Mama Tried: A Queer Mother’s Day Celebration

May 12, 2013, 12:00 pm


If you aren’t a mother, you have had one at some point, right? Talk about an all-inclusive holiday that is ripe for queering! So without further ado:

Madwoman With A Laptop Has A Mother Too! All us feminists come from somewhere, don’t we? Tracing the impact of the gifts our momz gave us is an important part of our generational history. Go here for my favorite queer English proffie and the impact a plane ticket can make on a young woman’s life. Mother’s Day is a dopey, reactionary holiday, but a mother’s touch can make all the difference.

Best Gay-Straight Alliance I Know: If one mother is good, two is better! Top of the day to Jennifer and Deirdre Finney-Boylan, who are once again making the rounds of talk shows and women’s mags on behalf of queer families everywhere.  Has any couple in history ever had such a high tolerance for repeatedly answering the question: “But are your children normal???” These women have the patience of Job (except that Job never had to go on morning talk shows.) And by the way? I’ve only met one of their sons IRL, but the young men who call themselves Finney-Boylan are far too cool and talented to be normal. Read all about the Boys of Belgrade, ME, their Mom, their Maddy and other queer families in Jenny’s new book, Stuck in the Middle With You: A Memoir of Parenthood in Three Genders (Crown, 2013).

The Mommy Blogger Who Is Not One: What mother takes more bloggy $hit than any other for her failure to privilege the status of child-bearing and raising? Our favorite queer Internet mother Historiann, that’s who! For a long time she maddened the maternal hordes by refusing to say whether she was a mother or not. Finally one of those routine and terrifying childhood illnesses prompted the big reveal.  And yet, Historiann has drawn a kind of special scrutiny from mommy bloggers, who have a habit of swarming those who pull back the curtain on the Cult of Parenting. Some regard her as the Lord Ha-Ha of maternal units for refusing to make her child the cornerstone of her identity. Good on ya, Cowgirl! And happy un-Mother’s Day!

Yay! My Son Is Pope! Boo! He Got Beheaded! On this day (May 12) of the year 254, a Roman mother found out that her son had been appointed Pope Stephen I. Unfortunately, thirty-nine months later, Stephen was sitting on his throne committing a range of poperies when Roman Emperor Valerian decided to resume the persecution of Christians and had him beheaded in the middle of Mass.

She’s My Very Own Guiding Star: Worst television series about a mother ever? Go on — date yourself by guessing “My Mother the Car,” starring Jerry Van Dyke and the voice of Ann Sothern, which lasted for one hideous year between 1965 and 1966. In a nightmare scenario, Van Dyke’s dead mother chooses to reincarnate herself as a classic car, giving him unwanted and officious advice through the radio. Unable to dispose of her (because she is his mother) Van Dyke also has to defend her from an unscrupulous car collector. Many laffs are also achieved as Our Hero defends himself from the perception that he has lost touch with reality (because other people might not believe that his mother is a car.)

And Last But Not Least? Lord, Mama Tried!: For all the queer sons and daughters everywhere, what can we say but that, as Johnny, Merle and Toby remind us, Mama tried?


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