I want to share this with you, because it seems, more than anything, it's the one thing in my life that makes me feel the most vulnerable. It's the unspoken word that clouded my late teen years and now haunts me into my late 20s. Over the past 12 years I've watched this word's meaning change. Gay. Before my time it meant happy. When I first used it it meant homosexual. Now my students use it to mean "stupid, " (i.e. "that shirt is so gay").
After twelve years of repeating this word, explaining what it meant to me (and what it didn't mean), I've grown used to it. But now there is one place where I find myself turning red and hiding behind it.
It's the at the doctor.
Let me just come out and say it: Mindy and I are going to try to have a baby.
So far it hasn't worked. I mean, the normal way. We have sex. Nothing except intense pleasure and cuddling. After that, maybe a sandwich or a Popsicle. Never have we gotten pregnant.
Mindy went to her doctor on Monday to say she wanted to get pregnant. The nurse asked, "how long have you been off of birth control?" Mindy replied, "I'm gay." The nurse, not hearing her asked again, to which Mindy said, louder, "I'm gay!"
The doctor was saved the trouble, of course, and read it on the history before she entered the room. Mindy said she would like a referral to someone who specialized in pregnancy.
Today there was a huge letter in the mail from The Center for Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility. Stuffed inside were two pamphlets, "Evaluating Infertility," and "Treating Infertility." Both pamphlets are a faded blue color, both bear a heterosexual couple: one couple is walking down the beach holing hands, the other couple is staring into space hopeful, yet sad. Like they just realized it was Sunday...still the weekend, but almost a workday.
These pamphlets aren't very helpful unless you don't know what masturbation is or how men have penises that ejaculate semen. It's crazy. Did you know the semen carries the sperm to the cervix!?!?!?! What's a cervix you may ask. Don't fear, it's all there in the pamphlet.
Listed are some of the most common causes for infertility: Problems with ovulation, blocked fallopian tubes, quality of sperm.
But there's one I see missing: Homosexuality.
Ah yes, the 'ole lack of sperm (or in some cases, lack of an egg and uterus). I wonder why the doctor didn't happen to mention to the infertility specialists that our problem might be, well, we're scrotumless.
Also in this fat envelope is a questionnaire for the male and female. Mindy's filled out the female spot. And now I'm left wondering what smart ass thing I could write in for me. We have four pages of family history to fill out, but I know that mine doesn't matter at all, you know, since I won't have any genetic say in the baby. Some questions for the male are, "when you were a child, were both testes descended into the scrotum?", "Do you have any discharge from the penis?", and my favorite, "Do you feel that some of your ejaculate is deposited in the vagina?" I'm not quite sure how to answer those.
I've never wished to be a man. Ever. I have wished that I liked guys enough so I could make a baby with one, but he'd have to have it. I just never saw myself as the maternal type.
I wish that one night Mindy and I could get frisky, one month later she'd notice something that should be there that wasn't, and then we'd tell the family the news, "We had sex and this time it wasn't just fun, it was productive!"
The conservative redneck in me thinks we shouldn't try to have a baby. Not because it's not God's will or whatever, but just because it doesn't happen in nature. I know that some species have same sex couples who try to raise others' kids and eggs, and I might be better with that if I wasn't adopted.
This is where it gets complicated. I can't even imagine a tiny being who looked like Mindy. Or myself. It just occurred to me yesterday that I could have a baby and it would look just like me. Adopted kids just don't think like this. So, I'd like to adopt. But, I'd also like to see a little Mindy. Of course I'd love to see a mix of Mindy and myself, but that's impossible. And even if it was possible, I just couldn't do it. I'm too much of a hippy, a naturalist, I think.
And though not a fan of following the Bible (or any religion) I wonder if I'm supposed to have a kid. I'm gay, maybe I'm one of the lucky ones selected out of the hassle of soccer games and cleaning up puke at 3 in the morning. Maybe I'm one of the chosen. But I think of all the people who can have babies. Like, all those 14 year olds, meth heads, 96% of the people who scream at their kid at Wal-Mart, that fucking octuplet Mom. They can all have babies. Easily. Accidentally. So if they can, by gods, so can we.
And now I'll leave you with this:
Of the four pages of family history we're to fill out there is the column titled, "VI. History of Fertility Therapy." Underneath there's a column for the male and female where one can check the boxes that correspond to tests that've been performed.
-Hamster Egg Test