How It All Started

The idea for this Blog came to me about a month ago. I was sitting in my reproductive endocrinologist's office with LT (my wife) when the doctor leaned over his desk and said "Mind if I ask you a completely personal question?" I nodded. He dropped his voice and said "What's it like to be gay in the suburbs?" He quickly added. "I live in the city, where it's totally no big deal, and almost all of my gay patients live in J.P. or Brookline and it's just part of the landscape. But... what's it like 'out there'?" My first instinct was to laugh. It seemed like such a silly question. But once I thought about it, I understood why he was asking. I've taken for granted that LT and I have supportive families, that we are both "out" in our jobs, and that our church flies a rainbow flag over the front steps. When LT and I decided to get pregnant, we made an appointment with an OB-GYN whose office was closest to our home. She never batted an eye when presented with us, and only later admitted that we were her first gay couple, and she felt like she had been invited to join a "cool club". We gave birth at a Catholic hospital where all the nurses were fantastic and attentive and professional, and never even missed a beat when I was introduced as "the Papa". Maybe it's our matter-of-fact, laid back way of just being who we are, but it's never occurred to me that being gay in the suburbs might be difficult, or weird or problematic in any way. Ultimately, LT and I were able to convey this to the somewhat stunned doctor, who just nodded and said "Huh". LT and I have always had a rather nonchalant attitude about our relationship and our family. We don't anticipate a negative reaction, so we aren't defensive and that allows other people no real opportunity to react negatively to us or to our kidlet. Maybe someday this approach will fail, and we'll be knocked on our asses with shock. Hopefully not, but I can acknowledge that it's possible. I anticipate that the "problems" will come when kidlet is ready for school, and there are Other Parents to deal with. Maybe we'll have to rethink our approach by then, but I hope not.

So, although LT and I have been very fortunate to live a peaceful existence among all the other suburban moms, we are unfortunate in the sense that other lesbian families are a little harder to find out here in the 'burbs than they are in the city. As a result of our relative isolation, I really have no idea if my experience is the norm or some freakish alternate universe-type of occurrence. So, here I am. Hopefully, others will find this site and help end the mystery. Enquiring minds want to know!

No comments: