A question for some of our female readers: let’s say that you meet the woman of your dreams, fall in love, and want to raise a family together. Where is the best place to raise a lesbian family? Perhaps where you currently live is a queer family friendly place, but perhaps it is not.
I recently visited high school friends in New England. We took a day trip to Northampton, Massachusetts to see a famous comedian and also to visit a very charming family. Visiting Northampton felt like walking into a parallel universe, one where lesbian parents are the norm. This town of about 30,000 apparently has over 5 times more LGBT residents than a typical American town. Though not very ethnically diverse, this was still quite refreshing to me as someone who grew up in the Bible Belt. I’ll admit, I was enchanted by all that I observed in Northampton.We spent much of the day at the lovely home of Kirsten and Elizabeth, parents of twin toddler boys. I had met them in passing last year at a wedding in New Orleans, so it was a pleasure to spend more time with them. Elizabeth took us on a walk around the neighborhood which included a stop at something called The Smokin’ Caboose. It was a very peaceful stroll through a quiet and picturesque neighborhood. Kirsten, meanwhile, stayed at home tidying up after a brunch earlier with some other mothers and their kids.
My friend Ellen invited a friend over who happened to be in Northampton that day to come by and hang out. Thomas, a ruggedly handsome man in his mid-20s, stopped by for a bit. He later mentioned that he couldn’t stay for long because he was having dinner with his brother and his mothers! I was astonished to meet someone around my age who had been raised by 2 mothers.
Dinnertime rolled around, and Kirsten and Elizabeth’s friends Andi and Sheryl joined us. They are a friendly middle-aged couple with a daughter in college in Iowa. Thinking back on it, everyone I met that day in Northampton either was a lesbian parent or the offspring of lesbian parents.
Another thing I found really refreshing was how unabashedly liberal people seemed to be. One of the toddler boys was asked by his mother, “Are you a boy or a girl?” “NO!,” was his reply, and his mother was very pleased by this response. Also, it was close to Easter, and I heard snippets about a visit from “the Buddha Bunny”.
Northampton, I’m sure I’ll be back soon!