HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com
JUNE 27. 2003 21
parenting ella tyler
Family enjoys sports, other
activities together with the
diverse Montrose as a backdrop
Lovell proud to be a mom
SUE LOVELL, 53, MOTHER OF TWO,
says, "The gay and lesbian parenting
boom is amazing to me. Growing up, I
never thought I would have kids. It wasn't
part of the dreams gay and lesbian people
had for themselves. It wasn't the way we
planned our lives."
Lovell, however, always wanted children, and adopted 8-year-old Robbie and
his brother Stephen, now 14, when Robbie
was an infant. "I was there when Robbie
was born," she says happily. When asked
if parenting is easier now that the boys
are older, she can't decide.
"They're more independent, and in
some ways that makes it easier and in
some ways it is harder," she says. "I
have truly enjoyed every age. Each age
has different challenges and different
The family lives in the Montrose area,
where Lovell had lived before motherhood. "I bought a house here because of
the diversity of the area and because the
neighborhood schools — Poe, Lanier and
Lamar — are all good schools. Good
schools and a diverse neighborhood were
priorities for me," she says. "Montrose
isn't the only place where this happens,"
she adds, "but I was comfortable here. I
wanted a place where they would feel
comfortable growing up."
Lovell is a big fan and supporter of
the Neartown Little League where
Robbie plays, Stephen umpires and she
is an assistant coach. "Everyone plays.
There are no tryouts, just skill assessments so that the team's balanced. It is
so wonderful to see this diverse group of
parents all getting along, all accepting
of each other and all cheering for each
other's kids," says Lovell, who is a
coach as well.
Everyone in the Lovell family likes
sports. "It's something they chose to do,
but I'm glad because it's something we
all have in common," she says. "You
should have seen us screaming and
jumping around when Rice won the
College World Series. The boys were
really excited because we would go
watch them play."
LOVELL SPENDS A LOT OF TIME
with the boys. "I'm fortunate to have
them, and they're my priority. I wanted
them so I could be part of their lives, not
just to have them," she explains. "I cut
back a lot on my involvement in things,
but I will have time to do that later. It all
goes by so quickly "
Stephen and Robbie like Lovell's
involvement in politics (she's running
for Houston City Council this year).
They know that it's important, and that
it helps people, she says. It isn't always
Gay Houston activist Sue Lovell adopted her two
sons, Robbie, 8, and Stephen, 14, when Robbie was
easy for them, though, she admits.
"They'll get teased or harassed about
who I am when my name is in the paper
or I'm on the news." However, she says,
"When they see someone [else] being
harassed, they'll reach out. They know
what it's like."
Lovell is very proud of her sons.
"They're really good kids, and it doesn't
seem to be a struggle for them. They're
fun, smart, and have good senses of
humor. They're well rounded, and that's
important to me. They do volunteer
work," she says.
The boys maintain contact with their
birth mother, Lovell says. "They have two
sisters, one younger than Robbie, and
they see them." They also have close ties
to Lovell's family. "They're leaving soon
to spending three weeks in California to
see their cousins," she reports.
THE FAMILY ALSO HAS PETS,
though not as many as they had last
week. "We had 10 puppies, but fortunately, they're gone," Lovell says. "It was a
good experience for them, and they
wanted to keep them until they saw how
much work they would be."
Although the gay and lesbian parenting is more visible and accepted than it
once was, Lovell says there still is
progress to be made. "Gay fathers and lesbian mothers still lose access to their
children in divorces and single parent
adoption is allowed, but gay couples cannot [adopt]," she says.
"If I had to give advice to a young gay
or lesbian, what I'd say is there is no
right moment [to have children]. Don't
wait for enough money or time or the
perfect situation," Lovell says. "Just do
it. Things will fall into place. I've been
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