"Snakes and Snails," is a piece published in Jess Well's wonderful anthology, Lesbians Raising Sons, that touches on my surprise and delight raising my son, Alex.

Here's a review from a reader at Amazon.com:

Lesbians Raising Sons was a wonderful collection of stories, fears, funny moments, and discoveries. The women featured in this book draw a thought provoking picture of all that concerns society and themselves relative to the impact lesbian feminism on the development of a male child. From Jess Wells own fears and concerns when discovering that she was indeed going to be the mother of a "man", to Ellen Grabiner marvelling at her son's innate "boy-ness" compared to the inbred "girl-ness" of her nieces all issues, both society's and the mother's own, are touched on. Do boys naturally take on weapons, computer games and a hate of housework with their quota of testosterone? Grabiner questions whether she'd have been as open to a girl child wanting to wear ribbons and makeup as she was for her son to do the same. Is this internalized misogyny?

In each mother's story, one overriding characteristic is achingly clear; they want to raise a happy, healthy child who is comfortable being who they are; a child who is accepted and valued by society for being themselves. Isn't this what allmothers want for their children? In reality, Lesbians Raising Sons is a book about women who want to be good mothers. It is a book about women trying to do what is right in a society that does not always support them in their efforts. Read it andapplaud all women who accept the challenge of raising decent, contributing members of our world!

The Femme Mystique, edited by Lesléa Newman, is a series of pieces by and about femmes. My rather whimsical piece in the book, "Plain or Peanut?", puts forth a landmark scientific theory developed in the early nineteen eighties and which has yet to be disproved. I respectfully submit that it can be determined in 99% of all cases, whether one is butch or femme by two simple tests, easily replicated in one's own home. The femme will always choose the peanut over the plain M & M; the butch will always fold rather than crumple her toilet paper.

Reviewer: A reader from Iowa January 23, 2000

This Book Got Me In Touch With My Femme Self! As a young woman struggling with my identity, I got the book "The Femme Mystique" in hopes that it would providesome insights. Well, it did more than that: it provided some answers about who I am. And who am I? I am femme, and afterreading this book, I am also proud. This book collects the stories of femmes everywhere, from the femme-admirer to the
lipstick-and- stilleto heel-wearing- ultra-femme. Some of the stories are hilarious, some are risque, others are tender. All describe the various joys and pains of being femme-identified within the lesbian community. This book celebrates the joysof dressing up, shopping, make-up, and other traditionally "feminine" activities in the context of the women's community with thoughtfulness and directness that is refreshing and long-overdue. "The Femme Mystique" was vital to my self-identity and is a great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storming Heaven's Gate: An Anthology of Spiritual Writings by Women, edited by Amber Coverdale Sumrall and Patrice Vecchione

In an unusual exploration of spirituality, 61 women writers--including Maya Angelou, Barbara Kingsolver, and Flor Fernandez--speak in poetry and prose of finding fulfillment or the emptiness and longing they feel while searching for it on holy ground trod by men. Among them is Mary Karr (The Liar's Club), whose 6- year-old son wished one day to go to church "to see if God's there." She recounts the ensuing religious odyssey of a curious child and a doubting adult who "never walked on sacred ground except to marry or bury." The two come to rest eventually at a renegade Catholic church, where toddlers cruise the aisles and a sense of community enriches ritual.

Synopsis: The editors of Catholic Girls celebrate the power and diversity of women's spirituality in this lively collection of more than 60 works by such writers as Madeleine L'Engle, Kathleen Norris, Mary Karr, Lucille Clifton, Terry Tempest Williams,Maya Angelou, and Linda Hogan.

And me! I am in terrific company here.

My piece in this book is entitled, "Oy Gevalt! " and chronicles my journey into and out of the magical land of Kundalini Maha Yoga. Ultimately, I find my spiritual home in the heart of an ever-evolving Judaism right here in Somerville, Ma.

We Are Everywhere, Writings by and About Lesbian Mothers, edited by Harriet Alpert was published in 1987 and was one of the first books to celebrate lesbian motherhood. Filled with touching stories of lesbians raising children and lesbians who longed to mother, this was a ground-breaking first step in revolution that has since taken place. Today there are an estimated 13 million children who are being raised by gay and/or lesbian parents!

"Alex," my piece in this anthology, is the story of my high-risk pregnancy and the stunning relief and gratitude that both of us survived it.

These books can be found or ordered from Amazon.com.