Parenting can be a wild ride, to say the least. So can navigating the social, medical, and legal world as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Put the two together, and you have a unique experience that’s a little different for all of the countless people experiencing it today. These books are the tales of those experiences, written by the people who experienced them.
Eric Rosswood’s The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads: Everything You Need to Know About LGBTQ Parenting But Are (Mostly) Afraid to Ask reads like a how-to guide for navigating the world of parenting as a gay man. This is especially useful given how many parenting books are marketed specifically towards women. Critics like Dr. Ron Holt praised it as “informative and practical [and] a valuable resource.” Covering everything from legal protection for LGBTQ+ parents to questions like “where’s the mother?” The Ultimate Guide for Gay Dads is here to save the day for any gay dads in need of a little helping hand.
Maybe how-to guides aren’t your jam, even if advice columns still appeal to you. Dan Savage, the writer of famous sex advice column “Savage Love,” comes through for those looking for a touching, real, hilarious, and dramatic story of the search for family in the face of the odds. The Kid: (What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant), an Adoption Story is high-energy, honest to the bone, and perfect for anyone looking for that just-right blend of edgy and earnest.
For three years spanning 2006 to 2009, Frontiers Magazine published a regular column titled “Bringing up Gayby” that depicted in snapshots the life of Tony and Antonio Zimbardi-LeMons from their first meeting to their journey through fatherhood. Now, those heart-felt articles - equal parts richly entertaining and deeply poignant - are compiled in Tony Zimbardi-LeMons’s book Forever Dads: A Gay Couple's Journey to Fatherhood. This is an emotionally honest tale of adoption, parenting, love, and all the challenges and triumphs that life brings with it on the way to building a family.
Natalie Meisner grew up a tomboy in a rural town with the self-proclaimed goal of getting out without having a baby. Her wife, Viviën, is a woman of color adopted into a white family. So when the two women decide to have a baby, they have a lot of decisions to make about the future baby’s connections to its roots. Cue Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family, a “passionate and engaging account of a lesbian couple’s struggle to have a family” (Beth Everest) that spans the hilarious and moving account of two women finding their way to the baby they dream of.
Jerry Mahoney’s riotous book Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad chronicles his journey from closeted husband to proud, gay family man, and what it took to make it where he is today. When Jerry and his long-term boyfriend Drew decide to take the plunge into parenthood, they open the gates to a perilous world of decisions they never could have expected. Jerry Mahoney explores what it means to be a father and a gay family man in Mommy Man with a lot of humor, and just as much heart.
When a lesbian couple decides to have a baby, there is a whole world of things to consider. Where are you getting the sperm? Who’s going to be pregnant? And, as Calla Devlin discovers and relates in her book Don't Call Me Daddy: A Lesbian Mom on Sperm Donors, Not Being Pregnant, and the Ups and Downs of Being the Other Mother, what’s it like for the one who doesn’t get pregnant? Devlin captures the awkward, absurd, annoying, endearing, and everything in between in her book on the journey of the “other mother” to, well, motherhood.
S. Bear Bergman has already made an indisputable name for himself within the world of trans literature with his first two books, Butch Is a Noun and The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You, and now he’s back with another exquisite collection of essays: Blood, Marriage, Wine, & Glitter. Bergman’s writing is as poignant and thought-provoking as always, and Blood, Marriage, Wine, & Glitter is “an instructive and delightful meditation on the ways in which we love and connect” (Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg). This is a book that redefines what it means to be a family and what it means to find that family.
If you’re looking for a candid and funny take on the kind of story that is so often shrouded in secrecy and frustration, then Karleen Pendleton Jiménez’s How to Get a Girl Pregnant is the book for you. Jiménez is a “fearless writer… [who] tackles topics like mortality, family, race, queerness, and sperm with the best tools in the box: a sense of humor and the sensibilities of a great storyteller” (Ivan Coyote), making How to Get a Girl Pregnant a book that touches on the heaviest subjects in queer parenthood - and really, pregnancy in general - while still managing to make you laugh.
Mindy Stokes’s hilarious yet serious story, told in her book Momma Baby Mama: Story of a Knocked-Up Lesbian, depicts her and her wife Katie’s journey to motherhood. Momma Baby Mama is “a tale of commitment, challenge, longing and the love of two momma's for one incredibly lucky girl” that covers the trials and tribulations of everything from the conversative Baptist south to the pre-natal yoga classes and back again. Momma Baby Mama is warm, honest, and an overall triumph.