If I asked you to try and imagine what goes on inside the head of a child cared for in a lesbian relationship, it would probably be too much of a leap into the unknown. I was nudged into this position today by noticing a small item in the web edition of my favourite London newspaper The Times.
I have a son whose mother is a lesbian. A lesbian whose partner has a daughter by my gay partner Dave. They are the same age within four days. Thirteen. Or, as my son Leo insists, 13.8. Don’t overlook the ‘point 8’! 14 on January 1st, indeed.
This morning, as it got light, I was sitting on the floor of our little gym training cabin with my son balancing on my head on one arm. Next me sits Dave, his daughter doing the same on his head. They have trained for several years as acrobats and do occasional shows together, and with us. They think of each other, illogically but understandably, as brother and sister.
Opposite us, their mothers are heaving weights for all they are worth, for the one thing that this extended ‘family’ is, is fitness freaks! Leo and Jaymee grew up in a household with their two mums, spending some time with Dave and I. Since the last couple of years, we have all shared the same household. With another gay couple too, in fact: Dave’s brother is gay too, and he has a long-term partner Ivo.
What this means for the kids is, effectively, two mums and two dads (and a couple of extra uncles on call as well!). But the key question is: what goes on in their heads when other kids at school ask questions, for the nature of our household is widely known.
Pause for irrelevant picture, for this is a gay fitness blog, right?
5 ballet boys creating an interesting ‘up close and personal’ arrangement…
So, this article in The Times. Seems that a 14yo child of lesbians, who was created via sperm donation from a gay man, is being forced against her will into ‘limited contact’ with her biological father. For what it’s worth, our kids were created in the ‘normal’ hetero way (with a lot of help and support from our gay and lesbian friends on the night – see ‘Loving the Boy’ and ‘The Power of Love’). The girl’s father (and his partner) want to send her cards and gifts. The girl wants none of it. The British High Court judge has decided – after seven years of litigation – that the girl would “be likely to benefit from a modest but important link” with the men and that it is in her best interests to have a male figure in her life.
Funny old world, but this is the sort of thing I would have expected to see in our American courts over here!
What interests me is what is going on in her head. Why should she be so against knowing something of her true father? The lesbian mums have been accused of constructing a ‘high wall fortress’ around the girl and her 10yo sister (oh yes, there’s a sister – no information about the father there). Indoctrination?
I look at our set-up, and particularly at my son and at Dave’s daughter, and thank God (if there is one) for the loving environment that prevails here. I look at their wide circle of friends of both sexes, and I marvel at their willingness to do what we, the adults, do by way of physical sports and pastimes. Well, it is work, actually! And I am so, so grateful that they are so close to us despite the age gap.
And, yes, I do wonder sometimes what goes on in their heads. But they are really open and honest in what they say, they share their troubles with us (yes, there are folks around who are less understanding about their situation) and it is hard not to believe that they are actually better off than many kids in ‘conventional’ homes – more people to turn to… And, by the way, they are both a ‘straight’ as they come. Leo and his friends watching the girls, Jaymee and her friends sizing up the boys…
…and there are no threats to them in this household, despite a few people who seem to think that ‘gay’ = ‘paedophile’.
OK. Dave and I (and Pete and Ivo) like sizing up the boys, too. Here goes!
How a good workout should end…
I suppose, after wading through such a lengthy post, you’d like a couple more…?
OK, but only after I have reminded you that there are actually three of my books out there, the third being much more of a ‘thriller’ genre, and a bit less actively gay. Just sayin’. The fourth is presently being ignored by a literary agent…
Love the lighting on that one! ‘Bye’ for now!