Identity / Life

Let’s Talk about the Word “Gayby”

gaybypicDear friends,

I have questions. Lots of them. But today I’ll start with just one. How do you feel about the word “gayby?” A gayby, in case you are wondering, is a child whose parents are gay. Frank Lowe, a writer for the Advocate, feels pretty badly about this word. In fact, he hates it. And he says so right here.

And here’s what I think. Do we really need more hate? I mean, it’s a word. And I understand the power of words. And words can spread hate, but I don’t hate words.

But I think the real point that he is making is that inventing this word could inflict damage. In other words, describing children whose parents are gay using a new term opens up the possibility that our children will be bullied using this word. I imagine that is the risk when creating any new word. I’m sure the people who invented the word douchebag had no idea where that would end up.

So far, I haven’t found the opportunity, for better or for worse, to use this word. And my children have, yet, to be referred to as “gaybies.” I’m not discounting the fact that they still could. My oldest daughter goes to kindergarten next year, so it’s entirely possible that someone will sing “Kindergarten gayby born in the gravy,” but kids seem more hardened these days, so I doubt they are still using gravy as an insult. They are probably talking about stuff much more hardcore, like lard or hydrogenated oils.

But my real question is do you think we need this word?

I don’t think we need it. Not like we needed the words gay or transgendered. But maybe we do. If kids are kids and families come in all shapes and sizes, maybe we should have a special word to describe a baby being raised by gay parents. What do you think?

Sincerely,

The Gayby Momma

PHOTO CREDIT: VIKKI REICH

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5 Comments

  1. I think that Frank Lowe blog was a hyperbolic piece of trash. And, should a man whose twitter handle is something like @gaydadathome be making such a fuss that “gay parenting is just parenting.” I guess it’s just parenting unless you need to monetize it.

    I think gayby is non-harmful. I do use it on occasion. If I have concerns about gayby, it’s more that my daughter shouldn’t be entirely defined by her parents’ identity than by the fear that it will be used as a slur.

    • Yes! I think this is a great point. I still feel (too) defined by my parents. Who would want to be the kid of the gay parents around town? Ug.

  2. Gayby always sounds to me like the kid is gay. For example: I was a gayby, choreographing numbers to Xanadu in my room while the rest of my family watched football downstairs.

  3. Personally, I prefer “Queerspawn.”

  4. Hi! This is my first time visiting this site. I don’t think children should be labeled especially by their parents sexuality. Maybe it’s because I’m looking at this term from a different perspective. I was married to a man for 15 years. Yes I will take any sympathy I can get for that experience. Lol I never called my kids heteroby or anything else related to my sexual choice at the time. I can only imagine their confusion at this point had I labeled them. “Mom who are we today? What do I call myself?” They are my and my partners children. Is that gramatically correct? It doesn’t sound like it, but you get my point. We are moms. They haven’t changed and neither have I except with who I love. I love them, take them to school, cook dinner, go to dance class, music recitals, conferences. The things that matter in their world. I was freaking out when I had to tell my children I was in love with my best friend. Another friend who was in a lesbian relationship gave me the best advice. She said tell them mommy loves Steph and she loves me. They will come to you when they have questions. They were in elementary school. Sex wasn’t a concern at the time. Their happiness had a different definition than mine. I never had to tell them I had sex with their father. They figured we were 2 parents they lived with, took care of them and loved them. Maybe it’s too simplistic or I’m overthinking it. I just try to put myself in their shoes. The best moment was about a year into my first relationship. My son looked up at me and said “mom you seem happy all the time. You laugh a lot and play with us”. that’s the truth. I knew I made the right choice.

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