A married lesbian mom reflects on coming out and community.

When I first realized the sexiest thing I could think of was my curvy best friend, and not the man on the other side of my bedroom wall (whom I used to find handsome), I was 21 and it was summertime.

I intended to lock my fingers in her long wavy hair and enjoy the ride; she got engaged to the next man she met and to my great heartbreak, communication ended before anything got started.

I returned to university eager to explore and ready to befriend all gay acquaintances, and happily, was greeted by a close friend’s disclosure of her secret lesbian affair. Wing man: check.

2002 was a great time to discover you wanted to be gay. Our English syllabi already listed Judith Butler, The L Word was on the brink of release. My new posse and I made “Label This” t-shirts and got into cabs across town to our version of The Planet where we drew longer student debts. We felt we were taking up a good cause.

I remember my first Pride. It was in Toronto, still my favorite Pride event worldwide. It is usually a hot summer day, and it was that year, too. I was particularly gleeful drinking beer in the gardens with my new girlfriend and her friends. The jubilation rose to rapture as I began running into old teammates from my various high schools. As soon as I started dating women, I felt an instant community around me. I never had to come “out”. I just was

I first met and unwittingly scared off —I blame my “Lesbian Mafia” tee—my wife on a vociferous night at the end of university. Just 6 years older, she’d had an entirely different experience of being gay: 9 years’ in silence. She expected the cost of being a lesbian was to lose everything.

For the first two weeks of our relationship I cloaked my sexuality for the first time —even from my girl-seeking-girl friends. She used the time to shake off her chrysalis and figure out what she wanted.

2016 marks our 10-year wedding anniversary. Our marriage long ago put aside my fears of lesbian bed death and massaged the scar tissue created in the aftermath of Beth and Tina’s break up.

This autumn, we began to emerge from a four-year thick bubble named Baby-Making And Rearing. Apparently we were the last lesbians on earth to see Orange is the New Black, and Wentworth.  And while Vicky always knows the scores (even for sports she does not necessarily like), my news feed is dependent on whatever I overhear from people who actually know about current events.

For the first time since nesting began, we went to Toronto Pride last year. Pride is still a euphoric time—it builds community and shows you how common you actually are. I know the world is changing—but in the days between Pride, I often feel like LGBTIQ parents are still riding in a new frontier.

That continually surprises me. I’m from the era when Melrose Place aired the first gay kiss on television, opening the doors to the likes of Shonda Rhimes (who would never miss the chance to put a gay character in her award-winning productions).

My wife and I have completed a lot of paperwork regarding our family. We’ve filed passport applications for our kids in two countries. We’ve gone through two fertility programs in two different cities. We started considering donor selection in Australia and finished it in Ontario (using a process someone who does not know any lesbians thought they’d cleverly name “D.A.D.S”). And from the bizarre things your favorite people say, to the incompetent Melbourne doctor who actually encouraged us to pursue “having children in the natural way”—we have had a lot of conversations about our family.

Despite the homophobia we know sometimes still exists, we choose to spend most of our time living in the countryside. Our lakehouse there is three times the size of our city townhouse. Those hours before and after the next event are easily filled with outdoor exploration or activity hopping between rooms (very important during Ontario winters).

In our rural setting, we have the odd incident to complain about, like the “Daddy and me” program that refuses to let our same-sex family attend—even though that’s the only time they organize events like Monster Trucking.

Or that Vicky wasn’t allowed to attend the “Baby and me” food preparation class when I was pregnant.

Each time we’ve argued to be welcomed in these places, the door was shut (even in Ontario) by some obtuse provincial government worker. But other than the day we phone in protest, these incidents don’t really affect our lives; our sons can’t read their posters—yet.

Our every day reality is the day care center, which we’ve found to be a wonderful nurturing place for our sons (and apparently an every growing source of Facebook Friends for us!)

But when school starts next year? Things could change. The numbers in his class alone, will triple.

I’ve sometimes made the argument that life is probably easiest for gay families in an urban setting. But being gay is only part of who we are. We don’t really want to make any more lifestyle changes because of our sexuality.

So every time we start a new activity, or have a casual introduction to another parent, we step up to home plate ready to answer questions and help people tuck their chin back up to their jaw.

It can be tiring. There’s not too many more times I want to have the “You know, ‘other parent or guardian’ would be more reflective of everyone who visits here than ‘mother’ ‘father’” conversation. But I will. Will you?



About the Author:

Alysha Dominico is a Canadian lesbian mompreneur. Find out more about her work at alyshadominico.com

Connect with Alsyha on Twitter @alyshadominico