Edited by Harlyn Aizley Beacon Press ISBN 0-8070-7963-4 $16.00 171 pages
Finally a Book for Non-Bio Lesbian Moms
When lesbians have children, they create not only a child, but two moms. One is the birth mom and the other, the non-biological mom. What these non-bio moms go through is quite unique. Some feel invisible as the "Other Mother." Others are jealous, seeing their partner pregnant or nursing their baby. Others struggle with what they will be called and how to remain out and activist dykes.
Not Your Typical Lesbian Anthology
One of the things that stands out about Confessions of the Other Mother
is the quality of writing. This book is not just a mish-mash of unknown lesbian moms drolling on about their experiences in the shadows. The contributors this anthology are mostly professional writers, and it shows. Nancy Abrams
whose stand-out essay about seeing the father of her daughter in a supermarket, is also the author of The Other Mother: A Lesbian's Fight for Her Daughter
. Robin Reagler
is a top notch blogger for Dot Moms and The Other Mother
. Faith Soloway
created the schlock opera Jesus Has Two Mommies
. Most of the stories were engaging, even to a non-other mother, like myself.
Butch Moms and Lesbian Dads
Several of the Other Mothers in this anthology identify as butch. C.J. Ward, a tom boy butch, wonders how she'll relate to her unborn daughter, whom she is convinced will want to wear pink frilly dresses. And she laments the loss of her lesbian visibility. "We went from driving a mini cooper to driving a mini van."
Polly Pagenheart is excited about having a baby, but doesn't want to be a mother. She sees herself more as a dad. She ponders nomenclature and finally settles on "Baba" a term for dad in many cultures.
Other Issues of Other Mothers
Where does sexuality play in for lesbian moms? Shira Spector
a sex activist and porn star wonders if she and her partner can still have a vibrant sex life after becoming moms. Hillary Goodridge
, one of the plaintiff's in the Massachusetts marriage case describes the discrimination she experienced at her daughter's birth. Having no legal recognition almost kept her from her daughter's side in a life or death situation.
Overall, this book is great for new and expecting other mothers, and the partners that love them. It touches on some of the issues of Other Motherhood, but seems to be limited to white, middle class women. It mainly deals with the issues of pregnancy and very young children. Those with older children will probably only wish that a book like this was around when their kids were about to be born.