Oh shit. I am pregnant. This annoying little biological fact makes everyone who achieves it feel that their life is more complicated than all the people next to them, and I am not about to break this pattern. This is a pattern I am happy to keep. Along with thoughts of changing diapers and sleepless nights, I shall be pleased to complete wordy diatribes on the topics of my amusement with and woes about my complicated gender.
It’s hilarious that I have found a way to become physically pregnant. I’ve been a boy forever. My Barbies rode ATV remote control cars and married Ninja Turtles while defeating the Shredder. I played hockey (badly) and softball (to stare at the hot backside of Jenny Dischler, the shortstop). I railed against the boys who wouldn’t let me join in their cool high school nerd cliques and then I hated them in college when I realized that I had always been your average boi dyke feminist in the making.
I came out. I cut my hair, listened to the Indigo Girls and used such a loud volume on my family that after years of disowning me, all of the important relatives turned into liberals to support me, their beloved, gay loudmouth who bullied them to the left. Many of them attended my outdoor, vegetarian commitment ceremony to the environmentalist woman of my dreams. They visited me when I moved to San Francisco and held their tongues when my lesbian marriage dissolved after nine years.
In the gay mecca of San Francisco, as a feminist boy with boobs and a penchant for balls-out rowdiness, it was impossible to resist the pretty, swishy, mischievous, highly homosexual guy who bit my lip after discussing Battlestar Galactica. The hankies in his pocket that indicated his interest in very lesbian activities that I was already skilled at implementing sealed the deal. I slept with a biological male. And enjoyed it. Repeatedly. To everyone’s chagrin.
I can count on one hand the number of times that I have slept with a biological male, the number of times that I have deigned to sleep with the same person more than once and the number of times that any partner has enjoyed it as much as I have. I’m often too boyish and toppy for straight guys and far too female and wet in the wrong places for gay guys. It’s hard to find humans standing opposite oneself with mutual attraction, a delicious alcoholic drink, plenty of free time and some flexibility to spare. But I snagged one.
After three years of art school and strutting around at queer Pride events as post-gay over-achievers, our good luck with birth control ended. We had already set a date for a commitment ceremony and had heartily agreed that we would be wonderful, thoughtful, socially conscious, post-gay, over-achieving, queer-as-fuck parents. Sometime in the future. Not now. We had not counted on me physically turning from a skinny, hyper, loud, 12-year-old boy silhouette into an exhausted, boobalicious, nauseous, bona fide female in the middle of our gay wedding next to the bust of Harvey Milk.
I couldn’t get my wedding suit pants altered until the week of the party, in case I changed shape again, which I did. My gorgeous partner suddenly had to be supportive not just of a crazy writer and staunch egotist, but also of a person sitting on the couch and looking pathetic until just-so crackers and sweatpants were delivered to relieve the stomach discomfort and acute dysphoria that follows from putting all of ones energy into not being cliché, expected or anything normative – and failing.
Of all the things to fail at. Being absurd has always come so naturally to both of us. And there’s a real chance that the absurdity will continue, but getting knocked up tends to make a rabid dyke and faggot couple who are addicted to following their own whims question some things. Do we still have the ability to confuse our friends and parents? We do, as it turns out. Their happiness over a potential baby to spoil is at least tinged with confusion over where our path is leading us, and, if nothing else, the perplexities of what they are or are not allowed to mention about the irony and hilarity of our situation.
It’s not that we don’t know what to do with a baby. I’ve been a manny/nanny/uncle forever, and Partner was a caring eldest brother who I’ve seen hold infants without dropping or otherwise maiming them. Our anxieties are not primarily about the physical care of a sweet little alien who will rob us our sense of passing time and any remaining semblance of sanity. But what will it call us? I’m certainly not going to be called Mommy, and I doubt he will want that role either.
How impractical will it really be to nab the titles of both “Daddy” and “Papa” and convince teachers, family and a naturally, genetically skeptical offspring to let them stick? And how the hell are we going to look gay enough when I have huge tits, a round belly, and no maternity clothes that I can find in the little boys’ department of any thrift, big box or boutique store? Will Partner’s swish be visible behind a stroller? What if the little alien who is currently sucking my life force doesn’t stick around? What if it abandons ship and leaves me hanging, now that I have become accustomed to the thought of holding it and ranting about its implied complexities? How can I be tough and mourn that potential loss at the same time? Would I secretly throw a little party over the joy of my returned ability to drink beer and steal a toke off of that hot stranger’s cigarette?
Oh geezus, that hot stranger isn’t going to return my affection, and even if ze did, will Partner and I have the time and energy to attend and remain conscious through … uhm, tupperware parties in late night dungeons? Will giving birth really make me easier to fist? Will either the lesbian parenting groups or the gay men’s parenting groups let us attend, or will they feel encroached upon by even our sliver of normalcy? We don’t want to encroach on the space of others who are at least as marginalized as we currently feel!
Can a neurotic writer and staunch egoist really fill entire pages with questions about gender, biology and parenthood without getting wildly over indulgent or academically, rhetorically stale? No! Definitely not! You the reader, I the writer and we all of us are doomed to fall into lives of gender role collapses, remedial diapering discussions and all-consuming circular debates that are steeped in normative sex roles and gonadotropic predestination failures that will bog us down forever in the swamp of post-queer reproductive futility! All because of this baby. Fetus. Potential tree-climbing buddy. Who could turn out to be queer. And articulately or artistically genius. Or average. Or conservative Christian to smite us all.
Oh shit. We are pregnant.