Coming Out: Pregnancy Edition
By: Lex Jacobson
We are into our second trimester and have started to announce this pregnancy. Most of our friends know, and last week I told my boss and then my colleagues.
I am amazed at how similar I’ve found the coming out experience and the announcement of a pregnancy experience: They are both secrets you’ve held for a long time (granted three months is a little different than three years) and it is the most important thing in your current life.
Ten years ago, I was terrified to come out. I was scared of not being accepted, of living a life that was frowned upon by many and of losing my nearest and dearest friends. Though with this pregnancy, the fear of losing people is much lower, there is a sense that my choice to have and raise a baby in a queer family is not a lifestyle that would be celebrated by many.
However, just as I was surprised at how people stuck by me and supported me when I came out, the reaction to the pregnancy announcement has been nothing but positive. I honestly didn’t expect people to be this happy for us and excited about the prospect of a new little heartbeat entering the world in six months.
I have also been a little bit worried about my wife Devon’s heart through all of this too. I was scared that people would put the focus on me, because I was the pregnant one, and forget to celebrate her impending motherhood, and again, have been surprised.
So far, there have only been a few questions about the “dad” in all of this. What is the dad like? Did you see a picture? How did you choose? What are you going to tell the kid about his/her dad when they grow up? I wish I could educate people to not use the word “dad,” as that is a growing pet peeve of mine. We used a donor, not a dad. He is no more a dad or father than a man who leaves a woman while she’s pregnant and who has nothing to do with the kid.
There is no dad. There is a donor. And we are extremely grateful to that nameless man from a mystery state who has given us the biggest gift of our lives, but he is “just” a donor and though one day we may get the opportunity to meet him, this baby is my wife’s and my baby. We are the parents and the baby is ours and ours only.
The biggest similarity for me between coming out and announcing the pregnancy has been the utter relief I’ve felt after the message had passed out of my mouth. In both scenarios, it was like exhaling a breath that I’d held for far too long.
So no more holding our breath. We will breathe into this new life and feel extremely blessed that we get to share this miracle with those we love, those who support us, and those who are part of this little village that will help raise a child.