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Queering Birth Narratives


Photo from “Birth Without Fear”

Because birth narratives so often focus on heteronormative reproduction, I feel it is essential to discuss those families that exist outside, in parallel, and in opposition to that norm, and to shed light on their experiences becoming parents.

Raising awareness and community around queer families and their many and varying paths to birth and parenthood destabilizes hegemonic notions of “the family,” and broadens our understanding of who/what makes a family. Below are several such narratives, resources, blogs, and articles to help complicate prevailing notions of heteronormative pregnancy and birth.

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list; more like the tip-of-an-iceberg of a topic that needs to be more broadly discussed and perpetuated.

Queer Birth Stories

My Research Case Study: Nonbiological Lesbian Mother’s Stories of Pregnancy and Birth: 3 stories woven into one!

Happy Birthday: a fat queer birth story: Genderqueer, white person with ADD. Mama, student, and shy loudmouth

Queer Femme Mama: parenting is political

Benjamin Koby: (childbirth.org)

Confessions of a Lesbian Dad (Excerpt) from The Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All, compiled by Harlyn Aizley

A.J. and Daniel: A story of open adoption in North Carolina

Questions You Have but are Too Afraid to Ask {Lesbian Parent Edition}: This is a really great Q&A format birth narrative that clarifies some of the complexity around lesbian pregnancy and birth.

VIDEO: Lesbian Couple: How We Had Our Daughter – Part 1 Ebony and Denise share their journey to birth and beyond!

And for a high-profile gay couple’s story of surrogacy, check out Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka’s interview with Oprah!

Queer Birth Resources

It’s Conceivable

Maia Midwifery

VillageQ: where queer meets family

Gay Parent Magazine

Offbeat Families: an archive of over 2400 empowering articles about nontraditional parenting and families

Queer Parenting Blogs

Lesbian Dad: Notes from the Crossroads of Mother and Father

First Time Second Time: Thoughts on relationships, roles, taking turns, gender and parenting from a queer family

Turkey Baster and a Bottle of Wine: on being a queer non-gestational parent

Mommy Man: Adventures of a Gay Superdad

Academic Articles on Queer Pregnancy and Birth

Womb is Womb, but is Birth Birth? A Look at the Queer Interaction of Medical Services, Social Context and Identity Understanding in Canadian Birthing Experiences by Michelle Walks (2004)

Imag(in)ing the Queer Lesbian Family by Jackie Gabb (1999)

More Queer Family Topics: Chosen Family, Queering Abortion and Reproductive Justice, Queer Time and Space: Family Structures and Kinship, Gender-Neutral Parenting

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, or would like to add a link of your own, let me know!


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