blogger at parents.com has been cancelled.Merry Christmas from the
Meredith Corporation, as they officially gave Harlyn Aizley, the sole lesbian
mom blogging for their new site parents.com, the pink slip.
It seems Ms. Aizley, the author of “Buying Dad” and the editor
of “Confessions of the Other Mother” did not get enough
“hits” on her blog to continue being a valued member of the
I’m not a fan of Meredith Corporation’s corral of magazines.
Parents, Baby, Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle are all rags that
tend to make middle class white women feel good about themselves as
decorators, housewives and mommies. Sure, I’m white and I’m a
mom but nothing said in those magazines even remotely speak to
Until Aizley started posting. Then I started reading. Her blog,
Are You My Mothers? made me willing to fill out all the forms
to read her work on a regular basis. Finally, mainstream press
found my lifestyle and decided to celebrate it.
“Each of our brands attracts an enthusiastic audience based on
life stage, lifestyle and affinity.” Meredith
proudly proclaims, under a banner of images of women, their body
parts and plenty of smiles. Unless you are a lesbian. No room for
our lifestyle, life stages, or affinity.
The top bloggers at parents.com, in October, received about 11,000
unique hits per month while writing about their lives as parents.
Straight, mostly white, parents. Aizley, a lesbian, single, and
raising her daughter received 6,000 unique hits a month. She had
plenty of straight women reading her blog not because they were
cruising to find a lesbian experience but because Aizley is a good
I don’t want to get too picky but… let’s look at the numbers.
Aizley got more than 50% of the traffic of the straight writers
that means she outperforming the demographics 10x. And how many are
queer parents are out there? 5 million lesbian/gay parents raising
9-10 million children and spending $22 billion on them?
Ah, but that’s the businesswoman in me speaking. All those silly
little numbers make me wonder who is running the place and if they
need to borrow my calculator.
Aizley expresses the world in which she’s navigating with her
five year old daughter with humor, honesty and an edge only a
lesbian mom can give- the reality of what it is to be just outside
of the mainstream, trying to be a good parent, and maintaining her
dignity. What it feels like when a play date request is denied- all
the normal stuff moms go through and then added fear- is it because
I’ve had a lot of straight suburban moms over the years, who have
wanted to be friends, who wanted to be hip, and cool, and come over
with their kids for play dates. Nervously, the initial
conversations always involved a proud proclamation their near
brushes with lesbianism.
I once had a roommate who had a friend who was a lesbian.
To which I would smile, nod and try not to let my eyes roll. They
were proud of themselves for being so progressive, and open to the
idea that two moms were raising kids in their neighborhood.
Some would even start to flirt, as if I were the ultimate safety
net- another woman who kind of looked like a man but wasn’t
They would ask questions about how we got pregnant, was it really
true about turkey basters? They were tickled by the idea you could
shop for the kind of sperm you wanted- no being stuck with your
husband’s family history of manic depression. They were honestly
It created bridges. I knew the next time they met a two-mom family?
They would get past some of the silly questions and get to know
them. It made life for my kids easier. It made their kids more
accepting not only of gay families, but any structure that was
different from their own.
Aizley’s blog was doing that, online, every day, across the
country. The people who wrote in and pleaded for parents.com to
keep her? Mostly straight women.
It is not Meredith Corporation’s job to be progressive. It’s
not their job to do anything but sell magazines. They proclaim:
distinct editorial voices, they address the core categories of
home, family and personal development. Across the spectrum, we
support and inspire the reader, serving her needs and celebrating
Just not lesbian inspiration, needs or joys.
Aizley will be finished at the end of the month. I know she will be
posting at familyequality.org’s blog. “It’s like moving back
to my small hometown in the mid-west after fun and games in the big
city,” she said. “Thank goodness for our people.”
Yes, I agree. I am thankful.
But it should not be a choice between preaching to the choir and
having the richness of new and different experiences to read about,
learn from, acknowledge. I am grateful to write for Huffington Post
where I can create some bridges.
Meredith Corporation took a bold step when they invited Aizley to
blog, including a lesbian mom in the spectrum.
Shame on them for canceling her.