A Real Life Family Living 'the New Normal': Kristen Henderson and Sarah Kate Ellis

Sarah Kate Ellis and Kristen Henderson are just one example of millions of real life families in the U.S. who demonstrate that same-sex parents are raising their families with the same love and compassion as straight parents.  Audiences will soon get to see another gay couple, Bryan and David, trying to start a family with the help of a surrogate when NBC’s The New Normal premieres tonight.


Henderson, a member of the all-female band Antigone Rising, and Ellis, who works as a high-level magazine executive, were married in their hometown on Long Island in October 2011. The couple currently lives in New York and has been together seven years. Henderson and Ellis traveled a unique path to motherhood with a rare double-pregnancy, meaning the women conceived at the same time by the same donor, causing them to give birth just a few weeks apart from one another in February 2009. They eventually began referring to their two children, Thomas and Kate, as twins.

Ellis and Henderson released a novel in 2011 detailing their journey titled Times Two, which begins, “To every good love story, there is a twist.” The women hope their book will reach a wide audience. “I hope it has mainstream exposure and that it delights and surprises people that it normally wouldn’t,” Ellis said. Henderson’s blog continues to tell their present-day story.

“I think it’s important to keep stories about families like mine in the spotlight,” Henderson said in a 2011 AfterEllen interview. “The more people read about my average, every day, mundane life, the more they realize we’re no different than they are.”

The New Normal premieres Monday, September 10 at 10 pm after The Voice on NBC, but you can watch the pilot now on NBC’s website. GLAAD will be partnering with Equality Utah and Utah Pride Center to host a panel discussion and screening for Utah residents following Salt Lake City’s NBC affiliate KSL-TV’s decision to not air the series. Watch the trailer for The New Normal below.