September 19, 2012

IconDear Seth: a letter to the baby of lesbian mums

Same sex parenting has been in the news again, the very week two of my best friends had their beautiful baby boy Seth. This is a letter I wrote to him.

Photograph: Nisha A

Dear Seth,

As I write this you are days old. You are so small and so fragile and oh so beautiful and already you are very, very loved. Your tiny eyes must be struggling to process all the visual noise around you and trying hard to make sense of it all. It’s pretty overwhelming, I know, but hang in there kid. You’ll get used to it. Being new in town is daunting, hey? All these people that want to meet you and cuddle you must seem terrifying now, but believe me, they mean well.

What do you make of the world so far? I know it’s wet and miserable today but soon you’ll see that it’s a beautiful place full of wonder. It’s a very different place in 2012 to the way it was when I was born. You’ll probably never make a telephone call from a phone box and when you’re a bit older you’ll sit wide eyed and disbelieving when you realise there was a time before the Internet existed. You might never know what a cassette tape was or watch a VHS, and you’ll never taste an Opal Fruit, drink Creamola Foam or push a Push Pop.

Your Mummies are cool, hey? They are two of my best friends in the whole world and we’ve had some great times together. Mamma B and I used to stay up to all hours before you were born drinking and dancing and setting the world to rights. When you’re older and you can come on one of our legendary boy’s night’s out. Would you like that? You’ll soon realise that there’s more to your mummies than just boobs and milk and you’ll see that they are both incredibly special people who love you more than you will ever be able to comprehend, even if you live to the ripe old age of 100. I remember when they told us they were having you, we went out for dinner and when they showed us all the little picture of you in Mamma E’s tummy, I couldn’t stop the big fat tears rolling down my face. You couldn’t have asked for two more wonderfully supportive and caring parents Seth, honestly, and I know the three of you are going to be so, so happy together.

When you are a bit older, having two mums won’t be a big deal and when you start school there will probably be other boys and girls who have two mums or two dads and no one will bat an eyelid. You won’t believe that there was a time that people didn’t understand that what’s important is love and that the gender of your parents is irrelevant. But there was, not long ago. Before you were born, some people thought having two mums or two dads was weird and even wanted to stop them from having a family. People like your mummies weren’t even allowed to get married or have the same rights as your aunties and uncles. In some countries, your mummies would even go to jail just for loving each other. Crazy, eh? When you get to high school, you might learn about the Stonewall riots, the decriminalisation of homosexuality or Section 28 but it will be so alien to you it’ll seem like fiction. The world wasn’t always so bright, little man, and for a long time people had to hide who they were but we’re trying so hard to make it better for you. So you’ll never know what it’s like to be hated because of who you love.

The very same week you were born, this second rate actor called Rupert Everett even said that he couldn’t think of anything worse than having two gay dads. Rupert’s mum isn’t supportive and loving like yours are, and she doesn’t like her son being gay. She thinks children need a father and a mother, and even said that: “In the past, I have said that I wish Rupert was straight and, I probably still feel that. I’d like him to have a pretty wife. I’d like him to have children.” I’m sure you’ll have a few choice words for them when you learn how to talk.

Everett isn’t the only one, unfortunately. There’s a man called Alan Duncan who is the Minister of State for International Development who says he’s “seriously uneasy” with families like yours. I don’t need to tell you this, but there’s a wealth of evidence that shows growing up with two mummies actually found children like you doing better academically and something big and important called the American Psychological Society concluded in 2004 that: “lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children.”

It’s like Patrick Strudwick says: “Love, in whatever form, nurtures. Fear, in all manifestations, stunts and deforms.”

When you’re at school, you might start noticing girls or you might start noticing boys. Either way, Mamma B and Mamma E will be there for you. They will never want you to be anything other than yourself or tell you that they wish you were anything else but happy. Seth, you are the luckiest little boy in the world. Never stop believing that you can be anything or anyone that you want to be. You’ve got so much opportunity at your feet and two wonderful parents that will have your back whatever may be. The world you’ve just come into is far from perfect, but we’re working on it, and by the time you’re my age, I hope that prejudice will be a thing of the past.

Love you little one,

Carrie x



6 Responses to Dear Seth: a letter to the baby of lesbian mums

  1. Debs says:

    There are no words for how wonderful this article is, I want it on every billboard in every city across the world. Let’s the the paintbrushes and glue out, there’s a lot of flyposting to be done!

  2. Julie says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. I promise little Seth and every other baby born – whether they have two mums, two dads, one of each or only one parent at all – that I will do my share to make sure that, no matter who they grow up to be, they will be respected and will be equal both in the eyes of society and of the law.

    Julie x

  3. Seony says:

    Wow! What a wonderful thing to write. Seth is not just lucky because he’s got two of the most amazing mothers around but also because he is loved by their friends. Mummy B and Mummy E are lucky to have a great support network.

  4. Jayne galloway says:

    Carrie Lyell. I am so very, very proud to be your mother.

  5. Ailsa Nicol says:

    Wow, what a gift, beautifully written and conveying so much hope. I join you in promising to work towards a time when love is recognised as a beautiful thing in what ever form it takes, “hears to our children”!

    p.s Lovely comment from your mother, kind of put is all into perspective.

  6. Auntie Caz says:

    It is apparent that Baby Seth was made with love and any child brought into this world that way, whether made by two mummies, two daddies or one of each, is indeed a lucky child.
    Carrie, this is an absolutely amazing letter: I’m proud to have known you since you were knee-high.

Carrie Lyell


Shit people say to pregnant lesbians

A collaboration between Lesbilicious and the Short & Girlie Show, exploring the reactions that lesbians get when they tell people they are pregnant or that they are trying for a baby.

This video was filmed in Brighton, UK.

June 21, 2013