finding our tribe

One of the reasons J and I moved out of Humboldt County and into the Bay Area was because we felt we were really missing out on our community of lesbians and particularly lesbian moms. We tried when we first moved here to meet up with some lesbian moms and moms to be, but we didn’t really hit it off with the ladies we met. They seemed fairly judgemental about our process (they went all medicated and got sperm from the expensive local queer sperm bank–and had two kids as a result, whereas we were still doing home insems with fresh shipped sperm). We tried contacting them one more time, but they never returned the email, and we knew it was probably for the best.

For the next year and a half, we just sort of gave up on trying to find our tribe. We have wanted desperately to be around other like-minded two-mom families, but we had no idea how to find them, and after our first attempt, we were more than a little gun-shy.

But then something really cool happened. The lesbians in our county decided to start a Meet.Up group. I promptly joined, and amidst the dozens of ladies in the over-fifty crowd, I started seeing profile photos of women with kids. Just a couple of weeks later, on the message boards, there was suddenly a “Moms With Small Children” board, and shortly thereafter, I started getting private messages from other moms and moms to be. I was cautiously optimistic about finally being in contact with potential tribe members, but neither J nor I could hide that we were very, very excited at the prospect of finally meeting other lesbian moms and that maybe, just maybe, they might someday be our friends.

And then came last weekend. We had our very first meeting with a two-mom family for coffee. We actually showed up early (which we never do), and we spotted them immediately when they came through the door. They were carrying their sleepy toddler, and we were working on finding out where to change our son’s diaper. The conversation was easy and everyone seemed fairly comfortable for a first meeting such as this. After their one-year-old daughter had clearly had enough of the coffee shop, we made our way to a park down the street where we continued to chat and get to know one another because no one was really ready for the day to end. It felt a bit like a first date–if a first date can be had with six people involved–and it was a success.

As we walked away, J and I were so relieved that we had really hit it off with these women. These ladies are smart and funny; they are into attachment and cloth diapering and co-sleeping; they’re really lovely and grounded–and most importantly we all seem to like each other.

And then, just a week later–yesterday–we were able to get together yet again, but at our home this time. Their little girl kissed Baby Genius and chased our cats. We read to their daughter, and they bounced our son. We were able to talk about everything from family issues to dealing with a heterocentric culture as queer parents to balancing work and motherhood to relationship issues. We talked about what we were reading and how that informed our parenting. We shared food and laughs, but more than that, we shared a very clear understanding of what it is to be two moms raising a child in this world. It was so, so refreshing to be amongst people who didn’t need an explanation to understand our lives because they live some very similar experiences.

It’s hard to even articulate how good it feels to finally be making friends with such a similar worldview, to see that our people really are out there–and not just in blogland, but in our very own community. Next week, we’re going to a bigger meetup with the larger group of “moms with small children.” Ironically enough, this group is being organized by one of those women we met two years ago, but that doesn’t matter. We both seem to be so much more open now that we see what this is like, now that we know what it means to be finding our tribe.

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13 Comments

Filed under friends, Lesbian Parenting

13 responses to “finding our tribe

  1. kathryn

    HOORAY!!!!!

    I’m so happy to hear this. Making friends is ace, especially ones who understand you. Have fun at the gathering!

  2. Greetings! I am not sure where in the bay area you are? Me and my partner are down in the Santa Cruz area and are on the same journey to find other two-mom families to connect with. Any tips?

  3. K&K

    OMG!! K and I are going through the same thing right now. We are looking for other women moms and having a hard time. We are in the process of reaching out. It is very important.

  4. Always a great thing to find the tribe. We had the experience since Little J has been born and it has been so nice. Really there is nothing like it. So glad you are getting connected.

  5. Kim

    Oh my god, can I join? I tried to go to one of those groups when we first had my son (back when my partner and I were still together) and I had an experience not unlike your first experience. I have since missed bonding with other lesbian moms (ironic since we are supposed to live in one of the most gay friendly places in the country) and really only have my blogging world to turn to. I believe you live in the north bay and I live in the south bay but I would love to know what you used to connect. Can you give some info?

  6. reproducinggenius

    Kim and Tracey, we used the Meetup website, and there happens to be a group there. I know there’s another group in Berkeley, but I don’t know if there are any beyond that. I definitely suggest trying it out. Before that, I tried starting a group by using Craigslist, but this was the less successful attempt. We also have a local Yahoo group, so there could be something like that it your area. I don’t know if that helps, but try everything you can!

    And yes, we’re in the north bay. We’re going to have to have a California bloggers gathering one of these days!

  7. This makes me really happy, and gives me hope that the same might happen someday for us. 🙂

  8. We’ve also had great luck with meetup – there’s a very active lesbian mom’s group in our area. So glad you’ve found your tribe 🙂

  9. That sounds awesome! So glad you’ve found your community niche. I don’t think we have a group like that around here that I’m aware of, but there are lots of two mom families in our neighborhood and it makes such a difference.

  10. That sounds really nice! I think it’s great when you can find members of the tribe, I have a few real life friends like that, and it’s nice to be able to relate with them.

  11. poppycat

    I am truely so happy to hear this, so happy you have made that connection. It’s so important isn’t it. We are still looking for our tribe in this city. It’s strange that its so difficult.

    I hope this is the beginning of several meaningful friendships for your family.

  12. how exciting!!! i’m so glad you guys have this group, and that you really clicked with the ladies. It’s so important AND so hard to find. we have had the same problem here in virginia.

    i’m really happy for you both, well, THREE actually!!!!! xo

  13. Yay, new friends! I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve found this community. I hope your first larger meeting results in lots of new friends for you and playmates for BG.

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