of babies and baseball bats

Imagine you're carrying something fragile, and precious. Maybe it's a decorated eggshell, maybe it's a piece of brittle antique lace, maybe it's a tea pot, heck, maybe it's a magic plastic bubble creature. Maybe, just maybe, it's a baby.

Now imagine you're walking on a crowded street carrying that fragile, precious thing. You've done what you can to wrap it in layers of bubble wrap. You carry it close to your chest to take up less space, you try to slip through breaks in the crowd without disturbing anyone. You're in a swirl of people and most of them have either hostile looks or blank looks on their faces. The hostile ones make no effort to share space with you peacefully. They jostle and shove you. Sometimes it seems as if they go out of their way to impede you. At times they seem to want you to drop or crush your fragile thing. Sometimes they reach with greedy fingers for your precious thing. When you move to shield it, their fingers turn to claws and they go for your face and eyes. They spit at you and call for the authorities, they sometimes accuse you of stealing.

The ones with blank looks ignore you. They move about their business oblivious to your distress. If you are shoved or tripped, if they notice at all they curse your clumbsiness before stepping over you and forgetting you as they move on.

And then there are the ones with baseball bats. They come out of the crowd and swing at you. Sometimes you can see them coming, bat out and ready, but the press of people keeps you from moving out of their way. You hunch over your precious thing and wait for the blows to fall, hoping that the bulk of your body will be enough to protect it, hoping that you don't crumple and crush it. Sometimes you can't see them coming; you're moving along and then a crack and flash of fierce pain and you look up to see the bat descending again.

Sometimes there are people walk with you, that try to stop the blows, that prop you up when you think you're going to fall, that can carry your fragile thing for you for a while when your hands are shaking so much you think you might drop it. These people help you through, even though they face their own blows as well as the ones they take for you. And for your part, you help them through, too, when you can.

And sometimes people with kind faces come close to you. Maybe they have scars from their own beatings, maybe their fragile thing has been broken or stolen long ago, maybe they look unscathed and sweetly innocent. Regardless of how wounded they look, they also look kind, and you let them close. You let them join the people walking with you, or maybe they were one of those people to start with. And when you're not looking, this person(or these people) will pull out their own bats, and hit you in the back of the head. And they'll pull off the clot of your hair that has stuck to the end of their weapon, and flick it aside like so much garbage, as you reel and gag and try to keep to your feet, and no one around you knows how to help.

That's what it feels like to be a lesbian (non-bio) mom in Utah. Is it any better anywhere else or am I just full of wishful thinking?

Posted by Trista @ 9:03 AM

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Powerful words. Puts it into prospective for those of us who have no idea what it feels like. Wish that those conservatives (read idiots) would open their minds up enough to learn.

Posted by Blogger WendyLou @ 10:30 AM #

I wish I could say that it's better in California. I suppose that in some ways, it probably is. One of the first women I dated after I split up with my ex-girlfriend had recently lost a battle to maintain visitation with the child she had with her ex (ex was the bio mommy). It's scary out there.

Posted by Anonymous Molly @ 12:40 PM #

i think it's better in some places, but not necessarily where we'd think. All we can hope is that our prevalence (and pride) will make people start getting used to it.

Posted by Blogger Amanda @ 2:50 PM #

Fuck, fuck, fuck, Trista, you just made me cry. Damn it.

I would like to say it's better here, but really it's just easier to put on blinders that block out the ugliness around you.

I've come to appreciate blinders.

Posted by Blogger Sacha @ 4:34 PM #

Hell, I'm just a Lutheran in (northern) Utah and it feels the SAME way!

Posted by Anonymous Tammom @ 11:28 PM #

It's better where I am (New York City)....but better is a relative word....one of the hardest things for me personally is when people who I love, people I would expect to give the necessary energy to understand my perspective, say ignorant and frankly homophobic things ("Sure you're married! Marriage is just a contract! You don't need it to be legal!")
You have written so eloquently about the pain of it all. Thank you.
May I put a link to your blog on ours? Please comment on The Family O if that's okay. Thanks.

Posted by Blogger Lo @ 3:20 PM #

It will never be different, anywhere, until people force it to be.
But on Feb 14... it might start to change here.

Posted by Blogger Estelle @ 8:40 AM #

It is different here! (Mass) Very different. My partner who travels a lot tells me that I don't have a clue. And I guess I don't. We feel treated the same as every other family. The house across the street is for sale! Any interest?

Posted by Anonymous Quigley @ 12:46 PM #
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