On Scrutiny and Perfectionism



On Friday, I published my last blog post for the Star Tribune. It was a wonderful opportunity and I am proud of the writing I did in my six months there. My last post was about perfectionism but also about the fact that as a lesbian parent, I sometimes feel even more pressure to be perfect because I feel that I have to be a good example for the rest of the world, that our family has to be even better than most to be seen as anything other than a "lesbian family."

While we have made great progress in terms of LGBT rights, that does not mean that bias and discrimination no longer exist. I am always aware of our visibility as lesbian parents and most of the time, we go about our family business without giving it much thought. But every once in awhile, self-consciousness creeps in and I feel sensitive and exposed and it negatively impacts the way I parent.

From my piece in the Star Tribune:

At some point, I reached the end of my patience and compassion and I snapped, “Everyone here sees you acting out. Everyone is judging your behavior and they are judging us! Right now, it looks like we are the lesbians who can’t control their kid!”

Not my best parenting moment but I know that I learned a great deal from it. You can read the rest of the story at the Star Tribune here.

A few commenters on the piece say that I have a "victim mentality" which somehow makes it seem like my feelings are not legitimate, that there is no longer any reason to feel this level of self-consciousness as an LGBT parent but the very first comment on the post is that "Every child deserves a mother AND a father." That proves my point to some extent.

For the record, I don't think of myself as a victim. I am proud of who I am and I am proud of our family and have no regrets or shame about anything that has led us here. But that doesn't mean that I don't know that there are plenty of people out there who still judge us.