This post brought to you by this post on autostraddle.
When I started my blog searching 5 years ago, it was just beginning to be popular to write about your parenting experiences. Blogs were providing a unique space for everyday people from different walks of life to write and connect. I read everything that I could find by lesbian parents and parents to be. Sometimes I would go back to the beginning of their blog and read for hours on end. (I was recovering from wrist surgery and unable to work or continue school.) At that time I was still kidding myself that I would have a partner to parent with but I did find one single (straight) mom by choice. Most of these families were middle or upper class and every one that I can recall were white. The lack of diversity didn’t go unnoticed but I was absorbed in the details of each family’s story and they were all quite different.
When I started this blog and started looking for other single moms by choice, the pickings were slim. I also found it really hard to search for and find blogs by people like me. I read what I could find and also checked out books from the library about lesbian pregnancy and parenting. It didn’t all fit my situation, especially since they advise against known donors and were assuming there would be a second parent, but it helped me to look at different options and determine what would fit for my future family.
We are all in search of people like ourselves, be it background, race, sexuality, taste in books – intersecting labels. We need that mirror image for validation and comfort. It can be hard to appreciate the differences and see the similarities when we slather ourselves in restrictive/descriptive labels and limit ourselves to only exact matches.
We need more queer voices, more single mom by choice voices, my people of color voices, but if we choose not to speak and share our stories then we won’t have those resources and make those connections. We can’t blame the people who do not fit these labels for their not being images and stories of people like us – people who aren’t striaght, white, coupled, cisgendered, well off and well educated.
If I limited myself to reading about queer, white, lower-middle class, crunchy, Buddhist, single moms by choice, I would be well and quite alone. All of our voices are unique and valuable. No one can speak for us besides ourselves.