My brother told me recently that he’d used Meetup.com to find a group of people in Philadelphia who wanted to practice speaking Italian. It dawned on me after we hung up that I could use the site to find other lesbian moms in Lubbock.
Not that we only want lesbian mom friends. Straight parents and straight non-parents are also swell. But there is a particularity to lesbian parenting that makes it helpful to have some lesbian mom friends. You talk about the names you’ve decided to use for yourself (Marta and I have chose Mamá and Amá, but other popular options include Mama and Mom or Mama and Mommy or Hey you and You too), your method for conceiving/adopting, how annoying it is that so many pregnancy books only refer to mom and dad, etc.
In Iowa we had little trouble finding other lesbian mom friends. But here in Lubbock we were beginning to feel all alone. Once, at a grocery store, when we were debating how to strap Nico’s car seat into the front of the shopping cart, a butch woman intervened in a no-nonsense way and showed us how it was done. Then she walked back to her car with her two kids. Marta and I seriously debated following her and asking her to be our friend. In the end we decided that might be too creepy.
Hence, Meetup. The group I started is called Rainbow Parents and for its descriptor, I said we would be “a group for gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans parents in Lubbock and those friends and allies who support our rainbow families.” After about a week we got our first member. She and her partner have two boys, she told me. She said she knew a lot of other lesbian moms, but none of them use Meetup. They’re all over on Facebook.
So she became my Facebook friend and we started a Facebook group called Hub City Offbeat Parents (apparently Lubbock is considered a hub city). We now have 53 members, though not all of them are lesbian moms (hence the “off beat” descriptor). And yesterday we had our first official meet up.
A picnic. At the park. (I know, how gay)
About six moms came, some straighty McStraights, some lesbians, some undefined, all with kids and some with dogs. Marta and I brought a Spanish tortilla and vegan pasta salad. Lots of us brought chips. It was 85 degrees. Nico played on my apple blanket and kept trying to eat grass or dirt. The other bigger kids ran around and jumped off things or danced to the Beastie Boys. It was nice. It made me like it here a little bit more. Though not that much.
And of course Nico was pleased as punch because the meet-up also included her favorite thing: the swing.