a community there ready to help you. There will always be examples of me and them, but as I look around today I am so grateful to see and love more “ me’s” and to experience less “them’s”.