As the father of a lesbian girl, I am very concerned with the situation of rainbow families. Therefore, I was very happy when Krisztina, even if by staying anonymous and without providing us with their personal pictures, agreed to answer our questions about how she and her 12-year older partner, Zsuzsa, raise Zsolti who is still in elementary school. I have found out a lot from the pretty, fierce and joyful girl in her late 30s, things that are not only inspiring for the gay and lesbian people, who want to start a family, but can also broaden the horizon of the heteros around them.
All of us at qLit are grateful for you doing this interview, even if you choose not to be recognizable. Why do you insist on remaining anonymous?
Zsuzsa and I are out about our relationship, people knew about us at my previous workplace, but from a few chance remarks, I realized that my current colleagues have a pretty conservative mindset, it would be unnecessary to let this thing cause tension.
Interesting. I assumed it was because of your son.
Zsolti’s teacher knows that he is raised by two women, and I assume that his classmates’ parents are also aware of the situation as they have seen both of us at parent-teacher meetings, sometimes we even went together. His classmates are still very young, they just don’t care.
But they grow up so quickly, and kids can be just cruel.
It may come up as an issue when they’ll be teenagers, but some are bullied for being fat, ugly or dumb. And Zsolti might be bullied for having two moms.
In their family it was the women who gave them a sense of safety
You are pretty optimistic... But let’s take a big step back in time! Have you always been attracted to girls?
No, not at all. For a while, I was taking my chances with boys, and honestly, the physical part was completely ok with me. However, I did not feel safe with them. Sooner or later, I would always take up the “male roles”.
Have you thought about what the reason of this might be?
I did not have to give it much thought. Unfortunately, my dad was an alcoholic, who beat my mom. That is why he got two years probation after their divorce. So, in our family, it was always the women who gave us a sense of safety. That is probably the reason why I chose a woman as my partner in the end.
According to the literature, however, genetics is the one to determine the sex of our partners.
It might have to do with the predisposition, but in certain cases, such as mine, a trigger is needed as well.
When and how did it occur in your case?
One of my relationships had just ended, I was single when I started at my new workplace, and one of my female colleagues – there is no better way to describe it – seduced me. She was very boyish in her appearance and her manners as well, when we broke up after a year, she kept on hitting on me, and this lead to tension between us. Eventually, this is how I ended up with Zsuzsa.
She was our boss, and she spotted that something was wrong, that we couldn’t really work together. She sat down with me to talk, and I told her everything. She told me that she got it since she had also had a relationship with a woman. We started dating after this, and in a few months we became a couple. It’s been 13 years.
Her partner came with three kids to the relationship
Before I ask you about your life together, tell me more about Zsuzsa.
She had a traumatic childhood as well. Her mother gave birth at a very young age, Zsuzsa ended up in foster care instantly. Her – brace yourself! – 33-year-old grandmother took her in. Zsuzsa got married at a young age as well, and she gave birth to three girls, but her marriage ended after ten years. Then she lived with a woman for six years, and after that I entered the picture. When we met, her three daughters were still teenagers, today they are all grown up.
How did the girls take the fact that their mother chose a woman as her partner?
The oldest has always supported her. The middle one couldn’t really deal with the situation for a time, especially in the period when she had a relationship with a religious boy, but this conflict is behind her now. The youngest one is pretty reserved, I am not sure about where she stands.
Was it obvious from the first moment that you would have a child together?
I told Zsuzsa at the very beginning that I insist on giving birth to a child, and she accepted this. It never caused any disagreement between us.
You have mentioned that making love with men was fine with you. Did you consider to get pregnant in – let’s put it – the traditional way?
No, I felt that it would have meant cheating on Zsuzsa, and I did not want to do that.
So, you were left with artificial insemination?
Yes, back then it was pretty simple for a single woman at a private clinic, but I am sure that you can easily do it even today with money. So I went for the insemination.
Do you have any information on the biological father?
Yes, I saw a handwritten form saying that at the time of the “donation”, he was going to college, preparing for a career in science, he used to play handball and sing in a choir before, and if I recall it correctly, he was 178 cm tall.
I don’t want to tease you, but we have all seen comedies with people going to such institutions, reading these charming profiles...
Yeah, of course. Patients are assured that they are being offered the best donors, the potential fathers of your child are gorgeous and intelligent, and in the next scene you see the lowlife alcoholics and junkies, who actually provide them with the “stuff”. But this is the case only for the screen. At least, I hope so...
Everyone does what they are best at
Jokes aside! Especially, if they are this bad. You’ve been raising together a boy for seven years. Do you assign the roles based on who is the mom and who is the “dad”?
No, I wouldn’t say that. For instance, in matters of courtesy, Zsuzsa is the “man”, she holds the door for me. Some would say that driving and servicing are roles associated with men, Zsuzsa is responsible for them as well. But besides these, we don’t actually follow a set of principles on female and male tasks. I am the one to repair the things around the house, but Zsuzsa is the one who cooks. Everyone does what they are the best at, what fits them more.
I think that one of the greatest homophobic arguments against rainbow families like yours is the concern of whether the child raised by two women or two men will turn out to be gay or lesbian themselves. In some cases, even same sex couples with no experience will fear this. How is this in your case?
The oldest one of the girls is just getting married, the middle one is giving birth to her first child in July, and the youngest one has been living with a man for three years. And Zsolti is just such a little guy, he is always leaving around his dirty laundry, which is said to be characteristic for men.
Speaking of which, does he have men in his enviroment?
Of course, his uncle and grandfather, he loves both of them. He has a daily relationship with his grandfather, they go to the cinema and theater, and they skate together. Besides skating, Zsolti has been swimming since he was three, he used to play ice hockey, and now he goes to taekwondo trainings.
Can we conclude then that the children of same sex couples can be straight as well, or even more: their sexual orientations are not influenced by this at all?
It seems that they aren’t. However, I know this from my own experience that often your real sexual orientation may only become obvious when you are an adult. I think that the very first thing a child needs is love, this is the most important, and the sex of their parents is only secondary to this.
What would you say to the skeptics in this regard, or to the homophobes?
I have a very simple message: show me one child who was crippled by being raised by two women or two men! Sexual orientation does not determine whether you become a good parent or not. The tendency says that since gay couples need more preparation to become a parent, they will be more conscious in parenting.
Translated by Blanka Barabás