chapter  2
26 Pages

Coming to Be

The reader can surely anticipate the amount of diversity in childhood experiences and families that there would be in a group of any forty-four women born over a twenty-two-year period. Joanna’s parents were both professionals while Sappho’s parents operated an ice cream parlor, and Sheri’s mom cared for foster children while her father went off each day to work. Roberta’s mom became pregnant with Roberta while unmarried and living overseas, Cynthia was born in northern Ontario and had ten siblings. Edie and her sister were raised by a single mom in Florida in a tarpaper shack, picking grapefruits and oranges to eat. Mary Lou grew up next to a university campus, while Addy never attended high school. In this chapter, I will develop some of the data for this group of forty-four women that are of interest to social historians. It should be clear to people who would attribute lesbianism to dysfunctional families, child abuse, working mothers, absent fathers, homosexual parents, or unreligious parents that there are plenty of examples of the “better” situation nurturing homosexual children.