Tag: family

“If These Ovaries Could Talk” Book Brings Podcast Humor and Insight to LGBTQ Family Making

"If These Ovaries Could Talk" Book Brings Podcast Humor and

A new book by the hosts of a popular podcast captures the lively spirit of the show and the insights of their many guests as it explores LGBTQ family making.

If These Ovaries Could Talk

If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making an LGBTQ Family, by Jaimie Kelton and Robin Hopkins, might more accurately have been subtitled “… Making LGBTQ Families,” because there are many of them here and they’re a varied lot. Since January 2018, when Kelton and Hopkins launched their If These Ovaries Could Talk podcast, they’ve spoken with dozens of LGBTQ parents, parents-to-be, and their children, including celebrities like comedian Judy Gold, poet StaceyAnn Chin, and Iowa State Senator Zach Wahls; medical, legal, and financial experts; and many other individuals and couples of various identities and at different stages of their parenting journeys. Their book, culled from the many conversations they’ve had, is aimed at two audiences: LGBTQ people who want to start a family and curious non-LGBTQ folks who might want to know more about LGBTQ families but have been “too afraid to ask.”

That sets it apart from many of the other books about LGBTQ family making, which are aimed more exclusively at prospective LGBTQ parents. The dual audience for this book, though, parallels the goal of the podcast “to normalize (for lack of a better word) our nontraditional families. To show the world our struggles, our love, our joy, our thoughtfulness and our humanity.” Hopkins and Kelton find the balance between those audiences by focusing on sharing stories rather than creating a step-by-step how-to manual—yet there’s still plenty of practical information here for those who want it. Although they don’t shy away from the many challenges faced by LGBTQ parents—both as LGBTQ people and as parents—they also give readers a big heaping dose of joy and positivity. “Our families are freaking fabulous,” they emote.

If These Ovaries Could Talk

Jaimie Kelton (L) and Robin Hopkins (R). Photo credit: Lit Riot Press

Kelton and Hopkins, both award-winning actors, bring their signature humor and chatty tone to keep things conversational, even when discussing serious topics. Hopkins began her career as a stand-up comic in New York City and is now an executive producer of the podcast Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith. Her film and TV credits include Boardwalk EmpireLouie, Hindsight and more. She’s also an accomplished playwright. Kelton has over 17 years of stage experience as an actor, singer, and dancer, and has done voiceover work for Disney’s The Octonauts, Amazon’s Bug Diaries, and SYFY’s Happy, among other shows. Importantly, too, they’re both lesbian moms who also share their own stories.

Rather than simply give us transcripts of their podcast episodes, however, they’ve sifted through them to compile key stories and dialogues into thematic chapters. Most chapters begin with short introductory pieces by each of them, followed by the first-person reflections on the chapter’s topic by several podcast guests, sometimes in conversation with each other or the hosts.

The first section of the book is about starting a family, beginning with a chapter on deciding if you even want to do so. There are chapters on donors, assisted reproduction, adoption and foster care, and “Trans and Fertility” (awkwardly named but thoughtfully done in that the cisgender authors step back to let transgender people speak for themselves). The second section looks at topics for those who already have kids. Here we have chapters on money and legal issues, “Being Out as a Family”; “Talking to Your Kids About Their Family”; families that include networks of donors, donor siblings, and other adults; being a non-biological, adoptive, or step parent; intersectional issues including race, religion, and gender fluidity; and “Growing Up with Gay Parents.” A glossary at the end provides a helpful look at some commonly used terms.

Perhaps most importantly, the stories here convey the great variety of LGBTQ parenting experiences. The book is, of course, limited by the identities and experiences of Hopkins, Kelton, and their guests as of the book’s writing—they’re a diverse lot, but don’t, for example, include any parents who identify (at least in the book) as bisexual or any children of transgender parents. (They do, however, include transgender parents and bisexual children of LGBTQ parents, though one guest’s description of her daughter as both “bisexual” and “lesbian” begs clarification.) Their podcast continues, though; perhaps there will be a second book as well, with even more varied voices.

A few quibbles have more to do with the editing than the main content of the book. There are an unfortunate number of typos, which I hope can be corrected in a future edition. A full index would have been helpful. A list of the podcast episodes and guests would have benefited from including the episode dates. Those are minor issues, however, and do not substantially detract from the thoughtful stories, information, and sense of community conveyed by the many voices here.

If you want to be inspired by other LGBTQ families who have been have through some of the same decision-making processes; if you want to feel like you’re in a fun group discussion with other LGBTQ parents and their children that makes the whole experience less daunting; or if you want a book to share with non-LGBTQ relatives, friends, and neighbors about our families, then this is the book for you. Let’s hope these ovaries keep talking.

Like the book? Keep up with If These Ovaries Could Talk wherever you listen to podcasts.


(I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that provides a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.)

the things we’ve learned about making an LGBTQ family – Lesbian.com

the things we’ve learned about making an LGBTQ family –

Special to Lesbian.com

If these ovaries could talk“There is no simple way for LGBTQ folks to have babies. There are so many decisions that we have to make because we have too much of one thing and not enough of the other. Two women have two uterus (or is it uteruses? uteri?), but they don’t have sperm. Two men have all the sperm in the world, but come up short in the eggs and hopper department. And with trans fertility, the questions are more specific to each individual or couple, but that doesn’t mean there are fewer questions to be answered.

In terms of paths, you can embark on the scientific route, but you’ll need to figure out who will carry the baby, whose egg will be used, who will donate the sperm, who will go first. Perhaps you’ll consider using a surrogate, IVF, IUI, or even trying at home with what we like to call the “turkey baster method”. You may think about adopting. If you do, you’ll need to figure out if you want to adopt internationally or domestically or if you want to use an adoption lawyer or private agency. And don’t forget there’s always the option of being foster parents.

Wherever you fall on the LGBTQ spectrum, if you want to have a kid, you’ll have to figure out how to make that baby. And no matter which path you choose, it will cost ya…a lot.

Now, you’d think there would be a lot of grumbling from LGBTQ folks about how hard it is to make families. Well, we’re here to tell you that hasn’t been our experience. The folks we’ve talked to have made thoughtful decisions and were deliberate and intentional at every turn. Instead of the process feeling like a cross to bear, every choice they made defined and illuminated their families in love. And that’s beautiful.”

Robin and Jaimie share about their stories too like that time Jaimie assumed she’d be the one to carry their babies.

“I have always wanted to birth a child. Being gay never once deterred me. It just solidified the fact that I had to partner with a woman who wanted to be a mother and felt no need to carry. Luckily, Anne fit those criteria.

So, imagine my shock when Anne said to me, in a bar, a month after our wedding, ‘Ya know, I think I wanna have a baby.’

‘I’m sorry, what?’ I asked calmly while trying not to choke on the beer I was having trouble forcing down my throat.

My anxiety kicked in. I made Anne promise that if we do this ‘you have a baby’ thing, I still get to have mine. She assured me that she wouldn’t back out of our agreement, we would have two children, no matter what. I forced her to pinky swear her loyalty to the plan religiously throughout the next five years it took to get that second baby in our arms.”

And Robin’s path to parenting had some twists and turns too.

From the moment my wife and I learned about reciprocal IVF (using my eggs but Mary would carry) we were all about it. The idea that we could make a baby who would have my genetics, but literally be made from Mary’s bones, seemed like the coolest science experiment ever invented.

We knew that was how we would create our family.

The downside? It would cost around $26,0000, and we only had enough money to try once. That meant no more IVFs and no more savings account. But we were blinded by the idea that the baby would be made of the two of us, so we forged ahead. It wasn’t until we were handed ten different prescription forms that we began to question our plan. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that the odds of us having a successful pregnancy in one round of IVF were not on our side. Not to mention what we would be putting ourselves through physically.

That’s when my wife said, “Are we going about this the hardest possible way?”

The answer was, “Yes.” We loved the idea of the baby coming from both of us, but we needed to prioritize being parents and being fiscally responsible over needing our baby to be from both of us. These are the decisions us L, G, B, T & Q’s have to make.

If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making an LGBTQ Family includes stories from actor and comedian, Judy Gold, State Senator, Zach Wahls, poet, activist, and author, Staceyann Chin, America’s Got Talent alum, Julia Scotti, and The Abbys from Bravo TV.

This book is an informative, in-depth journey that is equal parts funny, serious, happy, sad, celebratory, cautionary, and powerful. Robin and Jaime compare the journey to parenthood for LGBTQ folks to a roller coaster ride. “At first, you’re really excited. The car chugs up the hill, clink-by-clink, and suddenly you’re wondering when was the last time they tightened the bolts on the tracks? That’s how it is when you’re spending a lot of money trying to have kids in a world that’s not set up for families like yours. You just have to hold on and try to enjoy the ride.”

Excerpt(s) from If These Ovaries Could Talk: The Things We’ve Learned About Making an LGBTQ Family. Copyright © 2020 Jaimie Kelton and Robin Hopkins. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Lit Riot Press.

 https://www.litriotpress.com/if-these-ovaries-could-talk-the-things-weve-learned-about-making-an-lgbtq-family 

Watch: New Ad for British Retailer Argos Stars Two-Mom Family

Watch: New Ad for British Retailer Argos Stars Two-Mom Family

A new online ad for British retailer Argos shows a Black two-mom family and their two kids transforming a boring backyard movie night into something special after a home delivery from the company.

“Are you good? Or are you good to go?” asks the ad, part of a series that has been running on social media through the summer. Created by advertising agency The&Partnership, it’s “a fun-filled campaign aiming to inspire viewers with the idea that any day can be turned into a great one with a bit of imagination and Argos’ same day home delivery.”

As PinkNews reports, however, the ad has drawn negative comments from homophobes and racists. I won’t spread them further by reposting any here; they’re the usual drivel from people suddenly upset that they don’t see themselves reflected in every single ad everywhere. Many other people, however, showed their support on social media for the ad and the company. Argos itself stood firm, with a tweet stating simply and clearly, “We’re proud to represent a diverse and inclusive Britain in our advertising.”

Enjoy the ad—and whether you spruce up your backyard from Argos, from another retailer, or just from your own belongings and creativity, may you have as much joy in your socially distant family fun nights as this family does!

family photo session cover for surprise marriage proposal

family photo session cover for surprise marriage proposal

Carolina + Eli: family photo session cover for surprise marriage proposal

Watch Next Week: “The Fosters” Family Reunites

Watch Next Week: "The Fosters" Family Reunites

Stef, Lena, and their five kids are coming back to our screens!

The Fosters

THE FOSTERS – Freeforms’s “The Fosters” stars Teri Polo as Stef, Sherri Saum as Lena, Hayden Byerly as Jude, Cierra Ramirez as Mariana, Maia Mitchell as Callie, Noah Centineo as Jesus, and David Lambert as Brandon. (Freeform/Vu Ong)

The Fosters, Freeform’s drama that aired from 2013 to 2018, revolved around the two-mom couple and their mix of adopted, biological, and foster children. It was notable not only for centering on a multiracial two-mom family, but also for creating positive roles for young trans and gay characters and exploring many issues of social justice—an approach continued by its spinoff, Good Trouble. While Stef, Lena, and their son Jude made guest appearances on Good Trouble, the entire Fosters cast has not reunited until now.

Next Thursday, however, they’re coming together for a special one-night-only event to benefit The Actors Fund, which supports performers and entertainment professionals in need and has been vital in helping those out of work because of COVID-19.

The event will be a recorded Zoom table read of the pilot script by actors Teri Polo (Stef), Sherri Saum (Lena), Hayden Byerly (Jude), David Lambert (Brandon), Maia Mitchell (Callie), Cierra Ramirez (Mariana), Danny Nucci (Mike), and Noah Centineo (Jesus), who took over the role from Jake T. Austin midway through the show’s run. Co-creator and executive producer Peter Paige will read the stage directions, with co-creator and executive producer Bradley Bredeweg and executive producer Joanna Johnson (a real-life lesbian mom!) offering an introduction. Kari Kimmel, who composed the theme song, “Where You Belong,” will sing it live.

Other special guests include Jay Ali, Alexandra Barreto, Madisen Beaty, Daffany Mcgaray Clark, Colby French, April Parker Jones, Adam Kang, and David Sullivan, with special appearances by Annie Potts, Lorraine Toussaint, Bailee Madison, Alex Saxon, Amanda Leighton, Tom Williamson, Rosie O’Donnell and Ashley Argota, who all had recurring roles in the show.

The event is using a “pay what you can” model, so you can donate to The Actors Fund in whatever amount you choose. Tune in Thursday, July 16, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT exclusively on People.com and EW.com.

Dads win battle with Trump over their family

Dads win battle with Trump over their family

Photo via Adiel & Roee Kiviti/Immigration Equality via AP

Adiel and Roee Kiviti, the married couple that sued the State Department over their child’s citizenship, got an early Father’s Day gift this week. A federal judge ruled in their favor, granting their daughter Kessem full American citizenship, and setting a precedent for other same-sex couples nationwide.

A surrogate gave birth to the girl in Canada in 2019. The State Department had initially denied Kessem citizenship, claiming that she was born “out of wedlock.”

The Kivitis both hold US citizenship, though both immigrated from Israel. Roee became a citizen in 2001, while Adiel received his citizenship in 2019. The couple did not encounter the same resistance upon the birth of their son, who was granted full citizenship at birth.

The State Department denied Kessem citizenship because, though she was genetically the child of Adiel, he had not lived in the US for more than five years–a requirement historically applied only to non-citizen residents.

Ultimately, the judge in the case, Judge Theodore Chuang, rejected the State Department’s argument on the grounds that both Adiel and Roee hold US citizenship and resided within the country, paving the way for Kessem to hold a US passport and citizenship.

via Queerty

One big family Christmas – My Two Mums

One big family Christmas - My Two Mums

2019 was certainly the year for family. At the start of the year we’d intended to spend Christmas just us three, but by the end we’d spent it with all our close family and it couldn’t have been more perfect. We both had a very tough busy year, with loss and illness, career change and studies. Meaning we were really at our limits by the time we both broke up for the Christmas holidays.

We kicked off the big family Christmas on the day before Christmas Eve by attended my in laws wedding. It was a lovely private celebration, with their children and grandchildren. We took over Zizzi’s with our celebrations as the kids enjoyed racing outside to watch the winter ice skaters in the square. It was exactly what we needed as a family, spending time with those that made us laugh and whom love our little dude just as hard as we do.

Christmas wedding

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed watching the excitement build in M as he excitedly talked about what Santa was going to bring. In our home, Santa brings one special gift and the rest of the gifts are from us and family. This year is the first year M wasn’t too specific about what he wanted from Santa, so it was going to be a total surprise for him.

Christmas Eve

Christmas morning came around very quickly as M woke us both with a “Santa has left me a stocking on my bed Mama and Mummy, can I open it?”. We were up and downstairs within 30 minutes and smiling at M’s look of shock at the gifts under the tree. The gift from Santa (What’s in the Box? game) was a hit, and soon we were under a mountain of paper as M unwrapped at record speed. I really started to sound old as I kept telling M to “slow down or you won’t appreciate everything”.

This year M had decided to get us matchy matchy (his words) gifts, from his school secret Santa stall. I lucked out with a new lunchbox and Clara got a rather fetching new reusable shopping bag.

Christmas K and C

For our Christmas lunch we’d been invited out for our first ever Christmas dinner at a restaurant. It was lovely to spend more time with Clara’s side of the family as we donned party hats and ate Christmas lunch. M adores his cousins, so for him it was rather special that he got to spend Christmas day with them. Once we’d eaten we headed back to my in laws home for gift exchanging. This was a big highlight for me as my Mother in Law had bought me the best pair of shoes ever, in the form of Rainbow coloured Pride Converse.

Christmas dude and cousin

Boxing day continued our theme of family, as we headed to my parents for a lunch, games and more gift exchanges. My sister and Niece joined us which was lots of fun as we played some silly movie games and Heads Up. Beau joined us at my parents, which was lovely as he adores my parents. Plus he knew he was bound to get fed lots of treats.

Christmas Elf Boxing Day
Christmas Santa Boxing Day
Christmas Boxing day Pup
Christmas Family Boxing Day

The rest of our Christmas seemed to speed by in a flurry of illness (I got tonsilitis and Clara got an awful cold), days out swimming/climbing/soft play and Pokemon Go hunting.

Christmas Fun

On New Year’s Eve we kept up our tradition of going to the cinema and took M to see Frozen 2. We then enjoyed our own mini family party for three at home. We were all shattered by the time the countdown began, but we enjoyed mini sparklers just after midnight.

New Year Christmas Pup
Christmas New Years sparklers

Our final few days before we returned to work/school have been a blur of outdoor adventures on the coast, walks in the park and some rock climbing for the little dude.

Christmas New Year Day walk
Christmas New Year Coastal Walk
Christmas Climbing

It’s been a mixed bag this Christmas, but I am truly thankful for the family I got to spend it with.