I write to you as a woman born in the 1960s into great privilege that still somehow can’t remedy everything. My friends and I have made inter-racial couples, bi-racial babies, lesbian households, and cross-religious unions. We have made choices where women previously knew certainty, choices that are both entirely personal and a reflection of their time. Choosing you was the direct result of the collective struggle of political Americans who contested for the unlinking of biology and destiny. Thanks to their effort, lesbians like your Mama Cheryl and I feel authorized to experience what straight women have always expected: the dream of raising children. I write to tell you about the families we make from conviction, our links of love based upon recognition.
Unlike what has been true for most humans who have peopled the earth, we millenial queers must decide to make our progeny. We choose you, carefully, with great discussion and angst. We have to deliberate on how to make you. As a direct consequence, our children are never accidental or unwanted. We always have to decide, up front, what you might mean to us and to the world.
Do you know I also chose to be a lesbian? Can you understand this?
It started out as a political and theoretical decision neatly linked to falling in love for the first time with a woman. Unexpectedly, I found myself in a relationship that was healthier and happier than any I had known with a man. The next thing I knew, we chose to have you, too…
This is your Mommy. As I write this, you are just two, with a bad cough and a love of motorcycles, baseball, and your big sister, Simone.
I am not writing to that boy, though, the boy whose eyes reveal a complete satisfaction born from my love: that boy doesn’t need these words. Instead, I write to a Gabriel in an imaginary future — a Gabriel I hope won’t need my words — a seeking or sad Gabriel, a confused or lonely boy. I write to my future son who somehow still needs to know more about why he was born into my life and into our strange and wonderful family: the place that has given my adult life new meaning and joy, the place that has always been your home.
This video is about choices and their consequences. Choices I made to create you and our family; consequences I feel now and those I imagine for your future. My choices are both entirely personal and a reflection of their time. Your Mama and I are part of a significant national trend of lesbians and gays choosing to raise children.
Dear Gabriel James Robert Juhasz,
You have the biblical name of a herald, the surname of my father and our family, and the honorary appellation of my friend, Jim (James Robert Lamb), who ceased to be and yet continues with you: in your humor and vanity, courage and intelligence, in your love for me and, of course, in your maleness.
You carry none of me in your name or skin or blood. As a consequence, I am more forcefully and finally in your heart and in your head, as you are in mine. I owe you less and always, also, somehow, more. Our connection is uncomplicated by lineage and its associated duties. Our connection is complicated by our varied racial appearances.
VIEW Dear Gabe at snagfilms.com
Dear Gabe: A Video-Letter from Alexandra Juhasz
50:05, 2003, mini-dv