LGBT History Month - Featured Families: Jenni Tellyn. -
I’ve known Jenni since joining our local a Rainbow Families Facebook group.
We are so glad we joined the group. Not only have we met a wonderful community of rainbow families, where meet ups and events are arranged regularly, but we have people to go to if we have questions specific to LGBT Families.
As part of LGBTHM, the group are taking part in an oral history project at our local library in Brighton on Saturday 20th February from 10am. Children are very welcome with lots going on, including; face painting, badge-making, story-time, singing and crafts – there’s even a play area for under 5’s too!!
But back to the featured family!
Who are you?
I am Jenni Tellyn and I live with my partner, Kathryn Clarke and our family.
How long have you been together?
We’ve been together nearly 6 years.
Where did you meet?
We met on match.com! It was technically “doomed” from the beginning as her profile said she definitely wanted children (and indeed had the drugs in the fridge already in preparation for her fertility treatment!) and mine said I definitely didn’t want them. We thought we would have some fun and see what happened and five years, two dogs and two daughters later, here we are!
Do you have any children?
Yes. Kathryn is birth mum to Isabella who is four going on 14 (sheesh!) and I am birth mama to Bibi who is 9 months old Web Site.
We used the same donor for both girls through the European Sperm Bank so we will be watching to see any mannerisms/character traits they have in common!
What’s the best thing about being a parent?
I love the excuse it gives you to be silly. We laugh a lot. I like watching them learn new things and I thank Bibi for getting me a year and a bit off work!
What challenges, if any, have you faced as a same-sex family?
I didn’t come out until relatively recently so I feel a bit of a fraud having missed the struggle many people went through to be accepted. I’ve never had any adverse reactions to my sexuality, even in the macho hetero world of the City of London, despite having had to come out again and again to explain how I came to have our first daughter despite not having been pregnant!
The only awkwardness was the health visitor squirming her way out of having asked both me and my partner about contraception in our post natal check-ups! Doh! Am unlikely to spend five grand at a fertility clinic by accident!
Has it been easy to teach your children about diversity?
To be honest, we haven’t really gone there with our conversations with Isabella yet. She has matter-of-factly just accepted she has two mummies.
Indeed, a little boy at her childminder took to calling his Daddy “Mama” as he wanted two mummies too! Not sure what his Dad thought of that 😬!
We have now bought an “Our Story” book from the Donor Conception Network site so we can read it with Isabella before she starts school. Her mind has just been blown, when we were talking about her birthday, by the idea that she came out of “Mummy’s foofoo!!” so the whole sperm donor thing might be too early to introduce!
What would be your message to a young person “coming out” today?
Is “coming out” even much of a thing these days? Don’t sweat the labels! Be yourself!
What would be your message to a couple starting out on the TTC journey?
Brace yourselves for an emotional roller coaster and a fair bit of expense (depending on which route you choose to go down). Don’t overthink it – there’s never an absolutely perfect time. If you need to do it, do it. No regrets.
What does LGBT History mean to you?
Being thankful for the backdrop of struggle people went through so the world has changed for the better for those coming after those pioneers.
Where can we find you?
I blog at www.babyweaningchart.com and am on Twitter as @bibisgrowingup.