Two Moms, One Decision

By Melissa P.D.
YWB Pennsylvania State Director

In the fall of 2012, my wife and I were expecting our second and final child. Our first child — a daughter — was just under 2 years old. We were okay with raising a daughter because, well, we were two women. . . but a boy would be much different. We suspected this little one was a boy, so the thought of circumcision had crossed our minds, but we hadn't yet made a decision.

I purchased some cloth diapers online from a woman named Emily before we had our anatomy scan to find out the sex of the baby.

During our conversation, she asked, “This baby, your son . . . if he’s born, is he safe?” (She was asking if we were leaving the baby intact.)

My reply: “Baby’s not born and is safe in my belly and we haven’t decided about circumcision yet.”

Emily responded, “Well, intact genitals are a HUMAN RIGHT.”

That day, a seed was planted with those few words. A few weeks later we did confirm that I was carrying the most perfect little boy. So now a decision had to be made.

Or did it?

This is where it began . . . the turning point in my life. The research started simply enough with YouTube and Google.

First stop was a YouTube video of a circumcision. I could only get to the part where they strapped the little baby boy down and started to inject his penis with some sort of numbing agent. (Later on, I learned this is lidocaine and it doesn’t eliminate the pain, even if it’s given the correct amount of time to take effect.) I felt sick to my stomach. This wasn’t going to happen to my little boy. I closed the laptop and looked at my wife and told her there was no way in the universe we were doing that to our son. I couldn’t bring myself to watch a circumcision (and to this day I haven’t) — how could I hand him over to a stranger to do this to him?

There was a bit of resistance from my wife. “He will possibly be made fun of for having two moms,” she worried. Families are so different now; that wasn’t a real concern for me. “He will be made fun of for not being like other boys.” He’s not like other boys. He’s unique, and because of that, he will never be like other boys. Why would we alter our son’s penis because of some hypothetical chance he would be made fun of? This really didn’t make sense to me.

Meanwhile, I asked a few friends, who quoted the tired old comments:

“It’s cleaner.” (IT’S NOT.)

“It prevents infections.” (IT DOESN’T.)

“It’s required by the Bible.” (IT’S NOT.)

This helped solidify my decision: I couldn’t find any research that supported the reasons people were giving me to cut my precious son.

Google led me to other parents who were choosing to keep their little boys intact (not circumcised). I found Facebook groups full of people who were educating others about the benefits and functions of the foreskin.

My wife took to the Internet to do her own research. A few days passed, and we talked about it. She had come to the conclusion that there was no medical reason to circumcise. This was a decision we didn’t have to make, we wouldn’t make, we couldn’t make for him. This would be a decision HE would make if HE wanted to cosmetically alter his penis as an adult. (Yes, it’s 100% a cosmetic procedure.) We agreed that we would educate both of our children about the importance of foreskin and its functions. Our daughter and son will always learn from us that their normal, complete bodies are beautiful and worthy of respect.

Members of the LGBTQIA community have had to fight for their rights at every turn of history. How could we, as two lesbian women, have fought all these years for our basic human rights to marry and love who we love just to take those same human rights — his right to his natural body — away from our son?


Published June 12, 2018