For the next few weeks, as we approach the April 8th release of A Family by Any Other Name, I’d like to introduce you to some of the book’s contributors.
Rosemary Rowe is a Vancouver-based writer and playwright whose essay is called “Aspiring Lesbian Aunt.”
How did you find out about this project?
You emailed me about it, and I got all excited.
Why did you decide to contribute? How did you decide what to write about?
It sounded like an amazing project, so I was thrilled to have a chance to be a part of it. But deciding what to write about was tricky. Initially, I thought I would write about my big gay wedding to my wife, Kate, which was hilarious and epic. But there were family incidents around that event that I didn’t feel comfortable sharing (and/or that weren’t mine to share). So, writing about our choice to have a wrinkly, suspicious dog instead of children seemed like the next best “queer family” topic.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I actually get to write for a living and have done a little bit of everything. I started out as a playwright, I worked as a technical writer for the government, I started a personal blog and now I work with my wife and we run a digital marketing agency, where I write content for websites and blogs. I still write plays…and a couple of years ago I wrote a lesbian webseries about online dating called Seeking Simone, which was fun for something different.
Did writing about your own experiences prove challenging in any way?
Finding the tone of my essay was tricky. I didn’t want to give the impression that I hate kids or think that my friends who have kids are crazy. I am really in awe of people who choose to be parents. So, finding the right balance of being grateful to them for raising the next generation and being honest about the fact that I just don’t want to do that was the most challenging part. I also didn’t want to come off like an incompetent, potentially child-endangering douche in case a judge ever reads the essay. Because what if something happens, like in the 1987 comedy Baby Boom, where I’m suddenly in charge of someone’s orphaned child? That could happen, Bruce, and if it did, I’d like to think I would rise to the challenge. Just like Diane Keaton did.
What did you get out of writing an essay for this collection?
I’ve had a lot of thoughts and feelings about this topic for several years, obviously, but having this excuse to really articulate why I’m not interested in parenting…and to examine my journey to this place of “Woooo! Kid-free 4 LIFE!!”…was pretty fantastic.
Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like readers to know about?
Yes! My play Camp Victoria is opening at Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary on March 3rd, so I’m pretty excited to go see that. I’m working on a variety of other projects that I find wildly exciting but I don’t really know when or if any of them will come to fruition. But when exciting things do happen, I totally brag about them on my blog, Creampuff Revolution.