This is a tricky entry to write as it’s going to cross the business/personal line and perhaps have some sentences in that aren’t things normally said in a professional situation. Although the thought has just popped into my head that all of the things I am going to write about have been said to me at times throughout my life by bosses or work colleagues or clients. So I guess that does make it blog material! 
 
June is Pride month. For those of you who know me personally you know I am a Lesbian. I am out and I am proud. I have a beautiful and exceptional wife and we have adopted two wonderful boys. I am very quick to drop into conversation that my partner is a wife and not a husband as it is a strong part of my identity. 
 
I have long hair, wear make up, love dresses and I am considered to be a Femme Lesbian. The types of homophobia I encounter tend to be different from my wife who has short/shaved hair, wears some clothes designed for men and some for women and works in a male dominated environment. I count myself to be lucky to not have been on the end of any violent or overly horrifying homophobia (isn’t it mad that that counts as luck!) but I have and do get some of the following comments: 
 
You don’t look like a lesbian. (Sometimes in the form of Really? You’re so pretty.) 
I’m not going to apologise for not fitting into your stereotypical expectations. Every person is different and individual, how they look or dress shouldn’t mean you automatically assume they are straight or gay or asexual or anything. This is insulting. Don’t say it! 
 
Who’s the ‘man’ in your relationship? Who’s Daddy to your boys? 
You’re asking this because we’re both women. So, the answer is we’re both women, both Mum/Mummy. Please stop with the outdated ideas of gender roles and understand that in 2021 anyone can bake a cake or wield a power drill. Our children are happy and blooming as they have two loving and supportive parents. 
 
Oh my Aunties friends daughter is like you do you know her? 
I get that you might be trying to show us you’re an ally here, but we don’t know everyone in the ‘club’. 
 
How do you have sex? Fancy a threesome? 
Would you ask a straight person about their personal life? Would you answer this question if asked it or would you raise your eyebrows at the intimate nature of it? 
 
I wish I were a lesbian. Things would be so much easier. 
This one just makes me laugh – two women, twice the hormones and twice the having to have the last word! 
 
Who’s the real Mum? How did you get your kids? 
This question hurts. A lot of thought, emotion and finances go into same sex couples creating their forever families. Biology generally dictates that it doesn’t happen accidently! The answer is that a child adopted by or born to same sex parents has two parents who have an equal legal status no matter where the egg and sperm came from. 
We went through the vigorous and challenging process of adopting, having every detail of our lives scrutinised under a microscope. Luckily our matching process was relatively straight forward but we encountered worry and heartache with final legal proceedings where we wondered if we might have to give our beautiful sons back to an unstable environment. Many adopted children have additional needs too so if you are asking questions like the above to their parents you are going to hurt them. 
 
 
These statements might have you reeling with their inappropriateness and most people wouldn’t dream of asking any of the above. However, so many do, and I couldn’t tell you how many times I have fended off tasteless and prying questions and comments. We need to be challenging gender bias, not buying in to stereotypes of any kind and thinking before we ask. We need to see loving and supportive families as just that whether they have a Mum and a Dad, two Mums or one Dad, or Grandparents or Aunts and Uncles. 
 
So this pride month be an ally by thinking before you speak or by calling out people if you hear them asking anything like the above. 
 
Happy pride. Love wins. 
 
 
 
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