My partner and I have recently celebrated seven years together, which means two things.
It reminded us that the seven-year itch is yet another trite stereotype that the straight patriarchy likes to attach to love relationships. And it prompted a serious reflection on building a family in the future.
I have mixed feelings on the concept of family. On the one hand, I respect the desire for marriage equality and parenting rights many LGBTQIA+ people have expressed throughout history.
But as a non-binary, feminist and anticapitalist individual, I have no place in an institution that is heavily gendered, patriarchal and reflective of oppressive modes of (re)production.
I feel much more represented by the long history of queer people, mainly from Black and Latine backgrounds, building alternative care communities.
The biggest dilemma in our reflections on family, however, concerns parenthood.
We have long thought about how our own identities and values would impact how we raise our children.
I will never be a mother. The idea, in my head, is too deeply embedded with the concept of womanhood. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be a parent.
I knew it when I read Torrey Peters’s novel Detransition, Baby. While enchanted by Reese, Katrina and Ames – a trans woman, a cis woman and a detransitioned trans woman who embodies radically different forms of queer motherhood - it was intimately clear to me that my non-binary identity will never fit in that range.
My cis male partner, on the other hand, is exploring the asexual spectrum.
Our children would grow up in a household where the gender binary and allosexuality (experiencing sexual attraction), the two pillars of the traditional idea of family, would simply not be a thing.
I’m intrigued by the prospect. I’d like my children to grow up free of the gendered expectations and the compulsion to heterosexual romance I suffered from when I was young.
There has been much talk of the queer community brainwashing children, even “grooming” them.
But growing up, I’ve only ever experienced pressures towards romance and sexuality from cis straight adults, including relatives and educators.
I wish all children, including mine, could live as their authentic selves from an early age. That they could cultivate relationships outside of the patriarchal norm.
A new generation of queer parents could transform the family institution into something new and unique.
If we raise young people free of restrictive societal norms, then perhaps we’ll eventually have a freer, more creative society.
Get the Queer Gaze in your inbox each week with our free weekly newsletter or pitch to write an edition for us now.
Support Queer Creatives
This article was just one part of our free weekly newsletter that helps you understand the queer headlines and stay on top of the latest LGBTQIA+ content - all while we support queer creatives.
It's written by Jamie Wareham, and a different queer creative each week. Hundreds of people trust us to give them everything they need to navigate the ever-changing queer world, every Saturday morning. 🏳️🌈
We are an independent platform launching the careers of emerging and LGBTQIA+ creatives driven by people, not advertisers.
The Queer Gaze is our landmark scheme commissioning, mentoring and running skill sessions with queer writers.
We rely on members like Cleo Lunt to directly commission queer creatives - join in and see your name here too?