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6 Books to Read If You’re a New (Or Seasoned) Gay Mom

Updated: Feb 12

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Books are magic — even for gay moms. As humans, we have sought reading to find connection, learn and grow, feel less alone in our struggles, look for answers, or even get lost in an amazing story. As LGBTQ+ mothers, reading a great book can be one of our biggest resources, a bright light in a trying time, and an ally in how we navigate motherhood.


Woman reading a book

If you need a new resource, are exploring ways to navigate challenges, starting a queer book club, or looking for representation that aligns with the version of motherhood you’re experiencing, we’ve got you covered.


At the recommendation of two experts — Parker Schneider, a queer therapist who specializes in working with LGBTQIA+ adults, and Stacey Huffman, a relationship coach and the founder of Attraction Expert — These six books will offer a sense of belonging and extend support at every stage of your motherhood journey.


How Can Books Help LGBTQ+ Mothers?

As gay moms, having access to great resources can be extremely helpful. That includes books. According to Schneider, reading and sharing books are also a great way to build a supportive community and foster a sense of belonging.


“Resources are crucial for lesbian and queer mothers to access support networks, information, and services that cater to their unique needs,” Schneider tells Gay Moms Club, “Helping them navigate societal challenges, legal considerations, and parenting issues in a more inclusive and understanding environment.”


They’re also an amazing way to feel a part of a community, get answers to hard questions, and can provide lesbian and queer mothers with representation, guidance, and relatable narratives too.


“Books in which lesbian and queer mothers see themselves reflected can foster a sense of validation and empowerment,” Huffman shares, “By addressing their specific experiences, challenges, and joys in the context of parenting and family life.”


6 Books You Need to Read as a Gay Mother

Whether you’re a new gay mom looking for first-time advice or a seasoned LGBTQ+ mother, becoming a bookworm can only benefit you. Below are our top recommendations on where to start.


If you’re looking to find stories of how other gay mothers handle their parenting journeys and styles, this one's for you. A queer anthology edited by Sherri Martin-Baron, Raechel Johns, and Emily Regan Wills, this book shares the stories of a variety of queer women and nonbinary people who are non-biological and non-gestational parents.


“The fifteen essays in this book address three key moments in our parenting journeys. First, we examine the routes we took to parenting, with many of us specifically focusing on the experience of being the “other” mother while our partners were pregnant and the particular fears, anxieties, and triumphs that come with it.” the book synopsis reads, “Second, we locate ourselves “in the thick of it” as parents, where the experiences are colored by our particular experiences as nonbiological parents. Finally, we reflect on our identities, including the identity of “mother,” and how those grow, shift, and develop throughout our parenting journeys.”


According to Scheider, readers will discover that diving into this book will help them find support in their family planning and learn new ways to go about the parenting journey. Through the stories and experiences of the writers, readers can grow in their understanding of motherhood and what it means to them.


Written by A. K. Summers, this courageous and poignant book provides representation for a highly underrepresented community of LGBTQ+ mothers: butch women or masculine-presenting nonbinary folks.


“Many butch women or masculine-presenting nonbinary folks find their experience is not represented in media, particularly when it comes to Pregnancy,” Schneider shares, “The same is often true for trans men. Pregnant Butch is a graphic memoir that shares one butch lesbian’s experience of pregnancy in a world that hyper-feminizes pregnancy and needs to put a bow on all the maternity clothes.”


“Teek identifies as a masculine woman in a world bent on associating pregnancy with a cult of uber-femininity. Teek wonders, can butches even get pregnant?” the book synopsis reads, “Of course, as she and her pragmatic femme girlfriend Vee discover, they can. But what happens when they do? Pregnant Butch strives to depict this increasingly common but still underrepresented experience of queer pregnancy with humor and complexity, from the question of whether suspenders count as legitimate maternity wear to the strains created by different views of pregnancy within a couple and finally to a culturally critical and compassionate interrogation of gender in pregnancy.”


If you identify as a more masculine-presenting woman or nonbinary person, this eye-opening book could give you the representation and understanding you’re looking for.


As a lesbian mother, there are moments when it can sometimes feel like you're navigating uncharted territory. In the absence of a supportive community or meaningful connections with fellow lesbian moms, navigating societal judgment from others or explaining to your kids that your family dynamic looks a little different than others can be challenging. At the recommendation of Huffman, this all-encompassing guide, specifically for lesbian parenting, can help.


“Written by two experienced lesbian therapists and parents, this second edition of Lesbian Parenting has been updated to reflect the contemporary cultural and political landscape, as well as current trends in parenting,” the book synopsis says, “Drawing on the real-life experiences of lesbian families and the latest information from family specialists, the authors present detailed, chapter-by-chapter information on each stage of parenthood and child development.”


Written by D. Merilee Clunis and G. Dorsey Green, this book guides you step-by-step through the unique challenges of lesbian parenting, including legal and social issues, along with practical advice on raising children.


If you’re a lesbian, you probably know and love Brandi Carlile. After all, she’s hard not to love. Her iconic memoir could be just what you need to navigate motherhood, family dynamics, and find a sense of belonging.


“Although much of this book is not at all about motherhood or family, the parts that do focus on family and motherhood are beautiful,” Schneider says, “Brandi Carlile does a great job of naming the lack of support and lack of easily found resources for non-gestational mothers during and after pregnancy. Readers will also get a glimpse into Carlile's experience of making a family and belonging as a lesbian.”


A nod to the mothers who don’t carry their children. This memoir, written by Amie Klempnauer Miller, recounts her two-year journey to conceive before deciding that her partner would attempt to carry their baby. With one shot of donor sperm, her partner becomes pregnant, and Amie’s world changes forever. She becomes a mother.


“As a midwestern, station wagon–driving, stay-at-home mom—and as a nonbiological lesbian mother—Miller both defines and defies the norm. Like new parents everywhere, she wrestled with the anxieties and challenges of first-time parenthood but experienced pregnancy and birth only vicariously,” the book synopsis reads, “Part love story, part comedy, part quest, Miller’s candid and often humorous memoir is a much-needed cultural roadmap for becoming a parent, even when the usual categories do not fit.”


Her journey documents the experience of being a nonbiological mother to her child, the unique challenges that come with this role, and how she discovered a cultural roadmap in lesbian motherhood.


Did you know that there are between 6 and 14 million children in the United States being raised by at least one parent who identifies as gay? Written by Suzanne M. Johnson and Elizabeth O'Connor, this book provides an in-depth look at the psychological aspects of gay motherhood, exploring the unique challenges and joys of being a lesbian mother.


“Written by two developmental psychologists, The Gay Baby Boom reports the findings of The Gay and Lesbian Family Study, the largest national assessment of gay and lesbian headed families,” the book synopsis reads, “Traditional research has tended to assume that there is something uniquely different and potentially psychologically damaging about children being raised by gays. The authors draw on their data to show these fears unfounded.”


The Gay Baby Boom was written to advance the understanding of LGBTQ+ families in the U.S. and be a resource to those families.


Whether you’re a bookworm (or not) these six expert-recommended books are sure to make you feel seen, understood, and above all, foster growth and learning on your journey through motherhood.


 

A vibrant, safe space for lesbian moms to connect.


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