Saturday, July 14, 2007

Don't. Just Don't.

Mombian has this great post of do & don't tips called How to Respond When Meeting Lesbian Moms.

I think I've decided to print it off and carry it around as a small, laminated tip card. That way, when I meet people like this woman I can just hand her the card, perhaps with a hotline number if she doesn't understand.

The story goes like this:
Scully is showing off Khubz. There are several students who Scully has worked with for years and who knew what a difficult path it was when I was trying to get pregnant. They hadn't met Khubz and so Scully was naturally talking about how great it is that she's here. I think Scully said something like, "She was worth the wait."

Insert peripheral dumb woman standing at the edge of our conversation. She is not someone Scully knows well and not someone I know at all.

Her: "Oh, where did you get her from?"
Like, where did you get that skirt it's fabulous. Really, Walmart? On sale? Did you get one in every color??

Me: puzzled expression (okay, anyone who knows me knows that this is my pissed, slightly wincing pretend-puzzled expression) "Ummm, what do you mean--um, she's not adopted." As soon as I said it I knew I was in a needless & ridiculous conversation. So what if she was adopted? That is a totally bullshit question.

Her: "Well, whose is she?"
Like, I know I don't even know how to say your name, let alone your daughter's name, but because you're queer moms I have a right to know the genetic origins of your child, don't I? Of course I do! I'm a stupid but entitled straight white girl.

Me: openly glaring with my eyes although my fake smile is still in place. "She's ours."

Her: she begins listing the known facts out loud while counting them off with her fingers. I am not kidding. Her cadence slowed, as if the problem in our conversation was my cognitive ability. "She's both of yours. . . She's not adopted. . . So, who's the mother-mother? I mean, who had her?"
Like, I hear you trying to assert that you three are a family, but that just doesn't fit with my narrow understanding of relationships/love/family systems/the world. So I'm just going to keep asking my homophob-y and outright rude questions over and over. Only more slowly.

Me: fake smile is gone. my head is tilted to one sight slightly to make my glare more menacing. "Does it matter." It was not a question. I would have added a 'huh' before my statement if I thought she'd have understood nuance.

Scully, who had been chatting along happily with non-weirdos hadn't heard the stupid conversation I'd been having. But she has trained her ears to catch certain tones in my voice. That coupled with the words, "Does it matter??" and she went into rescue mode. "I've gotta get going." She said to the students she'd been chatting with. "Honey," she turned to me, " I know we've got to get you to your thing." No need to even fake an appointment, a meeting, a class. It was enough that I had a thing to get to.

Even as her rescue operation was in progress, dumb-ass continued.
Her: "Well, yeah. I mean, I'm curious! Now I need to figure out which of you she looks like." The final sentence was said with the hushed tone of bitch-ass-idiot-straight-girl who thought she was undertaking some Holmesian mystery.
Like, I'm curious and you are my specimen, right? After all, I'm a cool liberal straight white girl! You have to satisfy me, I'm your ally!!

We walked away.

She really could have used a tip card, you know.

Here's the right answer to anyone struggling internally with her questions of where did she come from? / how did she get here? / which of you is the real mother? / is she human? / are you human?

Just quietly hear those questions well up inside yourself. Then answer them out loud without ever voicing the questions. The answer is, "I'm so glad she's here."


Two Shews said...

Oh. Mah. Gawd. I am alternately horrified and falling out of my chair laughing. Especially since I happen to know which lovely cherub subjected you to this conversation. Freakin' white straight chicks. Er. Wait...

I am so glad she's here, too. And both of you, too.

Anonymous said...


the phuck.



nannie annie is non-violent but nannie annie woulda givin' that dumb MF a verbal ass whoopin'.

damn friend...i'm sorry.