Tag Archives: parenting

Four Married Lesbian Couples Fill Lawsuit Against Tennessee Over It’s ‘LGBT Erasure Bill’

Four married lesbian couples expecting children have filed a lawsuit in Tennessee seeking to overturn a new state law that critics say could deny rights to same-sex couples by requiring strict adherence to terms such as “husband.”

The law requires other statutes in the state to be interpreted by their “natural and ordinary meaning”.

While it does not explicitly single out LGBTQ people for discrimination, the bill has largely been billed as an attempt to prevent judges from interpreting words with gender-specific meanings — such as “husband,” “wife,” “mother,” and “father” — to mean the same thing as a gender-neutral term like “spouse” or “parent.”

In response to the law’s passage, the four couples, each of whom have conceived a child using a sperm donor, filed suit, arguing that Tennessee’s “presumption of parentage” statute — where a man who is not the biological father of, but is married to the mother of a child is recognized as the child’s father for legal purposes — does not guarantee the same rights to non-biological lesbian mothers.

The lawsuit was filed by attorney Julie Tate-Keith, who is representing Charitey and Heather Mackenzie (pictured above), Crystal Dawn and Terra Mears, Elizabeth and Heather Broadaway, and Kathrine and Emilie Guthrie.

Tate-Keith argues that the new law violates equal rights and due process protections in both the U.S. and Tennessee constitutions, and asks the court to issue an order declaring that any spouse, regardless of gender, of a pregnant women should be recognized as the legal parent of the child they raise together.

The Supreme Court said that gay people could get married. If that’s to be meaningful, then same-sex couples have to be treated the same way that opposite-sex couples are, and that means parentage just like anyone else.”

But Haslam insisted when he was signing the bill that people were reading too much into the bill, arguing that it does nothing to change or alter the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. John Stevens (R-Huntingdon), told the Chattanooga Times Free Press that he has “no idea” if his bill would infringe on the marital or parental rights of same-sex couples, but simply wants undefined words in Tennessee’s code to mean what legislators understood them to mean when they were drafting a law.

Chris Sanders, the executive director of the Tennessee Equality Project, notes that the Attorney General has pointed out several ambiguous terms and areas where applying “natural and ordinary” meaning to terms could cause problems for LGBTQ families.

He and his organization have termed the bill the “LGBT Erasure Bill” because of its deliberate attempt to force judges and government officials to discount the existence of families headed by same-sex couples when interpreting or enforcing laws related to marriage, adoption, or child custody.

With 95 counties, and elected judges that serve them all, there’s just too much risk. We think it’s better to err on the side of caution, and we hope this lawsuit is successful. We don’t really want to wait around to see what negative effects it might have.”

Gay Women Granted ‘Husband’s Rights’ In Landmark Custody Case

Tennessee natives, Erica Witt and Sabrina Witt legally wed in in April 2014 in the nation’s capital.

The couple bought a home together and decided to have a child via artificial insemination from an anonymous donor.

Sabrina Witt gave birth to a girl in January 2015.

However, because Tennessee did not then recognize same-sex marriage as legal at that time, Erica Witt’s name was not placed on the baby’s birth certificate.

So when the couple split, she discovered she had little legal standing in obtaining custody, because she had not adopted her child legally either.

Initially, fourth Circuit Judge Greg McMillan ruled that this meant the definition of “husband” did not apply to her scenario, and so she was only given the rights of a step-parent.

The judge insisted that Erica did not have a “biological relationship with this child, and no contractual relationship with this child”.

However, with the support of local activists and legal pressure, Judge McMillan has had to reverse the decision and grant both of the mothers’ joint custody.

His decision to reverse his ruling makes the case a landmark case in the history of LGBT rights, particularly because the judge was asked to interpret “husband” and “wife” as “spouse”.

The case comes after a new law was introduced in the state, which calls for language in legislature to be interpreted by their “natural and ordinary” meaning.

The bill states without explanation that the “meaning” should be “without forced or subtle construction that would limit or extend the meaning of the language.”

Governor Bill Haslam, who enacted the bill, has insisted that the law will not change how courts interpret legal precedent.

The Governor said in a statement.

While I understand the concerns raised about this bill, the Obergefell decision is the law of the land, and this legislation does not change a principle relied upon by the courts for more than a century, mitigating the substantive impact of this legislation.”

A group of four married, pregnant, lesbian couples have filed a lawsuit against the new anti-LGBT law.

Tate-Keith, speaking on behalf of the women involved, stated:

The Supreme Court said that gay people could get married. If that’s to be meaningful, then same-sex couples have to be treated the same way that opposite-sex couples are, and that means parentage just like anyone else.”

This means that the Witt case does not abide by the regulation which is being challenged.


Study Confirms: LGBTQ Parents Are As Able As Straight Ones

Since adoption by LGBTQ couples and single parents has been up for public discussion, the question “What about the children?!” has emerged time and time again.

To dismiss all doubt on whether children will actually be negatively impacted from having a queer parent, a new study published in Developmental Psychology finally came up with the answer we were all expecting:

Children’s behavioral issues are not impacted by the sexual orientation of their parents”

Rather than sexual orientation being a key factor, parenting stress is actually to blame when talking about children and their development, with psychologists claiming

Regardless of parental sexual orientation, children [in the study] had fewer behavior problems over time when their adoptive parents indicated experiencing less parenting stress.”

Although several other studies have been published on this topic, like this one which focused on Australia alone, what sets this study apart is its uniqueness: it is the first longitudinal study focusing on children of LGBTQ parents. That means it followed children from early to middle childhood, giving time to assess both their personality and cognitive development.

Number of children waiting to be adopted per state

With this new study recently published, now should be the time to really openly discuss adoption by same sex couples. With thousands of children still in foster care, it seems reckless to just ignore objective data on behalf of an outdated ideology.

But maybe that’s just my own opinion as a queer woman. And what does psychologist Rachel H. Farr, assistant professor at the University of Kentucky and one of the psychologists involved in the study think about the results?

These results, which support many positive outcomes among adoptive families headed by lesbian, gay or heterosexual parents over time, may be informative to legal, policy and practice realms,”

As long as more studies and evidence on LGBTQ parents keeps coming out, the less reasons there are to doubt or dismiss us from the opportunity to openly adopt and, consequently, have the right to start a family.

Help, I Can’t Give My Girlfriend An Orgasm During Sex | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I can’t give my girlfriend an orgasm during sex

Dear KitschMix,

I’ve tried every thing in the book. Oral, fingering, lots of foreplay before hand – but nothing seems to push her over the edge. She can make herself come successfully all the time. She’s touched herself in front of me, but it’s hard for her to come with eyes on her she says. What can I do to make oral for her better? I’ve started feeling deeply insecure. Feeling like if I had a penis I’d be able to make her come easily, even though I know that is not the case.

A: I think one of the most important things to realize here is that every woman is different, with different needs in the bedroom. It is possible that the fact that you don’t have a penis is the problem – but I wouldn’t guess that first.

Have you considered using toys for your sexual play? There are a wide variety of toys out there, and if you do think that the type of penetration you can give her could be the problem, there is a great chance that you can find a toy that helps you work around this. Try shopping for toys together (online if you’re shy) and see what makes her eyes light up.

Further, it’s also possible that you haven’t truly tried everything in the book. After all, there are worlds of different sexual experiences that you can pursue. One that immediately comes to mind is blindfolding yourself – you said she has a hard time getting off when there are eyes on her? Maybe the easiest solution is to stop you from being able to look at her!

There are some women who have a hard time reaching climax in general (I happen to be one of them). Often, they don’t really focus on the orgasm too much, because they know it’s hard for them. Is it possible that she’s not as concerned with it as you are? If she’s not, you can try looking into tantric sex. Tantra focuses on the idea that most people put too much emphasis on the destination, and not enough on the journey.

I also think it may be possible that it’s a self-confidence issue on your end. To me, the fact that you’re questioning if you could do a better job with a penis eludes to the idea that you might not be certain of your gender identity. It’s worth exploring your feelings on this subject, as it may be impacting many areas of your life without you making the connection. Just because you explore the feelings doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll find a definite answer right away, but you’ll be one step closer to understanding yourself.

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Her Addiction Is Causing Friction in Our Relationship | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: Her Addiction Is Causing Friction in Our Relationship

Dear KitschMix,

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for three years now, and living with her for half that time. We’re 26 and 27. She’s a great conversationalist, a hard worker, and is very supportive. In general, we get along well, but lately there have been issues. She’s a daily marijuana smoker and always has been. It’s something I never liked, but I made the mistake of assuming she’d grow out of it with time. I try to meet her halfway and don’t think it’s fair to demand she stop something she really enjoys.

However, because I’m also her roommate, my opinion on the topic should carry some weight. I ask that she smoke outside and remind her that I don’t think it’s OK before work or a date. I catch her doing it repeatedly in the shower and occasionally in her car before work. This has led to numerous fights and has put a real wedge in our relationship. Her response most recently is that I’m too controlling, and that I try to rush everything — marriage, cutting down on drinking, smoking, etc. I think my requests are reasonable, but her behaviour shows she isn’t ready for a commitment like marriage. Is there any hope here? I want to salvage this.

A: Personally, I have been in both your shoes and your girlfriend’s shoes in this particular scenario. I happen to enjoy marijuana use myself – as long as it’s done with respect to others and with respect to your priorities. If I were to work an office or retail job, for example, I would never consider smoking before going to work – but the fact is that it’s a matter of personal preference.

From your girlfriend’s side of this problem, I can understand how it might come across as controlling. In the marijuana-using subculture, there is this myth that it’s not an addiction, it’s not a drug, and it’s not a problem for those around us. However, as someone who wasn’t always a recreational user, I know that all three of these things are false, but the side of the opposition is a bit exaggerated as well.

First, marijuana is most definitely an addiction. From your girlfriend’s standpoint, her daily use suggests that she will probably not “grow out of it” until such a point where she no longer feels the desire to smoke every day. In some ways, it’s more of a habit than an addiction, but psychology tells us that there’s really not a lot of difference between the two terms. For its users, marijuana causes a feeling of calm, relaxed, simple thought. This can be both good and bad.

I like to liken my marijuana use to that of my daily coffee. Sure, they cost me a lot of money, and they alter my state of mind – but I like the altering they do. They bring me peace and joy – well, peace at least. Joy is a bit subjective and depends more on what I do with the state of “peace”. I’m sure your girlfriend probably feels the same way.

Second, it’s definitely a drug – although, just as my example for it being an addiction, it’s a much “lesser” drug than many others. Unlike, say, methamphetamines or cocaine, marijuana is unlikely to interfere with your life unless you allow it to. Certainly, it is possible to be a successful person and also a recreational marijuana user.

Third, in regards to the ways it interferes with others – I was not always a marijuana smoker. I had tried it a few times in high school, and basically decided that it wasn’t really for me. The woman I was with at the time was a daily smoker, often smoking all day long, and the smell was nauseating to me unless I was smoking with her. (That’s a good portion of why I ended up using marijuana again, actually, but that’s not really my point here.) I found it disgusting and, like you, I only saw it as an addiction.

You do have every right, as her roommate, to impose rules on where it is OK to do – as long as it pertains to your shared assets. Her car, for example, unless it is also your car, is hers to do as she chooses in. It’s not particularly safe to drive while under the influence of marijuana, but if she’s being safe about it and only using the car as a place to smoke when it’s parked and she won’t be going anywhere, it’s really not your decision to say that she can’t (or even that she shouldn’t).

Smoking in the shower, on the other hand, doesn’t even make a lot of sense to me – who would want to smoke in the shower when they have a perfectly good car? I might be partial, though; I’m currently staying with my parents and can only smoke in my car or outside.

I understand how you feel about not wanting her to smoke before work. It’s seen as irresponsible and it can be frustrating when you have certain expectations. But it’s important to note that, just because you have expectations from her, doesn’t mean she’s forced to follow along with your wishes. It would be great if our partners were exactly what we wanted them to be – but it’s not practical.

I do think that some of your stipulations come across as controlling, especially if your partner is also having questions about you rushing her into other things (as you mentioned). There are some situations where it’s ok to impose your opinions, and others where it is not. Allow me to briefly run over a few things that may make for a more even compromise between the two of you.

  • You have the right to demand that she not smoke in shared living spaces. This would apply to the whole house, as marijuana has a bit of a nauseating smell, and you have to live there too. If you have a garage or a back yard (with a fence), you can suggest that she smoke in one of those places instead – outside, the smell will not linger, and in the garage, it’s unlikely that there will be things that could be “stained” with the smell.
  • You don’t have the right to tell her to not smoke in her own car. If you share the car, it counts as “shared living space”, but if you have your own separate car, allow her to do as she pleases with her own.
  • You have the right to ask that she not get high before a date. Given that marijuana does affect the way your brain processes things, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want your partner to be impaired in a situation where you’re specifically trying to be intimate.
  • You don’t have the right to tell her she can’t smoke before work. I believe in your letter you said that you remind her that you don’t approve… This is actually OK, as long as it’s just a reminder that you don’t approve. Keep in mind that it may still come across as being judgmental, though.
  • You have the right to ask that she cut back on her smoking. She’s under no obligation to honor your requests, but you are allowed to voice an opinion. You say you’d hoped she would grow out of it – you may try telling her that you don’t see it as a mature decision. (Be warned that this could backfire on you, though. There is no scientific connection between marijuana use and maturity.)
  • You don’t have the right to ask her to quit if she started smoking before you got together. You knew she was a smoker in the beginning, and you should never expect someone to change to suit your needs. (This is more of a blanket term than advice directed specifically to your situation.)
  • You have the right to not want to marry her if she doesn’t meet your desires. After all, marriage is a huge commitment, and in almost all cases, you are free to choose who you marry. If it’s not her, it’s not her.
  • You don’t have the right to assume that she’s not ready to commit simply because she doesn’t meet your demands. Everyone has the freedom to be themselves, not confined by the image someone else has of what/who we “should” be. Just because she doesn’t want to change herself for you doesn’t mean that she’s not ready to commit. It could just be that she doesn’t want to change!

I know it might not seem like it, Reader, but I do understand the frustrating position you’re in. It can be tough when one partner’s hobbies (because most marijuana users do consider it a type of hobby) don’t line up with the other partner’s dreams. In many cases, you can learn to work around these things, but sometimes – if the opinions from either side are polar, and both consider it an important issue – it may be best to just walk away. As I’ve said time and time again, not every relationship is meant to last, and it’s almost never entirely one person’s fault.

She Keeps Outing Me | We Answer Your Questions

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Q: She Keeps Outing Me

Dear KitschMix,

So I have this friend from my undergrad who has always been really supportive of my sexuality. She was great when I recently came out, went with me to pride, goes to gay bars with me, etc. Which is why her current behaviour is so frustrating.

We recently started a professional college and she is having troubles adjusting and making friends. In what I think is her attempt to get attention, she keeps outing me in front of our peers, often in really weird, inappropriate ways. I think she’s going for the shock factor and is trying to come across as cool and queer-friendly but instead she’s a total asshole. Example: at the bar, she turned to a new classmate who we barely know and said, “did you know she’s a lesbian?”. Everyone was kind of shocked at how ridiculous and unacceptable her comment was. How do you even respond to something like that! Thankfully, everyone she has outed me to so far has been amazing and they often have called her out on how horrible she is being. I’ve told her multiple times that she needs to stop and she always apologize when she realizes what she’s done, however she still continues to “accidentally” out me in professional settings.

I’m so pissed off and at a loss as to what to do. I can’t avoid her completely since I’m stuck with her for the next 4 years. Some people have suggested going to administration but I kind of want to avoid that since I’m entering a paternalistic profession in a fairly conservative city with an even more conservative admin. Discrimination against females and homophobia are an unfortunate reality and I don’t want my sexuality to limit future opportunities. Thoughts? Advice? Anything???

Wow, reader, that must be a terrible situation for you! It’s difficult when our friends trivialize things that are very important to us – in this case, your desire to not be “out” in a professional setting. I definitely understand the implications that come along with being a lesbian and trying to be taken seriously. Often, we must rely on the same invisibility that sometimes contributes to us being trivialized.

Personally, until I began working as a writer, I was almost never “out” at my job, except for maybe one or two people. It frustrated my partner to no end – she wanted no more to be able to kiss me when she dropped me off at work, but I wouldn’t allow it. Luckily, my career path has led to somewhere much more accepting, for the most part (although even working from my home, I do occasionally face discrimination in regards to my sexual preferences – always veiled, of course).

It can be especially difficult if you feel “stuck” in the situation. You mentioned that you can’t avoid her completely, but can you limit your social interactions with her? It may seem a bit harsh to “unfriend” her for these actions, but as you stated in your letter – she’s being an asshole. You deserve better friends than that, and it’s obvious that she’s not even trying to consider your needs.

This actually brings to mind a story from my childhood, which may pertain to your case as well. When I was 14, I was with a guy who I knew to be gay, and he was one of few people at the time who knew I was gay as well. Things worked out fine, until the day when I accidentally let it slip to our friends that he was gay. Of course, I left out the part that I was gay, too – I was more used to hiding that.

In a way, I was seeking validation from them. Their responses to my confession would help me determine whether I could safely come out to them myself. I’m not saying it was right, and in fact it was downright horrible. Many of our friends stopped talking to him, and although they applauded me for “exposing” him, I felt emptier and lonelier than ever – because I knew they wouldn’t accept me, either.

(Thankfully, once he was ready to come out on his own terms, he forgave my indiscretion and we actually hung out at Pride events a few times. But for some time after I outed him, he understandably hated me and refused to be around me.)

There are a few differences between my story and yours, though. First, I was a teenager, and I was lying to myself. While it is possible that your friend is also a lesbian and trying to “test the waters” before she comes out on her own, she is an adult and she should know better than to drag you under the bus. Of course, the same is true if she is seeking popularity. She should know better.

But you may be partially to blame for her not knowing better. Before I lose you, let me explain: By taking no actions aside from commenting on the inappropriateness of her remarks, you are basically telling her, “This makes me mad, but I’m willing to keep dealing with it.” Subliminally, you are telling her that you value your friendship with her more than you value your own right to privacy. I’m sure this isn’t your intention, but we teach people how to treat us.

The second difference between my story and yours is that the people who she has told have been accepting. You may be concerned with her confessions putting a damper on your future work prospects, but at the same time, it can be incredibly freeing to know that you’re working for someone who would not discriminate against you. (In the example I gave above about my partner dropping me off at work – I learned later that my employer actually had a gay son, and I was keeping a secret for 3 ½ years for no real reason.) True, if you are out, you face the chance that employers may not want you due to your sexuality – but do you really want to work for a company that doesn’t accept you?

Of course, your answer may very well be that you prioritize choices over quality. Even in my writing career, as I mentioned, I have faced some discrimination, and I have debated whether to remove the information in my portfolio that tells that I am a lesbian. But some of my favorite jobs have been built around my sexuality, so why would I want to push them to a dark corner in order to “maybe” win over someone who doesn’t approve?

In the end, it’s really no one’s business but your own. If your friend refuses to leave your business as your business, she’s not a very good friend. If your potential employers see you being a lesbian as a “liability” in any way, they’re not a good employer. You are of course free to make your own decisions – but the easiest way to take away the power is to be out and proud, and focus only on the opportunities which don’t punish you for that.

Take care, reader, and I hope you will make the right choices for your life!

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Should I Feel Guilty for Not Being Out to Someone Who Is Out to Me? | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: Should I Feel Guilty for Not Being Out to Someone Who Is Out to Me?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m not out to anyone at work, but I have a co-worker who is and she’s very open about her sexuality with me.

I’m not sure whether she is this open with other people, or she suspects something and is trying to connect with me or make me feel like it’s okay to be out.

She (much older, and we’re not that close but in the same team) will frequently mention her girlfriend and their relationship, has linked me to company diversity support groups via email, and shared some of her coming out/lesbian experiences in casual chats – things that I can all relate to!

It’s nice that she shares, but I feel bad because I’m not being authentic and genuine with her. I’ve been at the company for almost two years, but I’m not sure I’m ready to be out at work yet!

I feel really stuck, and not sure how to move forward.

Q: Hello, reader! The topic of whether or not to be out at work is one that has a million reasons for and against it. I can completely sympathize with your not being ready to come out in a professional setting – in the majority of my past jobs, I wasn’t out to most of my coworkers or bosses. It’s a personal choice whether to come out or not, and there’s an often overlooked third category: To selectively come out.

To me, it sounds like your coworker is urging you to come out. Of course, it could just be that she’s “openly gay” and thinks that you’re accepting, because you haven’t alienated her for the things she’s shared, but more likely, you’ve got her “gaydar” going off and she wants you to know that it’s okay.

Her experiences (both through being out-and-proud, as well as her more advanced age) would make her the perfect person to come out to if you wish to be a little less invisible at work. Even though I have a policy to not come out at my jobs, it is always nice to have one or two coworkers who you can be yourself around. Your coworker seems to be volunteering for this honor.

If you do come out to her, you should mention to her that you’re only coming out to her because you feel comfortable with her, but you would rather not be out in the open with everyone else. Most likely, she will understand and respect this, but there is also the possibility that she won’t. Sometimes, people are simply unable to keep others’ business private (I actually just finished responding to another reader who was having that problem).

I would assume that, as an older lesbian, she would fall in the first category. You may find that having a friend at work who does know your sexuality can be freeing. Even if you never speak of it after you confess, you’ll have the reassurance of knowing that you have her support.

Further, as she is an out lesbian after all, it makes me wonder why you are so concerned about coming out at work. In the past, many of my jobs have put me without any “out” coworkers – and therefore I was left to wonder if the company would take actions against me if I were to be honest. Certainly, in some cases where I did have openly gay coworkers, I still had other coworkers who tried to take actions against me once they found out I was gay. (One girl in particular comes to mind; she was offended when she found out I was gay, because she assumed I wanted to see her naked… Then she was offended a second time when I told her she wasn’t my type. You can’t win with some people.)

Reader, I urge you to allow this older woman to help guide you. Whether you choose to come out to anyone else (or even her initially) is completely a matter of personal opinion, but she seems to be insistently offering you a helping hand – why not follow her implied advice?

In regards to whether you should feel guilty, though, definitely not. No one can (or at least should) ever force you to come out of the closet. It’s a deeply personal decision and there is no rule anywhere that says you have to be out. Some people never come out, even to their family or friends! Certainly the more honest you are about yourself, the more self-confidence you will find, but if you are content to remain in the closet, you shouldn’t let anyone pressure you. It’s your life, and you’re the only person you need to make happy.

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I Can’t Stop Thinking About Her | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: I Can’t Stop Thinking About Her

Dear KitschMix,

A couple years ago, I met the most amazing woman who was openly gay. She was fun, funny, smart, stunning, and a great listener (I love to talk), and we just seemed to connect. The only problem was I was already living with my boyfriend of almost two years, and had never found myself attracted to another woman, nor had I ever considered myself gay.

Since she and I were both students, we had a similar schedule, worked together, studied together, and on our days off, we hung out and flirted crazily together. I knew this was wrong, but I did it anyway. Curiosity got the better of me I guess.

I thought of leaving my live-in boyfriend, but this decision was complicated. We had always gotten along great, I thought I was in love with him, and I’d never fallen for a woman before.

A couple months went by, and my boyfriend proposed to me. I was anything but excited, but I said yes anyway.

I spent the following two years of the engagement trying to find a way out, but I feared that I would regret leaving him, and upset my family, so I struggled with the decision. I tried going to counselling, but I was never able to make the decision or admit my true feelings. In my head, I was sure I’d leave him when I found the “right time”. But as my (already postponed) wedding approached, I wondered if I was making a huge mistake.

I still saw my friend frequently, but nothing sexual happened between us, so I thought it was just a silly crush and tried to dismiss it. Push those thoughts to one side.

I’ve been married for two months now, and although she and I live in the same town, we don’t speak or see each other. I couldn’t face inviting her to my wedding,

She is now seeing another woman. But, so many things remind me of her, and I think about her from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep. To say that I miss her immensely is a huge understatement.

I do enjoy the time that I spend with my husband but we don’t connect on the same level as I did with her, and I’ve always known this. I want to move on and build a good life with the man I chose, but my heart aches every second of every day for her. She became my best friend.

So, will I ever be able to forget the love I left behind? How long will it take before it doesn’t hurt so much?

Reader, I’m about to drop an inconvenient answer for you: If you love this woman more than you love your husband (which it seems to me that you do), the pain is probably there to stay. Since the love is also tied into a curiosity, it can take even longer – we remain curious until we actually find the answer. It’s human nature.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a good relationship with your husband, but you may always have the underlying feelings of “what might have been”. There are many people who love someone else and still remain true and faithful to their spouses – but we refer to that as a “marriage of convenience”. It’s more convenient for you to stay with your husband, because it’s what’s expected of you.

Believe it or not, that’s not automatically a bad thing. I have a few friends who have MOC’s who have negotiated with their spouse to allow them to pursue their other interests – but in cases where you are in love with the “interest” you’re pursuing, it may be considered unethical. Still, I would recommend that you speak with your husband about this. It’s obviously a big deal to you, and by not telling him, you are being a bit dishonest.

I hope you don’t take this as judgment from my end. There are many factors that tie into marriage, and there are many people who start a marriage without love and learn to love their spouse later on – maybe not everyone, but enough that it should be considered a possibility. If you truly want to be with your husband, there’s no reason that you shouldn’t try.

My next question for you is – do you know if this other woman feels the same way you do? Sometimes, we get involved in a new relationship to try and “push ourselves past” another love that we think is unrequited. It isn’t (usually) the best solution, but we do things that we know we shouldn’t sometimes. It’s not that different from you flirting with her when you were involved with someone else. In fact, the only real difference would be the motives behind it.

No matter what your answer to that previous question is, it’s very important for your own mental health that you discuss your confusion with your husband. Many men are willing to “allow” their wives to experiment with other women, and from your description I think it is possible that your confusion is coming from a need for experimentation. This woman might not be your true love, but she opened the possibility of you being attracted to women. It’s possible that you could explore these less specific feelings and discover that you aren’t actually interested in being with a woman.

It’s important for you to know that there’s nothing wrong with finding out that you’re not actually bisexual, or with finding out that you are. It’s incredibly difficult for anyone to understand their true sexuality without exploring their options. “Don’t knock it ‘till you try it” – the phrase is usually used in reference to other subjects, but it’s just as important to your self-discovery. If you can explore these feelings while still in the “safety” of your heterosexual relationship, without being dishonest to anyone involved, it can help ease a lot of your confusion.

Of course, there is no guarantee that your husband will actually be OK with this exploration – and if you want to make it work with him, you should respect his opinions on the subject. This is why it’s so important that you be honest with him before you pursue someone else. Your vows are important, and if you can’t honor them, it’s best if you say goodbye to that relationship.

I invite you to contact us again after you have had the conversation with your husband, and I can help advise you based on what he says. This is a difficult situation for everyone involved, and it can be helpful to reach out for an outside opinion on the subject. There will likely be no easy answers. It’s important that you understand that this may be one of the most difficult experiences in your life – but if you don’t seek out the answers, you will always wonder.

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How Do I Support My Daughter? | We Answer Your Questions

We aim to get to the heart of your sex and relationship problems, so if you need advice, please contact us.

Q: How Do I Support My Daughter?

Dear KitschMix,

I’m straight but have been a big supporter of all walks my whole life, but I do not have much experience in the personal struggles of LGBTQ community.

I have a close relationship with my child, who is a pre-teen, and we live in Texas.

This month, she confided that she is a lesbian. I immediately validated her and told her I would love and support her always in any choice.

She told me she never wants to tell anyone because a boy she knows lost all of his friends coming out. I gave her the natural response “they must not be real friends” and told her she didn’t have to tell anyone until she was ready.

I also warned her to only tell people she trusts because there are a lot of confused people around here that might be mean.

She also told me she’s in love with her best friend (who is very into boys).

I don’t want to scare her or advise her in a way that could cause emotional blocks later.

Please help me prepare to support her moving forward. What are your suggestions?

A: First, reader, let me thank you for having the courage to ask what’s best in this case. There are so many parents out there who mean well (mine included) that sometimes miss the mark, which can be its own frustration. That being said, simply the fact that you want to be supportive of your daughter is very important and she will be able to see that.

She’s very right about the dangers of coming out to her peers. Even though it’s becoming “more accepted” to come out of the closet, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t closed-minded people out there, even in middle school and high school (but they’re nothing compared to the adults that aren’t accepting).

You are also exactly right that the people who would alienate her for coming out are not true friends, but at that age it’s a very difficult process to understand. In our school years, we often feel that our “success” is dependent on our popularity. It’s only as adults that most of us realize this isn’t really the case. This is the reason why many choose not to come out until they’re out of high school – but that can be lonely as well. (Not that high school is the time you should be focusing on relationships, but it can be difficult to see others around you in happy relationships and you’re not.)

During high school, I actually dated a few boys. I was honest with most of them in regards to my true feelings (that is, that I wasn’t attracted to boys), but to others I left it simply as “I like girls [too]”. The “too”, of course, was implied, but untrue. I wouldn’t say that I would recommend this, as it ultimately causes further confusion, all for the sake of fitting in.

My mother actually saw through one of my “cover relationships” before I came out to her. I distinctly remember her telling me, “That boy is in love with you and you feel nothing for him. Do you really think that’s fair to him?”

Of course, 16-year-old me thought I knew everything – after all, I had told him from the beginning that I didn’t really like boys, but I didn’t want to admit yet that I liked girls publicly. I felt that if I couldn’t be out to everyone, I shouldn’t pursue my true interests. After all, if I wasn’t confident enough that I was gay to risk the alienation – was I really?

In a way, I think I can sense a little bit of this in what you’ve told me about your daughter. She’s not ready to risk the alienation because she still has some doubts. Despite what society may tell us, there’s nothing wrong with doubting yourself – in fact, it’s how you grow and learn. Encourage your daughter to be herself, rather than finding a label that fits. There is plenty of time for that later.

You’re absolutely right about only telling people she trusts – in some ways. It may be easier for her to come out to strangers, actually. Personally, I was “out” on the internet long before I came out to my family and friends. It’s not the only way to do things, but every time a person comes out, they are allowing themselves a bit more freedom – and these “minor” freedoms can eventually build up to the courage to come out to those closest to them.

These strangers and acquaintances may have harsh reactions to what she has to say – but she will also have a comfortable distance from them, such that their words may not affect her as much as, say, the friend you mentioned she loved. No matter how trusting she is of that friend, that particular confession will be a difficult one.

You should also remind her that you love her, no matter what. Certainly in some cases where a person comes out very early in life, they will doubt whether it’s true, and possibly even experiment later with ideas of “What if I was wrong?” – I did. You need to be able to reassure her (as well as yourself) that it doesn’t matter if it takes her awhile to truly understand herself. Even as an adult, I’m sure you would agree that you don’t know everything about yourself – right?

It’s also important that you don’t make it seem as if you expect her to question herself. I know, this can be a tough spot to be in. Once, after hearing that I went out for pancakes with a male friend, my dad responded with “So you’re over the gay thing?” – Wrong. You should never assume that you know your child better than they know themselves. Sometimes you may very well be right, but especially in the preteen and teenage years, your child doesn’t want to hear this even if you’re right. And especially if you’re wrong!

There are, realistically, very few “bad” ways to be supportive. Here are the ones I have personally encountered, from well-meaning family members and friends:

  • Never make assumptions about “why” she is gay. I have a family member who, for some time, explained to people that “you would be gay too if you had been raped”. I understand that his intention was to support me, but it actually came across as minimizing my true feelings (because I was gay before I was sexually assaulted) and putting on public display an aspect of my life that I was not ready to have made public. If you make an assumption as to “why” she is gay, you are subliminally telling her that she is gay because there’s something wrong with her – even if that is not your intention.
  • Never come out for her (unless she specifically asks you to). In the example above, I was already fully “out”, but facing opposition from acquaintances. If you come out on your daughter’s behalf, you are taking one of the chances she has to earn her own freedom and turning it into a point of gossip. Another family member of mine, with the intention of keeping some man from hitting on me, took it upon himself to tell the guy “You’re not her type – she prefers women.” He was right, and his intentions were good, but the result is that he made my “first impression” for me, and made it to where that would be the focus of any friendship I could have with that person.
  • Never pick out dates for her. This isn’t a lesbian thing strictly, but I don’t think many parents realize how creepy it is when their parents try to play matchmaker for them. I’m 25 years old and my mother still picks out women that she thinks I’d look cute with – which have no bearing on my actual attraction. It’s not unsupportive, but most likely, your daughter knows the types of girls she’s interested in. She doesn’t need your help picking them out.
  • Never reference her sexuality when talking about things to be proud of her for. To you, it may sound like you’re being extra supportive, but from the other side it definitely comes across as minimizing. You can be proud of the courage she had to come out – but don’t be proud of her for being a lesbian.
  • Never make assumptions based on how she will live her life. In this day and age, being gay doesn’t automatically mean anything. I remember when I first came out to my mother, one of the first things she said was, “Oh good! No more grandchildren!” (I’m the youngest of four kids.) However, I do want children – just not yet. While being a lesbian may make it to where there are no accidental grandbabies coming from me, my mother’s expression of “no more grandchildren” made it sound like she didn’t want me to have kids – and that hurt a little bit.

Of course, there are a million other tips I could shell out here, but the most important thing is that you talk to your daughter and don’t make any assumptions or interjections. After all, she doesn’t need a fan club, she needs a mom. She needs to know that you’re going to be there for her, no matter what, and that you’ll help her through whatever problems she needs help with – when she’s ready to ask.

In “Seeking Dolly Parton” Two Women Ask an Ex-Boyfriend to Help Get Pregnant

The most famous film (and perhaps one of the only ones) about lesbians and sperm donors is The Kids Are All Right, the Oscar-nominated film starring Annette Bening and Julianne Moore as a couple whose children go looking for their donor. In that film, Moore’s character cheats on her wife and sleeps with the sperm donor, making the film incredibly divisive amongst gay and bisexual women.

Seeking Dolly Parton, is only marginally better in terms of how divisive it may be. The film, which gets its name from the type of rose rather than the famed country singer, features queer couple Celina and Charlie who make the decision to have a child together after two years of dating.

Seeking Dolly Parton 05

While Charlie is unsure about the whole baby-having idea, the two ask their gay male friend Jon to be a donor but after he backs out they turn to Josh, who is Celina’s ex-boyfriend and the man she was in a relationship with before she began dating Charlie.

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Seeking Dolly Parton 03

If that sounds like a bit of a mess already then consider this: Josh is also still in love with Celina and sees his status as sperm donor as his way to win his ex-girlfriend back.

While his flirting is sure to grate, this is where Seeking Dolly Parton and The Kids Are All Right differ greatly; Celina and Josh don’t sleep together (despite his best efforts) as she puts her foot down and makes him know that her and Charlie’s relationship is the real deal. She also points out that he wouldn’t be trying it on if Charlie was a man.

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That’s certainly a positive takeaway and a nice fork from the usual trope-y path and Seeking Dolly Parton does do Charlie and Celina’s relationship justice in many ways (many critics have called the pairing believable, romantic, and cute), but queer female viewers may take issue with the Josh focus that the film gradually begins to take.

In the latter section of the film, Seeking Dolly Parton becomes as much about Josh’s place in the story as much as it is Charlie and Celina’s. That could be a dealbreaker but at least all three characters are fleshed out enough for it to work well.

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Seeking Dolly Parton will be available from Vimeo On Demand from September 25, 2015.

The Lesbian Plot Thickens | Glory Johnson Want $20K in Spousal Support From Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson’s marriage may be over, but if Johnson gets her way, they’ll be in each other’s lives for years to come.

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ESPNW is reporting that Glory Johnson is asking for $20,000 dollars a month (yes… you’re reading this correctly) in spousal support concluding their divorce. Court documents filed in June in Maricopa County, Ariz., also show that Johnson is requesting a $10,000 advancement towards her attorney’s fees.

Legal representative for Johnson, Stasy Click, believes that Johnson is warranted in her request, saying that Griner has “far superior control over the family’s financial resources” and that Johnson is “without the necessary financial means to pay for legal representation in this matter.”

Click’s claims comes from reports that Johnson is currently on a slashed salary from the WNBA due to her pregnancy, which also makes her unfit to play overseas this winter. Since she has no means of a steady income, she is requesting spousal support from her ex-wife.

In the filing, Johnson also claims that she cannot seek employment outside of basketball because it is a “high-risk multiple pregnancy” — she is set to have twins. Though she intends on returning to basketball full-time postpartum, she currently needs “household assistance, personal trainers, and medical care not covered by her current insurance.”

She also claims that furnishing the home she and Griner once shared, in vitro fertilisation costs and wedding expenses drained her financially.


Griner filed to annul her marriage to Johnson on June 4, approximately one month after they tied the knot.

Her court petition states that she was unaware when the in vitro fertilisation resulting in Johnson’s pregnancy had taken place.

She also stated that their marriage was “based of fraud” and that both parties had acquired “minimal community property and incurred minimal community debts during their three-week marriage”.

The ladies will both appear in court on August 17 for a hearing regarding Griner’s annulment petition.

New Children’s Book Simply Normalize Same-Sex Relationships For Children – ‘Rumplepimple’

Rumplepimple is a new book for children, which weaves in same-sex relationships into the storyline in a very subtle way.

Written by Suzanne DeWitt Hall and illustrated by Kevin Scott Gierman, this book is the story of a dog named Rumplepimple who runs out of a car and into a grocery store to help a little girl who is being teased by an older boy.

Like much of Hall’s work, Rumplepimple tells the story of being misunderstood by those who love you most when you’re trying to do the right thing.

The queer element comes from Rumplepimple’s caretakers – who are a same-sex couple. The story also mirrors the reality of Hall’s own life.

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Hall told The Huffington Post.

I think the time has arrived when there is less need for books that explain same-sex parents and more need for books which simply feature characters who happen to have them. That’s the way things get normalized in literature over time. After all, we no longer need a book titled Teacher, Teacher: Why is Sammy’s Skin That Color?”


Glory Johnson Announces She’s Expecting Twins

One month after their May nuptials, the two-time Tulsa Shock All-Star Glory Johnson announced she was expecting a baby with wife Brittney Griner. However, the following day, Griner filed for an annulment, a move that left the mom-to-be “truly really saddened.”

But life moves on and this week the Johnson announced she’s nine weeks along with twins while sharing a snapshot of her ultrasound on Instagram.


It’s not a surprise for me because this is what we planned for with the IVF cycle, though hearing their hearts beat for [the first] time was the most ASTONISHING thing I have ever heard in my ENTIRE LIFE. For 15yrs Double-Doubles came with hard work and dedication … now I’ve been blessed by God to have ‘double doubles’ for the rest of my life!”


Scientific Community Agrees Kids Turn Out Just the Same Whether There Are Raised by Same-Sex or Heterosexual Couples

new study from the University of Colorado Denver finds that there has scientific consensus on same-sex parenting for decades.

By assessing a number if studies that examined same-sex parenting, and studying the trends and shifts between them, the researchers were able to determine that the scientific community agrees there were no differences in children raised by same-sex couples and different-sex couples.

Despite arguments made to the contrary just this year in Supreme Court amicus briefs, the consensus is not new.

According to the study, there was already a developing consensus affirming same-sex parenting among social scientists by 1990. By 2000 and henceforth, that consensus has been “overwhelming.”

Lead researcher Jimi Adams, associate professor in the Department of Health and Behavioural Studies at CU Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, told Think Progress that even though there is still the occasional dissent…

… even those dissenters seem to agree that consensus exists. They’re forced instead to claim that they think that the existing consensus is pre-mature.”

Adams, along with co-author Ryan Light of the University of Oregon, found that studies conducted before 1990 “disproportionately focused on same-sex parenthood that occurred following dissolved heterosexual partnerships.”

Pam Yorksmith, Nicole Yorksmith, Grayden Yorksmith, Orion Yorksmith

These studies thus couldn’t isolate the effect of having same-sex parents on children from the effects of divorce and separation. As researchers began to focus on same-sex couples who adopted or used in vitro fertilisation — thus raising their children from birth in a stable household — the differences disappeared and consensus began to lock in.

Even when differences are still found among children of same-sex couples, it’s not necessarily because of the sexual orientation of the parents.

As Adams explained.

.. [relationships] have had a tendency to be more unstable [and] parental relationship instability is associated with negative outcomes for kids.”

But cultural stigma and legal inequality could contribute to that instability, so the progress of marriage equality could likely “lead to beneficial changes for these other sources of potential negative impacts on kids.”

It’s these other factors that contemporary dissenters like Mark Regnerus and Loren Marks fail to account for. Regnerus’ study, which purported that the children of same-sex couples fare worse, conflated children whose parents separated and then entered a same-sex relationship with those raise by same-sex couples from birth. As Adams and Light point out, a recent re-analysis of Regnerus’ data controlling for these factors actually supports the “no differences” consensus.


Marks’ dissent does not stem from new research he conducted, but from a critique of past studies because they use small convenience samples — methods of recruiting participants that aren’t totally random, such as snowball samples, where one same-sex family might help recruit another that they know — which he believes bias the results.

Adams told ThinkProgress that “it’s really difficult to gain much leverage on the observable patterns from large population-based samples like Marks/Regnerus are claiming we need more of” because those random samples simply don’t capture enough kids raised by same-sex couples.

Likewise, Adams isn’t persuaded by Marks’ critiques of convenience samples.

Any one convenience sample can rightfully be criticised regarding its lack of ability to generalise its findings to the broader population from which it was drawn.

But when study after study finds the same thing — each with their own separate means for drawing their convenience (or small scale) samples — those weaknesses become less and less likely to be able to account for the mounting consistency of the resulting evidence.”

Adams admits that sometimes a consensus can be re-evaluated, and there is certainly still new information to be collected on the matter of same-sex couples.

Perhaps the most glaring gap is how few of the kids in these studies are from married same-sex homes.”

As marriage equality expands, there will be more opportunities for “apples-to-apples” comparisons, but he expects such studies would only confirm the consensus, if not reveal some new advantages that the children of same-sex couples experience when their parents can marry.

The cumulation of evidence we have to this point — according to our analyses — appears to be pretty robust. So, I think it would take some earth-shattering new evidence to upset this applecart.”

Learn How to Save a Choking Baby in 41 Seconds (Video)

In a survey conducted by St. John Ambulance, 40% of the Parents have seen their babies choking and 4/5 didn’t know how to react in this situation.

With the help of an al star cast, they created a memorable short video to educate parents on how to save a choking baby.

This video is called the Chokeables, the celebrities take on the characters of animated objects that could potentially choke babies: a pen lid, small princes toy, peanut and jelly baby.

Proud Son Of Two Lesbian Mothers Argues For Marriage Equality In Texas

We are denied the basic dignity of being respected as the family that we are… We share the same values and beliefs as everyone else, the same normal struggles and triumphs.

Mason Marriott-Voss

Sixteen-year-old Mason Marriott-Voss, is the proud son of lesbian mothers.

In this powerful two-minute video, he pleads with an audience to bring marriage equality to Texas, so that his family can be rightfully recognised.

There are still people who stubbornly refuse to recognize family even when it’s right in front of them.”

Mason Marriott-Voss

In February 2014, Federal District Court Judge Orlando Garcia struck down Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage but Attorney General Greg Abbott (soon to be Texas governor) has appealed the decision to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court, which has scheduled arguments for January 9, 2015. Texas same-sex marriages are on hold until then.