This past Tuesday saw the release of a unique new memoir titled “Times Two,” by Kristen Henderson and Sarah Kate Ellis, in bookstores across the country. The memoir recalls the love story between the two authors, specifically in the context of the rare double-pregnancy that caused them to give birth just a few weeks apart from one another in February 2009.
“To every good love story, there is a twist,” reads the first line of the Simon & Schuster description of the book, which focuses on the tale of “two women meeting, falling madly in love, and realizing that they are so crazy about each other that they want to have a family together.” In an unusual coincidence, Kristen and Sarah conceive at the same time by the same donor and go through simultaneous pregnancies, eventually referring to their children, Thomas and Kate, as twins.
But each experience was very different for each woman, and writing the book only contributed to other new feelings and discoveries about themselves. “For me, personally, the biggest change is the fact that I’m out now,” Kristen said in an interview with After Ellen. “I’m not hiding behind pronouns or conveniently leaving out parts of my life in interviews in an effort to appeal to the middle.” This was an important change for Kristen, who was hesitant for a long time about publicly expressing her sexual orientation as a member of the all-female band Antigone Rising. As a high-level magazine executive, Sarah initially had her own concerns about coming out to her co-workers. She also went through some heartbreaking times—including a devastating miscarriage—as she struggled to become pregnant. But the surprising conclusion of their story delighted her. “I’d never felt so good in my life. I’d waited so long and had been so scared; then out came this perfect little girl,” she writes in the book after her delivery, which was second to Kristen’s.
Kristen and Sarah hope the book will reach a wide audience. “I hope it has mainstream exposure and that it delights and surprises people that it normally wouldn’t,” Sarah says, adding that the exposure would help educate non-LGBT people and make them more supportive of the community. Kristen’s blog continues to tell their present-day story, including the struggles they still face as a minority in a heterosexually privileged world. For example, her post “Social Worker Sunday” chronicles the humiliating visits they must tolerate in order for each woman to adopt the child that she did not conceive—even though a straight couple in the same position as them would not have to go through such a process. Still, Kristen agrees that sharing their story makes a difference. “I think it’s important to keep stories about families like mine in the spotlight. The more people read about my average, everyday, mundane life, the more they realize we’re no different than they are.”
GLAAD is proud to have worked with Kristen and Sarah by providing them with media training and resources prior to the release of the book, and congratulates them on its success!