With The Fosters debuting on June 3rd, Google putting a two mom family in a commercial for Mother’s Day, and The New Yorker putting gay moms on it’s Mother’s Day cover, is this the year of lesbian Mothers’ Day? That’s the question HuffPost Live is asking in this video, which features lesbian filmmakers Rose Troche and Wendy Jo Carlton.
If you buy what they’re selling lesbian moms are hip. The awkward nerd in me will now celebrate being hip for the first time ever. If everything is cyclical, lesbians moms may be the cool thing for a bit before they move on to gnomes or dog that talk, or babies that try to sell you on the virtues of trading stocks from a crib (oh right, the last one already exists). Being chic or cool is usually short-lived and maybe this year is the year that gay moms are cool and next year it will be something else (although last year JC Penney did those adorable two mom and two dad ads for Mother’s and Father’s Day, so maybe the cycle is longer than we think).
But the important thing is that these images have power. The lasting effect of a kid finding her parents issue of The New Yorker this week, or seeing an episode or even just a promo for The Fosters will last long after pop culture has moved on. Someone recently asked me if I always wanted to be a mother. The answer is no. Impossible didn’t mean much to me as a kid. My imagination could take me to a thousand places and allowed me to dream incredible things (like being the first girl to play for the Red Sox and Bruins). But, before I have words to describe how or why I was different from other kids, I knew that that difference meant no marriage and no kids. So I pushed back against that knowledge of something I could never have and something I could never be by trying to make it seem like it was my choice.
I have to wonder if I had shows like The Fosters, or images of families with two moms or two dads at my disposal I would have been able to dream differently. So whether this year is the year of the lesbian mom or in a month it becomes the year of something else, the fact that there are kids everywhere, gay and straight, who know that two mom families exist changes everything. For some girl who never thought she’d get married or have kids because she knows she’s different from the other girls, and not just because she likes hockey and can turn a wicked double-play, she won’t have to think that there are some dreams that are just too big to dream. She won’t think, “I’ll just pretend I don’t want that because it’s more pathetic if people know I do.” She’ll see the magazine or the television and she’ll know, she can be whatever she wants, even a mom.
Happy Mother’s/Mothers’ Day to all of you.