Thinking about maternity, beyond gender identity and sexual orientation
by Nicole Rubano to Lunàdigas
At first glance, sexual orientation does not seem to be related to bias on childfree women: and then, along came mothers. At the moment of coming out, the life of a non-heterosexual woman becomes a disaster when others realize that she won’t reproduce. Yes, the real problem of the heteronormative society is not the mysterious (?) sexual activity of LGBT+ couples, and neither it is the Hamletic doubt on “who is the man and who is the woman”. In the end, what is problematic for society is the fact that a LGBT+ person cannot procreate in a natural way because of a different sexual orientation.
Not by chance, traditional debates on homosexuality highlight how this latter is considered “anomalous” because it is a sexual relation not aimed at procreating. Thus, all these issues come to be interlinked in order to affirm that a human being must accomplish the reproductive function, so having a heterosexual relation as nature suggests. For this reason, LGBT+ community is twice “counternatural”, threating both the assumption on heteronormativity and the obliged accomplishment of reproductive function.
And then, go with the escalation: heterosexual lunàdiga, lesbian lunàdiga, bisexual lunàdiga, transgender lunàdiga. In order of increasing, from less to more heretic, incomprehensible and deviated in others’ conception. This seems to suggest that if you are a lunàdiga, at least you could try to be heterosexual; while, if you are LGBT+, you can perhaps try some efforts to create a family with children. On the other hand, being at the same time a lunàdiga and LGBT+ is a complete disaster! It is estimated that for each LGBT+ lunàdiga who follows her/his/hir1 own nature and values in life, a medieval stake is re-evoked in another side of the world (like a butterfly effect in the Salvini’s era).
Once analysed how society combines a bias on sexuality with a bias on being childfree, it is also important to show how LGBT+ community in itself reacts to these issues. As Turin’s round table emphasizes, some non-heterosexual people experience parenthood, fiercely showing the flag of same-sex parenting. According to gender studies, this is a positive development of new role models of parenthood which go beyond the schemes of patriarchy (e.g. the authority of the father) and matriarchy (e.g. the womb of the mother). Thus, same-sex parenting is able to reshape the education of children without roles linked to “feminine” and “masculine”, through a progressive and liberal approach.
Even if this is a success for LGBT+ movement, same-sex parenting is problematic when it becomes an instrument of normalization and social acceptance. In other words, there is a serious risk that a LGBT+ couple is informally obliged to have children in order to having recognized its “normality” and “capability” of being a family.
Here, Lunàdigas’ debate offers important remarks to LGBT+ community, highlighting that no one is forced to be “productive” to be part of society. Disregarding sexual orientation and gender identity, reproduction is not an obliged step for anyone. So, it is important to promote LGBT+ models which are not based on heteronormative reproductive demands. In this regard, the social activism of Laura Grasso, in Sardinia, is a great contribution for a dialogue on LGBT+ issues and parenting.
In return, LGBT+ community offers to Lunàdigas an added reason to represent childfree people through a gender-neutral approach. In fact, it has been demonstrated that bias on non-reproduction don’t affect only heterosexual cis-gender women, but also lesbian cis-gender women, bisexual women and transgender women. In conclusion, it is evident that all those issues have the same unique aim, which is overcoming social expectations on who you are, who you love, and with who you became parent.
Only by focusing on an inclusive and united associationism – meaning the inclusion of childfree movements and LGBT+ rights under the unique umbrella of contemporary feminism –, it is possible to fight efficiently for gender issues. At last, there is nothing more sharable than freedom. For all.
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1 On gender pronouns in English: https://www.uccs.edu/lgbtresourcecenter/pronouns-101