Transcripts

StoryCorps: Washington Women Share Story Of Coming Out, Co-Parenting

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
Okay, so if you're an avid Public Radio listener, you've no doubt heard of StoryCorps. It's the oral history project that gives Americans the chance to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives. Well, StoryCorps has set up one of their mobile booths right here in our region, in Arlington, Va. and over the next few weeks, we'll be airing some of stories recorded at that booth.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:24
We begin with Tanya Renne and her partner Cindy Morgan-Jaffe, who've been together for 14 years and are raising five kids. Cindy says her life dramatically changed when she left a heterosexual marriage. Her world was given another jolt when she and Tanya decided to have a baby and ended up with twins.

MS. CINDY MORGAN-JAFFE

00:00:45
Before meeting Tanya, I was married for 14 years to the father of my three beautiful daughters. So...

MS. RAPHAELLA BENNIN

00:00:57
Do you think you're up to answering the question of what it was like to come out for you?

MORGAN-JAFFE

00:01:04
When I moved into a homosexual relationship, there was a lot of fear and a lot of uncertainty and anxiety around what is happening to me. And I remember I went to a story down in DuPont Circle called Lamda Rising and there I found myself thinking that all the alarms were going to go off and there were going to be arrows pointing at me. And I went over to a table and there was a book called "Married Women Who Fall in Love with Women."

MORGAN-JAFFE

00:01:36
It was like it was sizzling there and I wanted to pick it up, but I was terrified to bring it up to the cashier. And so I just checked out the page and headed out of the store.

MS. TANYA RENNE

00:01:47
And then we had seen each other at this mutual friend's house and that's when we started, you know, I don't know, moving around each other and seeing...

MORGAN-JAFFE

00:01:55
Dating.

RENNE

00:01:55
Dating, I guess, yes, dating 14 years ago.

MORGAN-JAFFE

00:01:59
And when we got together, we bought a house together and we decided to go ahead and tried to have a child. And so, Tanya, you want to tell the story about how we found that it was twins?

RENNE

00:02:16
Well, so we did get pregnant very quickly and I had my first sonogram and I was only 31. We hadn't used any drugs at all. There were absolutely zero chance of twins and I went to the maternity center in Bethesda and we were going to have this, you know, birds tying ribbons in your hair sort of home birthing experience, you know, all that stuff in a four-poster bed or whatever.

RENNE

00:02:45
And so on a Monday morning, you know, when you go to the sonogram, Cindy, who's seen three sonograms, I who was just concerned about not peeing because they make you drink all this water, was lying there and Paulette, the sonographer, first thing out of her mouth was, well, there's two in there.

RENNE

00:03:03
Cindy, cue the water works, immediately starts crying. And I look at Paulette and said, so how long have you been doing this? And she says, 15 years. And I thought, my God she can't possibly be wrong. And I have to say that in the moment that she said it, I was thrilled and then the next moment we were just petrified.

MORGAN-JAFFE

00:03:24
And of course, I started crying immediately because it was astounding news and exciting and all that but also just one more big change really and I remember my mother, who had been a wonderful mom through all of this with a divorce and then you're with a woman now. And there we were adding twins to the package and what could be better. And I would say that those incidents are fairly typical of our lives.

MORGAN-JAFFE

00:04:04
I mean, we really do live a very conventional life, but we've been, you know, managing a blended family and we've had a lot of challenges.

SHEIR

00:04:25
That was Tanya Renne and Cindy Morgan-Jaffe speaking at the StoryCorps booth in Arlington, Va. This story was produced by "Metro Connection's" Raphaella Bennin. To find out more about the StoryCorps mobile booth in Arlington, visit our website, metroconnection.org.

SHEIR

00:05:05
And that's "Metro Connection" for this week. We heard from WAMU's Jonathan Wilson, Sabri Ben-Achour, Kavitha Cardoza and our brand-new superstar reporter, Jacob Fenston. Jacob, welcome abroad. Our acting news director is Meymo Lyons. Our managing producer is Tara Boyle. Lauren Landau is our editorial assistant. Our intern is Raphaella Bennin. Lauren Landau and Raphaella Bennin produce "Door to Door." Thanks, as always, to the WAMU engineering and digital media teams for their help with production and the "Metro Connection" website.

SHEIR

00:05:33
Our theme song, ''Every Little Bit Hurts" and our "Door to Door" theme "No, Girl," are from the album "Title Tracks" by John Davis and used with permission of the Ernest Jennings Record Company. You can see all the music we use on our website, metroconnection.org. Just click on a story and you'll find information about its accompanying song.

SHEIR

00:05:50
Also on metroconnection.org you can find our Twitter and Facebook links, you can read free transcripts of stories and if you missed part of today's show you can hear the whole thing by clicking the this week on "Metro Connection" link. To hear our most recent episodes, click the podcast link or find us on iTunes.

SHEIR

00:06:07
We hope you can join us next week when we'll be testing out a little Trial and Error. We'll go inside a court case that's causing a big rift between local farmers and environmentalists. We'll meet a woman who's trying to teach middle schoolers how to try and try again in the kitchen and we'll do some theatrical mold breaking with the folks at D.C.'s Studio Theater.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE ONE

00:06:29
Sometimes you'll find a play that's unfinished or that feels particularly experimental or noncommercial but you feel passionate about producing it.

SHEIR

00:06:37
I'm Rebecca Sheir and thanks for listening to "Metro Connection," a production of WAMU 88.5 news.
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