I think for all member of the LGBTQ community, there are shining moments they didn’t think were possible, last year, five years ago, or half a lifetime ago. I didn’t think the birth certificate was going to be one of those moments for me, but when it was in my hand, with an embossed seal and thick paper, it became something of which I was very proud.
Our journey into parenting was, in many ways, not very notable: We decided we wanted children (me deciding several painstakingly long years after my wife, if you ask her), we did some research, and we started trying. A few roller-coaster months later, we had the greatest news of our lives. Then the baby came, and ever since, we’ve been doing laundry. But that story leaves out the interesting parts: the research included looking for a sperm donor that I felt most closely resembled a male-bodied version of myself, and then working through the disappointment that I couldn’t be the sperm donor myself; we spent hours carefully telling family members, “We’re going to have a baby, so Kai will be a Papa!” to set our expectations for language; and perhaps most memorably, we had to carry a cryogenic tank across town, pick up sperm, and walk a mile home with a container emblazoned with “Caution: Bio Hazard” through the streets of New York.
At the beginning of this journey, I attended the first meeting of the Center Families Transgender and Genderqueer Parents and Prospective Parents group. I am a co-facilitator at the group, so I am helplessly biased in this respect, but I have had many wonderful conversations receiving support from others in all stages of parenting, giving advice on issues we’ve worked through, and sharing stories of joy and sadness. The group is as diverse as its members – discussions happen organically with someone sharing a thought, or telling a story. Perennial favorite discussion topics include family acceptance and education, parenting through foster care and adoption, what our children will call us, pregnancy in a transgender or genderqueer body, and navigating social situations and the questions of our own children.
Everyone with any interest or experience in parenting is welcomed warmly – there are babies and toddlers at the meetings, pregnant folks, parents of older children, and those thinking of parenting somewhere down the line. The group meets at the LGBT Center monthly on a Sunday late in the month – for November we’re meeting this Sunday, November 21st from 12:30 to 2pm. In January and onward, we meet on the 4th Sunday of the month, from 12:30 to 2pm.
Please come, share your story, ask questions, and join the discussion!
Co-facilitator of the Center Families Transgender and Genderqueer Parents and Prospective Parents group.
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