Not Having Kids Doesn't Make Me a Lesbian

Huffington Post contributor Chloé Hilliard discusses how her family is so baffled by her single-and-childless status that they've decided she must be gay.

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As a 31-year-old single African-American woman, Huffington Post contributor Chloé Hilliard has something to prove to her family, apparently. Her cousins, grandparents and parents spend days attempting to deduce why she is single and has no children, and they're pretty sure it's because she's a lesbian.

I'm 31 years old, black and childless. Coming from an American-American family with strong southern roots, that means either I can't have kids or I'm a lesbian.

My mother got married at 19 and had me at 22. My grandmother got married late -- 23. "And I was a grown woman," she likes to emphasize before reminding me that she also had seven kids. By their example I should have been married by now. They also don't buy into the "black women aren't getting married" hype that's managed to depress a lot of my girlfriends and sell thousands of magazines.

My singleness is a major issue of concern. "Chloe, I don't want you to be alone," my mother says with just enough love so I know that it's coming from a good place. I also know she fears that I'll end up being the old woman with 50 cats, eating cake frosting for dinner being featured on Hoarders: Buried Alive. Good thing I don't like cats.

Why would I subject myself to a life of solitude, unless I was a lesbian and didn't want my family to know? At a recent family gathering, I had a cousin flat out ask me "Chloe, do you like men?" Her bouncing her third child on her knee did not go unnoticed. "I've never seen you with one."

Read Chloé Hilliard's entire piece at the Huffington Post.

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