this project has benefited from the assistance and support of
many people. Most important has been my partner, Helen Fitzsimmons. I
am deeply grateful for her willingness to move with me from our ‘‘promised
land’’ of San Francisco to the District of Columbia: both places have come
to represent for us the extent of queering and the oppressive force of confor-
mity and false tolerance of di√erence. It has been quite a ride.
I was drawn to the topic of queer reproductive practices as a second-year
doctoral student in the department of sociology at the University of Califor-
nia, San Francisco (ucsf). I worked at the time as a research assistant in the
Center for Reproductive Health, where heterosexual assumptions were built
into almost every research project. Therefore, as part of my qualitative-
methods training, I decided to conduct an exploratory qualitative study on
queer reproductive practices. Although I knew of many studies of lesbian
mothers, I was not aware of any studies along the lines I proposed. The
project eventually became my doctoral dissertation. I was fortunate to have
had an outstanding committee: Adele Clarke, Virginia Olesen, Gay Becker,
and Val Hartouni. I thank each of them for their unique contributions.
Since that time, I have benefited from the support of numerous individuals
and organizations. Most recently, the department of sociology at the Univer-
sity of Maryland, where I am currently an assistant professor, generously
provided time, resources, and assistance. In 2002 I received funding from the
University of Maryland Graduate Research Board. The department of soci-
ology granted me two additional summers of support and a third-year,
semester-long teaching release to write this book. The research assistance of
Vrushali Patil, Michelle Corbin, Leigh Bryant, and Amber Nelson was inval-
uable. I thank Bill Falk, George Ritzer, and the late Richard Harvey Brown
for reading earlier drafts of this book. Several other faculty members at the
University of Maryland became my local, intellectual community: Elizabeth
Marshall, Katie King, Bonnie Dill, Meredith Honig, Melissa Milkie, Meyer
Kestnbaum, Marilee Lindemann, and William Cohen.
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