Childfree by Choice 20121208-231511.jpg

Published on March 11th, 2013 | by Rayne

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Childfree and gay – no surprise!

In my experience being childfree and gay is slightly different to being childfree and straight based on the anecdotal evidence from childfree straight friends.

While the rate of same sex parents (couples and single parents) has increased in Australia over the years, there are a number of straight and same sex couples that are choosing to be childfree. However as I’ve discussed here, the perceptions of gay childfree people and straight childfree couples especially from the straight community is quite different.

As previously mentioned my childfree status as a gay person seems to be less of an issue for me with the wider population because it is simply assumed that I will never have children. Nothing about me wanting or not wanting to have children comes into this assumption because same sex couples can’t have children in the same was straight couples do. It’s just assumed we’ll never have them because we can’t accidentally fall pregnant or get someone pregnant. Having children in this respect has been reduced to whether the protection breaks and not about wants and desires. Having children is not seen as a choice for people but as an inevitability when you’re an opposite couple or someone who has sex with the opposite sex.

This is quite irksome because it disregards the fact that parenthood or childfreedom is a choice, rather it is seen as something that just goes with the territory of being gay or straight. I haven’t yet been in a relationship where my same sex partner or I have been asked if we want children, or will adopt or foster. I have had plenty of times before my orientation is known or the sex of my partner has been known where I have been bingoed about having children.

It’s more than a little annoying.

The heterosexual lifescript that is set down and enforced by society tells us that if we are born female, we will grow up to like “girly” things such as makeup and dolls, get married to a guy, get pregnant and raise children either while working or staying at home. If we are born male then we will grow up to like fighting and motorbikes, get married to a woman, get her pregnant and she’ll raise the children because the guy will be out working.

So anyone who doesn’t adhere to that – where do they fit?

Since parenthood is so ingrained in society to the point where it is expected rather than seen as a choice, whenever someone comes along who is outside the heterosexual lifescript, no-one knows what to do. I’m not straight and don’t like men, that must mean I wouldn’t have children and by extension I wouldn’t want children. It’s a weird thought process that I can’t seem to logically connect to each other. The only way I can connect “I’m gay” equals “Will never have children” is based on the assumption that gays can’t reproduce naturally with each other therefore they won’t have children. This thought process disregards adoption or fostering or if a gay person has for some reason gotten pregnant through heterosexual sex. The only way I can connect “I’m gay” equals “Will never want children” is based on the assumption that gays can’t reproduce naturally with each other therefore they won’t want children – which is just plain stupid.

On asking my straight childfree friends about their experiences with being childfree some interesting insights came up. Some childfree friends reported that they were assumed to be gay by people when those people were informed of their childfree status – regardless of whether the friend in question was single or in a relationship or stated they were married. Apparently you’re automatically gay if you don’t want children.

What are your thoughts readers?

If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here!

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If you like some of the things I say – feel free to add me to your RSS feed, comment or email me: rayne@insufferableintolerance.com. I now have a Facebook page! Feel free to like my page by clicking here

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5 Responses to Childfree and gay – no surprise!

  1. luvtheheaven says:

    Have you seen Cristina Rad’s (ZOMGitsCriss’) Childfree video: http://youtu.be/UqKG-Djfk5w ? I love it.

    I decided a few years ago that I would really like to become a foster parent when I’m at a more stable place in my life, when I’m older, you know. I’m hoping I can find a life partner who wants to do it with me, because 2 parents doing it would be much easier than 1. I am a straight female and I am afraid that anyone I might find to date (who might eventually become my husband) would expect me to want to have biological children with him though, and my father (who I am very close with, and who is very open minded) also kind of gives me the “you’ll change your mind” attitude toward my resolve to never have biological children of my own. I feel passionately that there is no real benefit to going through what sounds like torture for the 9 months of pregnancy when there are tons of children in the United States who need good homes. I want to do my part to help take an older child (or if I can handle it, more than 1) in, one who thinks no one wants them because they’re not a newborn baby. What is so crazy about that notion? Why can’t that be a reasonable thing for a straight female to want when it comes to her life plans for motherhood? The fact that I am simply “expected” to want to have my own biological children even when I state otherwise really does bother me. ;)

    I do fall into the trap of finding anyone/everyone who doesn’t want children to be “unusual” and sort of unintentionally judging them in a slightly negative light. This judgmental side of me does not discriminate between gay and straight couples. I have this feeling like everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, wants children, so for me it always surprises me if people are happy to never have them. This is not to say I am against that choice or would ever be rude about it to their faces. These are more my private thoughts – the way I’ve been socially conditioned. I watch TV and live in a world where I was taught from a very young age that one day I would grow up to be a parent and that everyone does. But I know I’m wrong to get stuck in that way of thinking. ;) And I think it’s completely wrong of anyone to assume anything about someone’s choices to have or not have children and am well aware of that consciously now, so if I stop to think for a moment my initial socially conditioned reaction to expect a desire for children in people does go away along with my judgmental attitude.

    • Rayne says:

      There are plenty of men out there who are childfree but could be open to fostering for a period of time. You wouldn’t be full time parents but still giving a child a loving home even if for a period of time. I have yet to find a dating site that caters to purely to childfree people though I would suggest being honest about your wants (childfree but maybe fostering) on the first date. It may seem rushed but if both parties know the others wants before any real investment into a relationship has began, the sooner you can make a decision about whether you want to continue pursuing a relationship with that person.

      • luvtheheaven says:

        Yeah I think you’re right about the whole first date thing haha. :P And OkCupid at least let’s you say “doesn’t have kids and doesn’t want them” as a thing in your profile! :P That’s close to catering to childfree people even if it’s not always perfect at matching them up with each other and whatnot. You can also see right there that the person you’re interested in is someone who does want kids and not look further.

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