Queer femme dad

I just realized that as I start participating in discussions on adoption websites and blogs, more people will be viewing this website. And those people will be strangers. And so, I thought it might be a good idea to explain a bit more about myself, and why the words ‘queer’ and ‘femme’ and ‘dad’ are in the title of this blog.

To start, a little history/etymology:

Queer is an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual or cisgender. Originally meaning strange or peculiar, queer came to be deployed pejoratively against those with same-sex desires or relationships in the late-19th century. Beginning in the late-1980s, queer scholars and activists began to reclaim the word to establish community and assert a politicized identity distinct from the gay political identity. Queer may be used by those who reject traditional gender identities as a broader, less conformist, and deliberately ambiguous alternative to LGBT.

From Urban Dictionary:

Femme: n.) A gender identity in which someone (female, male or other) has an awareness of cultural standards of femininity and actively embodies a feminine appearance, role, or archetype. It is usually–but not always–associated with a gay or queer sexual identity/sexuality. It is usually more accentuated and intentional than a straight female gender identity or gender presentation and often challenges standards of femininity through exaggeration, parody or transgression of gender norms.

From Miriam-Webster:

Dad: noun: a person’s father

Clear as mud? Well, okay, I’ll try a little harder. ūüôā

I am a femme man. I have a lot of mannerisms that are traditionally considered to be feminine. I wear the occasional bit of makeup when getting dressed up for something fancy. I throw fabulous dinner parties while wearing my apron. I consider my femininity to be central to my personal identity. I am not ashamed of the fact that I talk with my hands. I look great in glitter. I covet jewelry the way my male co-workers covet new golf clubs. And much, much more.

I also a queer man.¬† I like this word better than ‘gay’ a lot of the time (although I tend to use ‘gay’ to describe myself when I am talking to people who may be less educated about queer culture as a way of skipping some unnecessary questions and strange looks) because it feels more expansive and welcoming, to me, and also is a word that has particular meaning in the GLBTQ community that I am a part of.¬† It allows for muddiness, for grey areas, for ambiguity, and I like acknowledging that gender and sexuality aren’t black and white.

One day, I hope to be someone’s father.¬† This part should be pretty self-explanatory. ūüôā

And so: I chose to highlight these things in the title of my blog, because they are core parts of my identity, and they are things that make me rare (as far as I can tell) in the adoption blogging world. If anyone out there has any questions, please let me know.

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The Beginning

My name is Matthew, and I am 35 years old.  I am a gay man, and I am engaged to be married to my amazing fiancé.  I live in a major Canadian urban centre, work full time in the emergency services field (and part time as a birth and postpartum doula), and my fiancé and I live in a beautiful home in a lovely neighbourhood with our adorable cat.

I have always wanted children.  And so has my man.  And so, we decided we are going to have at least one, but hopefully two.

The question is, as it always has been: how?

We have a few options:

  • surrogacy (traditional or gestational)
  • adoption of a child in foster care
  • domestic private adoption
  • international adoption

I have spent the last year of my life doing incredible amounts of research on the law, logistics, costs, timelines, and complications of all of these things.  I have made spreadsheets, read blogs, joined support groups, compiled statistics, talked endlessly with my fiancé about our thoughts and feelings about all of this, and it has brought us to this point:

We are either going to do surrogacy or adoption.  *eye roll*

It’s so¬†hard,¬†either way. ¬†And expensive. ¬†And did I mention difficult? ¬†If we go with adoption, we have to spend a lot of money and then cross our fingers that a birth parent will pick us out of the pile of other potential parents for their unborn child. ¬†It could happen in days, or take years. ¬†But it’s more likely to take years. ¬†Years.

And if we go with surrogacy, we can be more involved in the process, but it’s also expensive, and we have to find someone willing to donate their eggs to us, and then someone who is willing to donate their¬†womb to us and be pregnant and deliver a baby and then hand it over to us? ¬†And did I mention that it may involve more than one IVF cycle? ¬†In fact, it is likely to?

We are not wealthy.  We are comfortable, and do not live in poverty, but we do not have $60,000 laying around.  Which is roughly what we have been told to save up for surrogacy or domestic adoption, either way.

This, my friends, is where we are starting from. ¬†It does not feel exactly like a position of strength, but it is what we have been given. ¬†We have many blessings–steady employment, good housing, good health, loving and supportive friends and family, our faith–and if we can focus on those blessings, and support each other, we will get through this and find our way to parenthood.