Brandi Carlile is getting real about “queer parenting.”
The Grammy winner, 39, penned an essay for Parents Magazine alongside her wife Catherine Shepherd, opening up about their marriage and how they’re parenting their own way.
Carlile and Sheperd wed in 2002 and later welcomed two children, Elijah, 2, and Evangeline, 6. According to “The Joke” singer, they conceived both their children through IVF by harvesting Carlile’s eggs for Shepherd to carry.
But after welcoming their first, Carlile admitted it was hard to find parenting resources for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I wish there had been more for me to read or to absentmindedly absorb through TV sitcoms, movies and ads — things that could have prepared me for the strangeness of being wholly responsible for a child without much representation or mirror to show me what it would look like,” she says. “Now I want to be a part of building some of that history for other LGBTQ+ parents.”
Adding, “This is because queer parenting lacks a manual. There’s no way to prepare same-sex parents for what a lifetime of exposure to only heteronormative parenting will do to your heart and mind while you’re contemplating and creating a new little life.”
Now, Carlile is sharing her own experiences and advice for the community.
“We found a really amazing LGBTQ+-sensitive instructor who came to our home and helped us navigate and identify our natural parental inclinations together, and that was hugely important,” she explained. “I strongly recommend this for LGBTQ+ parents embarking on this journey. There are so many mechanisms in place that make us feel inadequate — more than people really understand.”
Later adding, “Evangeline was born to two mothers on Father’s Day, but she made it clear right away that she only needed us. The rigidity around gender roles in parenting is indeed a construct. We know that now! But it took time.”
Carlile will also touch on parenting in her upcoming memoir, Broken Horses, whiches hits bookshelves on April 6.