The Cost of Being Gay

Lex Jacobson

By: Lex Jacobson

Ah, a new year.

The year 2010 brought some marital troubles and other awful things. 2011 was a year of healing and change – better than 2010, but still tough. If history repeats itself, 2012 will be better yet. I’m hoping that we will conceive in 2012. In fact, we have to, as I’m not sure we will be able to continue trying, financially, for much longer. It’s the bitter truth about being a gay (almost) parent who wants to have a biological child of one of the partners. We don’t have unlimited access to free sperm. Gay men don’t have unlimited access to free eggs and a uterus. Where I live, it is illegal to use a turkey baster method at home with donor sperm. So instead, we have to pay a doctor $200 to do what we are perfectly capable of. It’s not worth the energy to get my knickers in a knot over the price of all of this (though I’ve spent plenty of energy on it already), but it’s hard not to go there sometimes.

The New York Times did a feature on “The High Price of Being a Gay Couple” a few years ago, which is a good read. It compares a hypothetical gay couple to a hypothetical straight couple and explores the extra costs that gay couples have in areas such as taxes, health insurance, social security, pension and childbearing. We are lucky to live in North America where childbearing is legal and relatively accessible to gay people, though the costs do seem unethical (for straight people too!). It is yet another hurdle we need to get over in order to have what we’ve dreamed of our whole lives.

Not fair. But again, there is no point dwelling on it. It’s not going to change any time soon. It’s just how it is. And whatever we have to do to get this extra little heartbeat into our homes will be worth it. Bring on a fertile and healthy 2012.

Whatever you are looking for this year, I hope you find it. Happy new year, everyone. Be good to each other.

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