Just Say No to Hypocrisy
Photo: Diego Cervo/ istock
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a… wait, I can’t really preach that can I? Selling marriage before sex as a lesbian mom is already a sticky situation—friends of ours managed to convince their children they were married before producing them—but most kids catch on to that legal lie fast, especially when our lack of marital rights makes front page news almost every day.
Luckily we have a sense of humor about it at our house. We have a running gag that starts with my wife saying, “Bastard,” when one of the kids does something really rascally, and the kid responds, “And whose fault is that?”
Yes, according to the legal definition, they are indeed bastards, born out of wedlock, and, ironically, we are one of the seemingly few long-term lesbian couples who never had a marriage ceremony before we had the one we thought was legal, and by then we already had all three kids. We really can’t say we were married first, before sex or kids.
So again, selling that “first comes marriage” thing is tricky, especially with smart kids who can smell a whiff of hypocrisy a mile away.
When the older kids were younger and the topic came up, maybe in terms of having a baby with someone someday, because kids aren’t usually thinking about sex as a desirable activity until after ten, I would say that you shouldn’t have a baby with someone unless you’re in a secure, loving, mutually respectful, long-term relationship.
Descriptive enough? I hoped so.
And I really believe that, despite the amount of screwing around I did in my search for true love between sixteen and twenty-two, when I was lucky enough to latch onto a good thing and never let go, sticking leech-like until she decided she loved me enough to stay (and come out of the closet), despite my being her relationship number one.
Lucky, huh? I keep hoping she won’t decide she missed out on playing the field…
So we can at least point out without hypocrisy that she didn’t screw around before mating for life, even if I set a thoroughly bad example.
Our older kids, not being sold any idea that they’ll go to hell if they have sex before marriage, assume that they will—have sex that is—a safe assumption I’d say. But I do hope that with continuing statements about that “mutually respectful,” “long-term” and “loving” aspect, they’ll actually know someone pretty well before they make that leap.
Our younger son is in a slightly different situation. While still a bastard, no offense intended, he does have pictorial evidence, if not actual memory, of our having married when he was 1, so our marriage is a given in his role-modeled equation. So, there is hope that he’ll think marriage and physical love go together in some manner, and maybe that the sex part should stand in some proximity to marriage (or a non-legal equivalent). His highly literal mind might help in this matter.
My secret wish is that they’ll wait until they’re out of high school. High school is a terrible time to have sex and a good time to focus on getting your head on straight—whatever your orientation—and practice playing well with others. I can only hope.
Blogger Bio: Beren deMotier is a Carol Brady in Levis/tattooed lesbian mama in a mini-van, obsessed with safety, doing the right thing and the amount of dog hair on her wood floors. She is a regular contributor to both Curve and Black Lamb, and has written for Hip Mama, And Baby, Pride Parenting, ehow.com, and for her blog, “That Lesbian Mom Next Door.” Her multi-award-winning book, The Brides of March: Memoir of a Same-Sex Marriage, recounts her giddy leap through a legal window, straight onto the barbeque pit of public debate when she and her partner married in Oregon in 2004, their three children along for the raucous ride. For the whole skinny, visit berendemotier.com.