“I Hope You’re Gay…”

When I was in grad school a couple of years back I was part of the university swing dance club and after dancing we’d go out to dinner somewhere. Most of the population at my school and, consequently, of my swing club was Mormon. Well, you know how breederific Mormons are so the other three that went to dinner that night were discussing future kids and whatever while I sat by idly and just listened. Well, that is, until they asked me what I was planning on naming my kids.

I responded that I wasn’t having kids and started discussing why I didn’t want them. Of course, being Mormons they were aghast at such a thought. They seemed to be OK with it though as they knew I didn’t share their religious beliefs (my atheism was common knowledge with pretty much all of them) but I remember the other guy making the remark “I sure hope you’re gay.”

I was surprised by his remark so I asked him why he said that, and he responded with something along the lines of “you’re not going to find a woman who doesn’t want a family.”

Admittedly, I think he is probably extremely sheltered because of his religion, so I didn’t think much of it. Though, I have to wonder at times if there’s maybe a small taste of truth to that statement. It’s obviously not universally true as I know plenty of childfree women and if you’re female and reading my blog, chances are you are too. That said, it probably is easier for gay men who are childfree to find a mate than it is for straight childfree men to do so.

With the exception of two women, all of the women I’ve ever been on dates with have wanted children, and I’ve been on dates with about 10 or so during my time. Two out of 10 (or 20%) I think is about the percentage of childfree adults, so statistically it’s a pretty accurate sample. I think gay men in particular are probably the most likely to be childfree, though many of them do want to be parents too (and I 100% support gay adoption, by the way). Lesbian women I think also probably have a high incidence of childfreedom, but in my experience they’re more likely to want children than gay men are.

I don’t really know to tell you the truth. Perhaps it is kind of strange that I’m remembering this night all of a sudden now, but it’s puzzled me beyond belief. How would things be different if I were gay? Would it be easier to find a mate? Would being gay make my childfreedom more accepted by other people? You know, it’s a complex issue, for sure! I especially encourage childfree gay men and lesbian women to chime in on this, as I’ve never really explored a potential link between being childfree and sexual orientation.

I’m looking forward to your comments!
!

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About coolchildfreeguy

Childfree guy living in Mexico City. Professional pilot by day, all-around fun guy by night.

Posted on November 4, 2012, in Childfree, Dating, Life. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Well, childfreedom probably would be seen as more acceptable by the general public if you were gay. But, this is because there are a lot of people who assume gay people don’t want kids, or as a majority don’t really want kids. And then there are those who think gay people raising children is horrible and so would prefer that gay people not want or try to raise kids. I really don’t think I’ve known very many gay people who don’t have aspirations to be parents one day.

    I think that the reason that it seems like more women want kids than men do is because society says that we should. Society and popular opinion have this attachment going on to the female maternal instinct and biological clock. Women are more often disbelieved when we say that we don’t want children, or made to feel stupid or naive for expressing this desire not to have kids, or simply told that we’re wrong and horrible for it or that we’ll regret the decision. Men get these reactions too, but women seem to get it faster and harder and more often. So we’re made to feel like no matter what else, if we don’t want kids then there’s something horribly wrong with us. And if we don’t change our minds and have kids anyway then we’re pitied (and never hear the end of it) and told how we’re going to regret it one day.

    Not to mention the opposition to abortion and now birth control and a stubborn reliance on religion and AO sex education that has many girls and women getting pregnant by accident. And then there’s also the percentage of female rape survivors who end up pregnant and decide (for various reasons) not to have an abortion and end up not putting the child up for adoption.

    There are a lot of reasons people, especially women, have kids or plan to have kids. I think a lot of it stems from a societal influence and an attachment to the idea that women MUST be born with an ingrained maternal instinct and biological clock.

    Men get a lot of flack over being childfree, too. A LOT. And it’s not fair, either. But, I kind of see women getting more of it, or maybe not so much more as it’s just more enthusiastically heaped upon women. And we’re less likely to be believed when we say that we’re childfree. I’m constantly being told in very obnoxious tones, “famous last words~!” whenever I say I’m not going to have children. Even strangers try to reassure me that it’s just a phase I’m going through and I’d better stop it and focus on finding a man and having kids anyway, even if I don’t feel like I want to right now, so that I don’t regret the decision later after I’ve gone through menopause or something.

    I’ve heard women recount being practically harassed by family and friends over it, but then when told that their boyfriend or husband doesn’t want kids the people harassing them back off the “I don’t believe you” spiel. At that point, they suddenly believe that children are not in the future of those particular women, and instead blame the husband for forcing it onto her when it was actually a mutual decision or just a decision they’d both made independently before even meeting each other and which had not changed.

    That’s actually something men have to contend with far more often than women seem to, or at least as far as I’ve ever heard. Being blamed by the woman’s family and friends for not having kids. And it doesn’t matter how much the woman in the relationship backs her boyfriend or husband up, either. They just assume she’s lying for him.

    Women have to deal with that too, but from what I’ve heard from a lot of other childfree people on forums and facebook and twitter and websites and various childfree friends men seem to have to deal with that one more often than women. But, generally men are believed more often and more readily than women are about desiring NOT to have children, it seems.

    I think a lot of the pressure to have kids is just a bit more intensely directed toward women, it’s an outright expectation that women will want to have kids. Men are often still just expected to tolerate kids, be good providers, perhaps help out when they can, etc. Views about children are still pretty old school and gender-role based when it comes to the expectation that people have them.

  2. Childfree Guy, here is my two cents.

    I am a member of the “Mormon” church. Actually, we’re called Latter Day Saints, but whatever, it’s the same thing, right? And I also read all your posts. Now before you think that I’m going to go all JUDGMENTAL and crap, I just want to reassure you that even though I am a member of that church, I am 27, happily single, and also childfree, and I also am NOT a fan of kids at all. I’ve stopped attending church a lot because the screaming kids in the meetings block out the speakers so I have no idea what the topic of the talk even is. The screaming gives me a huge headache and because I work Retail, I also have had to hear screaming brats in the store all day long 5 days a week. I lack the patience to be a parent and never want to be one as long as I live in this life. So not ALL of us are going to be trying to tell you, “But you’ll NEVER find a woman who doesn’t want kids!!!” I think that is crap. There are plenty of women out there who don’t want kids, even a couple of Mormon ones who don’t think their purpose on this Earth is to change diapers and clean snot off the walls and drive around in a minivan littered with fast-food wrappers and crushed Cheerios.

    If you ever have a conversation with me about how you do not want kids, I will happily respect your opinion in making that decision instead of trying to convert you to the “Dark Side.” Ha ha! So don’t ever assume that we’re all like that. Even as a Mormon, I am a big fan of your posts and will continue to be one, and for the record, I have known quite a few judgmental jerks who are in my church and assume that they are perfect. They are full of themselves and I am tired of them looking down on me just because I don’t have a wife against one arm and a diaper bag on the other.

    Keep up the good work!!!

  3. My ex boyfriend became my ex & stopped talking to me because I told him I never wanted kids – he sent me email after email of personal character attacks. So they’re definitely are women out there who don’t want them(I knew it was a risk even bringing it up because he talked about his nephew so much but I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer). It’s even bad that I felt like I had to keep it a secret – at first he told me to try not to think about it too much? (like that would make it all go away?!!) then he got angry at me when I told him my real feelings on it.

    He broke my heart because I really loved him(even though I know now he isn’t a very nice person & I deserve to be treated with respect) but I had to be honest. I think stating you don’t want kids is still really taboo in society, especially in the heterosexual coupledom world. I think it’s still ingrained in fantasy land of get married & hv kids & everything will be great – kids stories that your exposed to as a child.

    Because gay men can’t procreate totally on their own I think it’s seen more as a choice whereas sometimes just by being female I hate that people automatically think you feel a certain way on certain topics. I couldn’t care less about babies – they look like aliens to me with their big heads and small bodies haha -. I like cats on dogs but I don’t really care about kids.

    Anyway thanks for making this site – it makes me realise there are men out there who would be ok with not having kids. Because sometimes people make it out that no one would want you when you don’t want kids. But we can’t be who we are not.

  4. It takes guts to stick with your own way, no matter how much everyone tries to bully you or make you feel there is something wrong in GIVING IT SOME THOUGHT, why would you want to reproduce, just because everyone else is breeding like there is another planet in store to feed and house all the excess when this one gets any fuller..
    Can you imagine the hopeless situation for a woman feeling the same, but residing in a country where that percentage makes it easier to be hit by a lightning than find a likeminded soulmate, when every man on dating sites are tied to their never ending grandkids at my age…
    A new site worth checking, though, Idontwantkids.. Giving some hope. Our voice is getting louder! It has to.

  5. Childfree trans-man here. I’m not warm or receptive to kids, now back when I was feminine-looking & feminine-sounding [baby-face features, high voice, small frame] this was obviously met with disbelief. & I think it shocks people I’m kind of a dick, bc I’m fairly feminine-looking/sounding. & feminine is expected to be nice, & then I turn out to have a nice,fat mean streak lol. Of course this probably got me labeled a bitch. Bc yep, believe it or not there’s a man living underneath that exterior. I don’t think being trans has anything to do with being childfree. I thought marriage/chldren was retarded since age 13. Bc it was so disappointing compared to whatever fantasy/scifi crap I indulged myself in. Plus I could never see a good logical reason to have kids, it made no sense. The whole marriage/chlidren thing just felt retarded to me then, & it still does now at 26.

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