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StoryCorps in Oklahoma: "He Never Asked That Question, Again" of Having Two Moms (ENCORE) (Jan 20, 2012)

Linda Barry: "I remember Gabe coming home when he was in his early years of high school. I think he was in 9th grade. He had met a new girlfriend. We thought that was wonderful and we were so excited. Then the next thing he asked was if it was okay if he told her that you were his aunt."

Pamela Groom: "Yeah."

LB: "That was a struggle. We had quite a conversation about that, as I recall. Because we wanted to be honest with the kids and with everybody in our lives. And at the same time we wanted to respect him and give him that space. I don’t remember exactly how we wound up doing that… but she did come for dinner. She was a very nice young lady. And I don’t remember you ever being referred to as ‘Aunt’."

PG: "No. We managed to get through that situation without ever having to make that kind of a reference. It just was never a question and we just went on."

LB: "You know what the best part was? Several years later, when he brought his now-wife home… he never asked that question."

PG: "He never asked that question, again. I think it was pretty much understood. He had two moms. (laughs)"

LB: "That’s how we knew that they were gonna be OK."

PG: "Plus, the looks on their faces kinda gave it away. You knew these two kids were totally in love."

LB: "Yeah, and that’s kinda the way with us. When you’re in love it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, does it?"

PG: "No. Not really."

LB: "I think probably one of the best memories I have is Chelsea… our oldest daughter… was in grade school. She was in second grade. It was just before Mother’s Day and the class was having a Mother’s Day presentation for the mothers. And so, the two of us went but we really didn’t have a clue of what to expect. We knew that they had all written Mother’s Day cards and stories to their mother’s on a special board in the hallway. I remember walking up to that board… (begins to cry) And I looked up and saw the story that read, “To my two Mom’s…”. I knew it was Chelsea’s. And it really made me feel special and proud that she felt that way about us. And at that point in my life I realized what everybody else thinks… really doesn’t matter at all."

PG: "When people see us for who we really are, they have the capacity to love us. They see us in the aspect of our friendships, in our love for our children and our grandchildren… and they finally learn we’re really not different. We’re all human beings and we’re all in this world together. And love is what keeps us all movin’ and motivated. That’s why I’m still in Oklahoma. And, I still have the hope, and the faith, and the belief that my state will someday accept me and let me share the same privileges in law that other people do."

LB: "While it’s a big thing in some ways… (but) it in no way changes what we have, no matter what anybody calls it."

Produced for KGOU by Brian Hardzinski, with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording and collecting stories of everyday people. The Senior Producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.

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