Out with Mommy

Archive for the ‘gay mother’ Category

Two nurses in Las Vegas, Nevada, both named Dina, got tired of crossing out pronouns and editing greeting cards for each other, family and friends, so they created Teazled.com, a new online Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender greeting card company for non-traditional families.  The two Dinas, who have been in a loving marriage for seven years and raised four children together, started Teazled to offer LGBT families cards that represent their families and life milestones.

   “Dina and I started Teazled because we felt a void looking for a greeting card to express our feelings during life’s special occasions, only to have to edit the available selection,” said Dina Proto, cofounder of Teazled. “We understand non-traditional families share the same traditional bonds of love and respect. We want the non-traditional family to be able to celebrate those meaningful moments, express their innermost thoughts and communicate with those they cherish.”

Sure, there are other LGBT-oriented greeting card companies, but often the images are R rated.  Teazled showcases tasteful greeting cards for individuals and their families for 25 different occasions, including coming out and commitment ceremonies.  All cards are $3.99 each plus $1 for shipping.  To order, go to www.teazled.com

 

    

NEWS FROM OMG!

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Cynthia Nixon has another redhead in her family.

The “Sex and The City” star (who is naturally blond), and her partner, fiancee Christine Marinoni, showed off the first photo of their newborn – Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni, on Sunday.

Christine, 43, gave birth to Max, last Monday and he has a shock of red hair, just like his biological mom.

Cynthia announced her engagement to Christine in May 2009 while at the Love, Peace and Marriage Equality rally in New York City, saying at the time, she had become engaged the month before.

The couple began dating in 2003, after the star split from husband Danny Mozes, with whom she has two children – Samantha, 15, and Charles, 8.

Cynthia currently stars in Showtime’s “The Big C” alongside Golden Globe winner Laura Linney.

 

 

 

 

Cynthia Nixon’s fiancee has given birth to their son.

The ‘Sex and the City’ actress and her partner Christine Marinoni, 43, welcomed son Max Ellington Nixon-Marinoni into the world on Monday, their spokesperson has confirmed.

The representative said: “Christine and baby are doing great.”

No further information has been given.

Cynthia, 44, has two children,  Samantha, 14, and eight-year-old Charles, whose father is her former boyfriend Danny Mozes.

 “Maybe I’m just lucky, but I feel like Christine is so amazing with our kids – because they’re our kids.  I feel like falling in love with her is part of being amazed at how she makes our family so much better,”  said Nixon.

Cynthia and Christine started dating in 2004 and announced their engagement in 2009

 

Julianne Moore who starred with Annette Bening as lesbian couple  rasing children together in “The Kids are Alright” recently talked about same-sex couple parenting skills.

Julianne Moore, a mother of two, commentedin  an interview that same-sex couples may make better parents because their children are planned.

“You know what else is really nice, is if you’re in a same-sex relationship, you can’t have a kid by accident, so these children are planned and loved and wanted, well-educated and well-adjusted — and that’s what you want,” she said.

That’s what we’re all here for, right?”

Last week my partner and I were shopping yesterday at Target in West Hollywood, buying some decorations and favors for a Halloween party we are hosting for the kids in the neighborhood, and we were having a delightful time picking out multi-colored flashlights and jack-o-lantern treat buckets, but the shopping trip turned ugly when my son wanted every bag of candy in the Halloween aisle.

A smart boy, he learned long ago how to Houdini out of the safety straps on shopping carts, so it has become a regular challenge to keep him seated in the cart.  After he stood up in the cart several times, and we firmly told him to sit back down, explained to him that it was dangerous, that the store manager would tell us to leave if he didn’t sit down, yadda, yadda, yadda, we finally warned him that if he stood up in the cart one more time, he would have to go with Mommy to the car and wait.

Always testing, as three year olds do, he stood up.  That was it.  I plucked him from the cart and plopped in on my hip.  “Ok, now we’re going to the car.”

He turned to my partner, whom my son calls “Momma,” for reinforcement.  In solidarity with me, she told him, “No, you have to go to the car with your Mommy, because you didn’t sit in the cart.”

I carried him, kicking and screaming all the way to the elevator to the parking garage.  The whole way he screamed, “Momma, Momma.  I want Momma.”

The other people in the elevator starred as I tried to calm down the desparate child in my arms.  I gently reinforced to him, “Next time if you sit in the cart like a good boy, then we can stay.”

All the way to the car he threw a fit and wailed for “Momma.”‘  Slightly embarrassed, I grimaced at the people trapped in the elevator with me and this squirming, screaming child.  As I crossed the parking lot  two men were following me.  I stopped beside my car and was fumbling to find my keys in my purse when one of the men approached me.  In a quiet but demanding tone, “Can you tell me, where is his mother?”

I realized that he thought I was not this child’s mother, and that he thought I might be kidnapping him.  I took a deep breath.  “I am his mother.  He lives with me and my partner.  He calls her ‘Momma.’  That’s why he was calling for ‘Momma.’ “

Still unconvinced, he stood watching me while my son screamed even louder because a threatening looking stranger was looming over his mom. The man was wearing (no lie) Bermuda shorts, socks and sandals.  He definitely did not look like he was from  our part of town.  Possibly a tourist, maybe from the Midwest.

“I want to make sure nobody is taking him who shouldn’t be,” said the man, his friend stepping in closer.

“I appreciate that,” I said, “But I am his mother.  I gave birth to him.”

Here I was in a parking lot telling way too much information to a total stranger, and I was stunned at the idea that someone could think I was a kidnapper.  After all, I was in West Hollywood, gay central.

I tried to sooth my son with, “It’s’ okay, it’s okay,” as I opened the rear door of my car to put him in the carseat.  The man wasn’t budging.  I supposed I could have asked my son to tell the man who I was, but the way my son was throwing a fit who knows what he might have said.  What could I do?  I had already told the man my life story in 20 seconds.  I focused on loading my son into the car, but with two men staring down his mom — and by now my heart beat racing and me exuding shaky nerves — my son was completely rattled.  He refused to go into the carseat.

I decided it best not to escalate the scene.  “Come sit up front with Mommy, OK?  You can honk the horn.”  Finally, my son heard something he liked.  Saved by the horn.  He quit crying, and we went around to the driver’s side where I sat with him in my lap and shut the door.

“Just one time,” I told him.  He tooted the horn.  The men were still standing behind my car.  Now, because of the horn, other people were looking at us.  On the passenger seat floor I spied the bag of candy that we had just gotten at the Westside Families Halloween party at Plumber Park.  A Tootsie Roll sucker!  Normally the one piece of sticky, sugary candy that he’s normally forbidden. I handed it to him for a guaranteed distraction.  He quickly unwrapped it and stuck it in his mouth.  Peace and quiet.

After about a minute, the men walked away.

I sat in the car with my son not sure what to think.  Part of me was glad that strangers would step up to make sure a child was safe.  it was a like an episode of that hidden-camera show, “What Would You Do?” where actors play out some sort of unfair or dangerous social situation to see if passersby will intervene.  Then again, the incident was a reminder of the assumptions some people make and their ignorance about alternative family structures.

In the end, I decided I was glad that the men had approached me.  If someone really had been abducting my son, then I’m glad someone risked their own comfort to approach a stranger to find out what was really happening.  Also, the confrontation gave me the opportunity to educate the men about another family formation.  So maybe next time they see two women with a child they will consider that the women might not be sisters, friends or co-workers but partners.

All in all, a happy ending.

 

Nosey Nellies are always asking lesbian moms inappropriate questions, like “Who’s the real mom?”   While we may be tempted to say something snarky and sassy back, Steven Petrow, the author of the forthcoming book, “Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners” (gaymanners.com), says polite, direct and even humorous replies will get us further when these gay gaffs occur.

“Silence is an option, but the truth is that a reply of some kind is hard to avoid,” says Petrow. “Good manners often demand that you rise above the occasion—and the intrusion—and treat the questioner with respect, trying to curb any irritation you may be feeling.”

Steven Petrow, author of the forthcoming book "Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners"

Petrow gives the following guidelines for responding to the three most-often asked questions of lesbian moms.

Q:  “Who’s the real mom?”

A:  What this person is trying to find out, is, who between the two women parenting your kid was the one to give birth. Feel free to reply, “We’re both her moms,” even if that results in a puzzled look. Repeat as necessary, but gently. Some straight people still don’t get the idea that Heather can have two mommies, so it falls on us to educate them along the way.

While it’s true that the law in many place does not consider the “other” mom or dad as a legal guardian, polite manners doesn’t make such distinctions because blood ties don’t make one of you more of a parent than the other.

Of course, being the mother in a lesbian couple who hasn’t actually given birth to your child may make you the lightning rod for questions about the legitimacy of your role in your family—sometimes even in the eyes of other LGBT folks. Dealing with such attitudes in your community, school or workplace can be a major source of discomfort if not handled directly and consistently by both parents. One especially challenging situation is in-laws who don’t think of you as their grandchild’s other parent but rather the girlfriend their daughter happens to live with.

Q:  “Who was the sperm donor?”

A:  This is another personal and quite irrelevant piece of information that you may or may not decide to provide information about. Assuming you even used a sperm donor, as opposed to adopting, you can simply say, “We’d prefer to keep that private for now—that information really belongs to our child. We’ll wait until he’s older and tell him what he needs to know.” Another favorite nosy question along the same lines is, “Do you know if the donor has other kids out there?” to which you can say, “The process was really quite thorough, and we have all the information we need, thanks.”

Of course, an outsider’s overzealous interest in a sperm donor’s identity could signal anything from simple nervousness or curiosity to disapproval of your family. Instead of jumping to conclusions about that—if you generally don’t know which it is—one strategy is to simply make a point of reemphasizing your family makeup, at every opportunity. Be extra-clear by using phrases like “our family” or “our kids” with friends and strangers alike.

Q:  “Who is the father?”

A:  This is asked of moms with babies and pregnant women alike. But it is perhaps especially annoying when addressed to a pregnant women because it reflects so starkly the naïve assumption that all pregnant women are straight.

Of course, pregnant women of all orientations have long borne various invasions of their privacy, and neither you nor I am about to change any of that. But it is inappropriate behavior.

Whatever answer you come up with to this question, remember that you can’t change people’s preconceived notions overnight. But there nothing wrong with saying, “I’m sorry, that’s my business,” or joking, “Are you saying I’m fat?” even though it’s a non sequitur. If you want, try a more genuine explanation, such as “I used a sperm bank and, by the way, I’m a lesbian.” Your questioner might think twice the next time before asking another pregnant woman the same question. And you would have done your duty for the day in coming out to someone new.

Check out these and other guidelines to handling just about every queery that comes up in our lives  and subscribe to the “Queeries” newsletter at www.gaymammers.com.

A couple of years ago one of the major mommy magazines ran a short feature on Cat Cora with nary a mention of her partner or the fact she was raising her children in a two-mom household, but Working Mother was anything but mum about the topic in their recent cover story on the out and proud lesbian and only female Iron Chef on Food Network’s Iron Chef of America.

The article featured a family photo of Cat, her partner Jennifer and their four boys.  In a Q&A format the story covers everything from Cat’s coming out to her IVF adventures with Jennifer and their arrangement of having each other’s eggs transferred into the other mother so that they gave birth to each other’s biological children, except for the one boy who they don’t know who is bio mom because they mixed their eggs.

Thanks Working Mother for coming out with such a wonderful, honest and inspiring story of an accomplished working mom who happens to be gay.


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