Lesbian Moms Get Laughs
Last night I got to take the stage at a comedy night at Portland’s Q Center. It was one of a series of comedy nights hosted by TIME OUT: The Mother of All Comedy Shows and comic Jacki Kane. I’ve done it three times before, talking about dropping my thong on the second grade classroom floor, being a stoner slut in high school, the vast menagerie that has passed through our home in the name of our children. Those times, I was the only lesbian mom on tap—the token dyke. But at Q Center, the theme was "Mom, Meet My Same-Sex Partner. We're Having a Family!" so it was three lesbian mamas and Jacki, who says she’s a same-sex parent because she and her husband always have the same sex.
One of the performers was Naomi Morena, who I realized was formerly Naomi Littlebear Martinez of Izquierda Ensemble, a feminist band I’d seen while visiting my sister at Reed College when I was fifteen. An important stage in my voyage out of the closet. My sister was a freshman, she and her female friends were radical women with hairy legs, some of them L.U.G.s, (lesbians until graduation) and at the concert I was surrounded by lots of wonderful, allegedly gay women. My heart sang. I was on an estrogen high. And then, back at the dorm, my sister’s friends lit into me about my makeup, my clothes, my fifteen-year-old hair, and it seemed clear that no lesbians would like me back. Bang went the closet door for another four years.
The other was Myra Lavenue, a fellow Curve contributor and Portland mombian. Her theme, around which she strung her own coming out story, was how to stay hip, edgy and queer while being a same-sex parent. She had lots of suggestions on how to keep that queer identity, including hanging out with non-parenting lesbians, who will have more time to be social and more flexible schedules than other moms, attending every pro-gay political event or protest, going to gay bars and trendy lesbian haunts, losing the mom haircut (yes, good advice), have sex (ditto) and making the baby part of your queer life instead of your queer life being over once you’ve made or adopted a baby.
Sounds like good advice. Self-help books would surely agree. Magazine articles abound affirming these suggestion on not losing your pre-kid self. Only one problem I can see and Myra may have a different experience, as she’s only starting out—her oldest is five, my oldest is eighteen—all the couples I’ve known who followed her advice have split up. Every cool, hip, good looking lesbian parents I’ve known were down for the count in under a decade, if that long. Which is why I’m a little nervous about my own wife’s recent makeover and attraction to fashion—she looks fabulous, but can I keep her? Only time will tell; in December, it will be twenty-three years.