Growing Up With A Gay Mom

“Heather Has Two Mommies” was not quite my life as a child of a gay mom. I was raised by a single mother, with a dad that I’ve never met. My earliest memory of my mom being in a relationship was when I was around three, and there was a woman who lived with us that she called her “roommate”. As children do, I referred to her to same way, and it never occurred to me that this was any sort of different way to live.

Growing Up with a Gay Mom | Houston Moms Blog

I grew up on a quiet street. I remember playing with other kids in the neighborhood, learning to ride a bike, having some killer birthday parties {including one that involved an indoor pool, clutch for this November baby}, and spending lots of time with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

When I was around ten, I remember my mom sitting me down to reveal to me that she was gay. This may have been a scary coming out moment for her, but for me it seemed very anticlimactic. Growing up in the elementary school generation where “gay” was a word thrown around just like “stupid” or “retarded”, I didn’t really know what that meant and I don’t remember the revelation changing my life in any significant way.

When I was eleven, I got a trip to Disney World for my birthday. It was just my mom and me for the trip, and we had a blast together. I still love looking at photos, with my mom’s big nineties hair and me sporting a sweet Mickey Mouse fanny pack.

When it came to parenting, I remember my mom always made it clear what boundaries were in place. During my childhood she had two long term relationships, and in both instances it was clear that she was my parent, and they were not. I, of course, had to respect these women as adults in my life, but my mother was my sole parent in charge, and I always knew it. Discussing our childhoods with my husband who is the child of divorced parents raised primarily by his mother and had a stepfather growing up, our experiences are extremely similar.

When I hit high school, there was the occasional perverse comment from a teenage boy about my mom being a lesbian. I recall one instance of this occurring where I gave the offender a sound verbal lashing, and then don’t remember it happening again after that. I never had a guy that I dated have a problem with my family, or a friend that cut off our friendship because of it.

High school was a busy time for me. I was heavily involved in Colorguard {shout out band kids!}, I had a part time job at Sonic rocking some roller skates, and I participated regularly in our church youth group. Responsibility and developing independent life skills were important values in our family.

Maybe I’m naive, or maybe I missed some things, but if you asked me what it was like growing up with a gay parent, my answer would be “pretty much the same”. I played. I spent time with family. I made mistakes. I went to camp. I took dance classes and had recitals. I went to church. We took family vacations. We fought. We made up. There didn’t really seem to be anything special or different about  my family. It was just my normal. I am sure my mom experienced discrimination {and likely still does}. But if her goal was to protect me from those things as a child, then I would say she did a pretty good job.

As an adult, and now a parent, I am so grateful for my family. I love having a close relationship with my mom. I appreciate that there is something about my family that is different, and that it taught me how to be open to differences in others. My mom and her now wife got legally married a few years ago, and although it should have been possible for that to happen much sooner, I am glad that I was older so that I could truly understand the significance of that moment. Now my daughter has not one but two doting grandmothers to spoil her {trust me, I know we are in trouble in the years to come}. These days, one of the only things that reminds me that my family is different is when I tell someone who doesn’t know me that “my mom and stepmom are coming to visit” and they look at me, puzzled as to how my mother and my father’s new wife are such good friends. And I simply smile, and explain.


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2 Responses to Growing Up With A Gay Mom

  1. Avatar
    Kristin K June 30, 2018 at 5:03 pm #

    I loved reading this Lindsay! Your mom sounds like a great mama.

  2. Avatar
    Deanna June 26, 2019 at 9:40 am #

    Lindsay! Your mom is amazing. She is one of the first openly gay people I was able to meet and have a friendship with as an adult coming from a weirdly isolated upbringing. She was so cool and confident! I thought she was (and still) amazing! She taught me so much without even knowing it. I benefited from knowing he beyond measure. Your article is excellent and speaks to the legacy of motherhood.

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