One thing that’s been on my mind lately, is the number of people that are aware of our baby making process.
To start with, we have both been open about our plans with most people in our lives – to a point anyway.
I guess, in my experience anyway, we have been somewhat of a ‘poster’ couple for a lesbian relationship. Not in any great heroic sense, but more in that we have been readily identifiable as a committed, family oriented lesbian couple.
Sure there are plenty around in our city, but, at least in my old workplace, it was somewhat of a novelty for a lot of people.
When we had our civil union a few years ago, this was naturally a source of much gossip in the office. I had many questions asked of us, and was quite open in my responses. At that time, there was a lot of dialogue happening around the country debating the civil union law, the debasement of marriage etc, and I saw it as an excellent opportunity to show those that asked just how ‘normal’ we are. A number of people I worked with admitted that they had an issue with the idea of gay marriage in abstract, but after putting a face to it, and a bit of empathy, they became supporters.
As a result, it opened up a lot of conversation and understanding of what otherwise would have been ignored or avoided by some. I have never been particularly open with my emotions with most people, but was proud to be able to influence people in what I see as an important way.
Naturally, as time progressed, people began to ask if we would consider children. We never saw fit not to answer this honestly, so the answer was always yes. Then the next question would come… how?
Now, I understand that most straight people have never had to consider the ramifications of trying to build a family without the necessary equipment, so these questions have never bothered me. In fact, again I have only answered honestly – without going into too many personal details.
Again, people have only been happy for us, and incredibly supportive of our choices. Which is good.
What I am fast understanding is not so good, is the fact that now we have all of these people who are watching our progress. Which is fine for now, but I realise it’s bound to lead to a lot of pressure down the path.
I’ve read other blogs where people have commented on the pressure of having people asking for updates every time they see them, which obviously is incredibly hard if they are having a difficult time getting there.
It’s something that our counsellor brought up at our last meeting, and she suggested not telling people when we actually do start to try, but it’s not quite that simple.
For a lot of reasons, there are a few people that must know or will know, and now that’s making me a little uneasy. It’s not something that can be changed, but I guess it’s something that we didn’t fully consider earlier either.
I think in my position, in a new job and limited contact with my old workmates, it’s not something that I’ll have to deal with too much. But my wife, who will be the one being inseminated, is in a far different position and I worry how hard it will be for her if we don’t succeed for a while.
I guess one of the things that bugs me about this whole deal is that it can’t be simple.
I am happy for people to be interested in our process and ask questions, and I truly believe that education is a big step on the way to acceptance. Therefore, if we can answer their questions and quietly educate our friends and acquaintances on what it takes for us to do what a typical hetero couple take for granted, and bring some understanding to them, then that is great.
But it bugs me that we have to. That in order to ‘prepare’ certain people for the shock of us suddenly appearing with children in tow, we have to front up now, when we have hardly begun our journey.
And yes, while it is that many more people cheering us on, it is also that many more people watching if we fail.
This is all really speculative anyway, we haven’t got there yet so there’s no point worrying, but it’s interesting because it wasn’t something that we thought of earlier on.
To not be upfront about it wouldn’t suit us for various reasons, so I don’t think we would have done things differently, but it’s been on my mind.
Edit: I realise how contradictory it may seem to post this here, but I am talking solely about people irl that we deal with on a day to day basis.