les•bi•an dad n, neologism 1. a. A lesbian or genderqueer parent who feels that traditionally female titles (i.e., “mother”) don’t quite fit, and who is willing to appropriate and redefine existing male ones (i.e., “father”): She was a tomboy when she was a kid, so it’s not surprising she’s a lesbian dad as a parent. b. Often a non-biological parent in a lesbian family, and/or one whose role relative to the child in many ways resembles that of fathers.
What it is.
LesbianDad is a personal essay/photography blog about parenthood generally, and lesbian parenthood in particular, with especial attention to the experiences of non-birth and/or butch mums and the many larger questions our unique kind of parenthood opens up. I expect that my own family experiences reflect those of many others; if they don’t, I hope they expand your understanding of family, LGBT or otherwise.
In the interest of being helpful, I started a Glossary; some of the entries there may help clarify some facets of queer parenthood for the uninitiated.
And in the interest of full disclosure, I want to note that I subscribe to the Walt Whitman school of writing process, rather than Gertrude Stein’s. Walt tinkered with what he wrote over and over, past its first and second and umpteen print publications. Gertrude thought: first draft best draft. I will say that whatever ripples of change appear in a piece, subsequent to its first posting, are usually along stylistic and le mot juste lines — not substantive ones. I usually leave well enough alone after 24 hours. But now we’re all forewarned.
I did a post about the genesis and development of this blog and how I write it here: The political is personal. I did a post of loose notes about how I photograph my kids here: Feeds self yogurt, effortlessly. Writer Abby Dorsey profiled lesbian fatherhood in general, including mine in particular, in an April 2013 piece in The Advocate (print and online editions): “The New Lesbian Dad.”
Since this little craft launched, it has collected a few nods of recognition which, in a fit of humility, I have demoted from big fat Home page button to modest little About page link:
- Weblog Awards Best New Blog (2006)
- About.com’s Top 10 Lesbian Blogs (2007)
- Finalist for The Lesbian Lifestyle’s Blog of the Year (2007)
- The Lesbian Lifestyle’s Best Parenting/Wedding Blog (2008)
- Finalist for The Lesbian Lifestyle’s Best Parenting Blog (2009)
- The Bloggies’ Best GLBT Blog (2010)
- One of BlogHer & Parenting Magazine’s “Must-Read Moms” (2010)
- Finalist for The Bloggies’ Best LGBT Blog (2011)
- One of Red Tricycle’s Top Bay Area Mom (and Dad) Blogs (2011)
- Circle of Moms: Top 25 LGBT Parent Blogs (2011)
- One of Babble’s Top 50 Twitter Moms (2011)
- One of Babble’s Top 50 Dad Blogs (2011) (#1 Most Groundbreaking, #4 Best Written)
- Finalist for the Bloggies’ Best LGBT Blog (2012)
- One of Babble’s Top 50 Dad Blogs (2012) (#1 Most Groundbreaking, #2 Most Confessional), and
- One of Red Tricycle’s Coolest Power Moms of San Francisco (2013) .
The most valuable award, of course, is that of your attention, right here, right now. So thank you, gentle reader.
What it isn’t.
LesbianDad isn’t a source for breaking news or commentary on it. Even if I subscribe to — and aspire to demonstrate, on a regular basis — the feminist adage that the personal is political. Blogospherically speaking, I look to places like Mombian and Pam’s House Blend for breaking news and analysis of particular interest to lesbian parents, and I Blame the Patriarchy and Katha Pollitt for rapier, feminist commentary on issues of the day. I can’t say I won’t fulminate about events of the day, but I’m just saying. You’ll read it here second, or third. Or fifth. You know.
Who is this Lesbian Dad?
I come by my parenting chops by virtue of a daughter (since September 2004) and a son (since January 2007), both carried and birthed by my beloved. Our donor is what you call “personally known” (and also loved). I come by most of the rest of what goes into this blog by virtue of some book-learning (BA: Berkeley, English; MA: Minnesota, American Studies & Feminist Studies), some teaching at both universities (American Studies, Women’s Studies, Composition, Pedagogy), and sundry activism hither and yon.
I’ve written about my parenting journey elsewhere in print, and cross-post and Edit-in-Chief over at Lesbian Family. I’ve posted at BlogHer as a Contributing Editor in Parenting and Family topics, and worked there for time directing conference programming. I’ve talked about LGBT and “alternative” families online, as well as writing at social media conferences like Mom 2.0, Dad 2.0, and BlogHer. More all-purpose caveats here.
If you’re interested, please write me via this blog’s contact page. Meanwhile, you’re welcome to comment on anything; I just ask that you register first. Worry not: I won’t share your email with anybody, anyway, anyhow. It simply enables me to preview comments so I can nix the spam, which is all I’ve had to nix. I’m proud to say that since the inception of this thing, I’ve
never had a belligerent or bellicose comment only received one piece of hate mail. Gives one some faith in human nature. That, or it’s instructive of the editorial impact of the loss of anonymity. Either way, thank you for reading.
page last updated: 4.12.13 | photo credit: JPB [above] & AEZ [below]