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A Lesbian Couple’s Path to Pregnancy and Gender-Creative Parenting

Reflecting back on the past 14 years of my queerness, starting a queer mommy blog was never on my radar. Yet, here I am, deeply immersed in sharing our journey in parenting, queerness, and family life. A year into parenting and blogging, I continue to surprise myself as I learn and grow.

About Us and Our Path to Parenthood

Before Tinder existed, Eli and I met in 2010 on Craigslist, “Women Seeking Women.” We chatted on AIM for weeks before our first date. We were each other’s first girlfriends and supported each other as we came out to our families and friends.

Our relationship has been full of excitement and learning. We’ve supported each other through school and job changes. We’ve also explored polyamory, learning to welcome more partners into our lives while setting clear boundaries. Eli’s journey toward embracing his trans-non-binary identity was challenging but strengthened our bond through communication and love.

In 2019, we bought a home, and by 2023, we became parents to our kiddo Evan. Early on, we decided we would raise Evan with gender-creative parenting principles, giving. Giving them the freedom to explore their identity without traditional gender roles.

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

Our Journey to Parenthood

I have always wanted to be a mom, and I discussed this with Eli early in our relationship. We first thought about using a known sperm donor but decided on a sperm bank to avoid legal issues. During the 2020 lockdown, amid deep personal reflection and feeling stable and ready, I aimed to get pregnant in 2022.

Finding the right resources was tough as a lesbian, which made it hard to understand which doctors to go to and how to find sperm. I spent hundreds of hours doing research and figuring out the next steps. Now, I use my blog to share many of these challenges with other lesbians. 

My official pregnancy journey began with a chat with my workplace’s fertility benefits provider. The rep was nice but didn’t know much about queer family resources. This lack of info continued at the fertility center, where I felt a great deal of judgment because we were polyamorous. Either way, I continued with my own research: tracking my menstrual cycles, getting genetic tests, and finding an OBGYN.

In February 2022, I did my first round of IUI, which was surprisingly quick. Despite some early failures, we didn’t give up. After the standard two-week waiting period in July, a pregnancy test finally confirmed our success, filling us with joy and a bit of nervousness.

Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Choosing Gender-Creative Parenting

I believe the biggest decision we made as parents was to fully embrace gender-creative parenting. Inspired by Eli’s experiences with gender identity and my own encounters with sexism, we knew we didn’t want to limit our child to a predetermined gender from birth. We don’t assign a social gender to Evan, nor do we share their anatomical sex. This helps protect Evan from strict gender norms that dictate how boys and girls should act.

Gender stereotypes are sneaky and start young. Studies have shown that baby girls are often held more, while boys are expected to toughen up from a very young age. Most people don’t even realize they’re feeding into these stereotypes.

In our daily lives, we don’t correct people when they guess Evan’s gender—it changes daily based on their outfits! When asked, we say, “They’re just a baby; they’re 1.” We support Evan in exploring their identity on their own terms, whether they like dinosaurs in tutus or dolls flying helicopters.

Our Experience and Advice

Not everyone gets gender-creative parenting, especially if they’ve never questioned gender norms. It can even be tricky within the queer community, where acceptance levels vary. To help explain our approach, I shared Kyl Myers’s book Raising Them with my family. It offers a beautiful narrative about one family’s experience with gender-creative parenting. It was a perfect pregnancy announcement gift to spark discussions with my family members who had a hard time understanding it.

If you’re considering this path, educating those around you and dealing with the mixed reactions can be tough. Keep the conversation going, and be patient. Finding a community of families exploring gender-creative parenting can be a huge support. Online forums, social media, and local groups can offer advice and a sense of belonging.

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Looking Forward

As we look ahead, our hope is for Evan to grow up in a world that is more accepting and understanding than the one we face. We dream of a future where Evan and all kids can freely show who they are without anyone judging them. The future of queer parenting is about breaking down old barriers and stereotypes to create a society that values and celebrates everyone’s differences.

To other families exploring the world of queer parenting, remember: your family’s path is special and yours to embrace. Whether you’re trying gender-creative parenting or finding other ways to support your child’s identity, remember there is a community out there, including our blog, ready to help and support you. We share our stories, the ups and downs, to show our journey and help others feel they’re not alone.


Our venture into gender-creative parenting is part of a broader story of love, learning, and growth. As we raise Evan, we are committed to a future where every child can express their true self. We envision a world that warmly embraces all identities and celebrates diversity.

We invite you to join our community at Lesbian in the Treehouse, where we continue to share our stories and resources for queer families. Together, we can create a future filled with love, understanding, and acceptance, where every child can be their true self.

Raelen is the creator and author of Lebian in the Treehouse. Check out her blog for more on Lesbian pregnancy, polyamorous family structures, and gender-creative parenting. 

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