Although Audra was kidding, Jessie added it to a list of other misguided suggestions, all of which spelled out that we were three lesbians throwing a baby shower for a lesbian couple. It’s all booze.” “We don’t need a Bloody Mary bar, either. The mother can’t drink.” “But it’s brunch,” said Jessie. We all were not only queer but also living in New Orleans, where there’s always a justifiable reason to have a cocktail before noon.
“We can’t have a keg at a baby shower,” I explained, “on a Sunday at in the morning.” “Why not? When you threw in the rainbow-layered cake, the shower was already nontraditional, so why not?
I didn’t have a girlfriend to keep secret, but I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, even when the only woman I was hiding was myself.
It was like wearing shoes that are just half a size too small—they feel manageable at first, but by the end of the day, you’re getting blisters and finding it impossible to walk. So when my ex and I split, I was suddenly a gay, unemployed solo parent who felt as out of place in my community as an elephant on a dairy farm.
But it had been bearable when I was in denial about my sexuality.
Now that I wasn’t, the truth about who I was stayed in the back of my mind every time I had a conversation with another parent.
Now they were having a baby, and their family would be four.
After seven years of awkward dating and failed relationships, I felt a surge of jealousy at how easily it seemed that Naomi had a great woman come into her life.
When I split from my husband in 2009, the kids were six, eight, and 10.And the truth was, I never really felt comfortable with all that girly shit, either, even though I had been happy through each of my pregnancies.It wasn’t the pregnancy that had made me feel out of place at my own baby shower. Audra and Jessie were lifelong lesbians who had never wanted children.I looked at other successful women and didn’t think I was as smart and talented as they were.I worried that I didn’t have what I needed to take care of my kids, work, run my household, pay the bills, and find a great girlfriend who would love me and the children.I looked over at the expectant couple, Naomi and Emily, sitting on the couch. They were each talking to other people but were sitting hip to hip, so comfortable with each other, as Naomi rubbed her swollen belly in a tender way.