Jessie Lewthwaite dreads the inevitable question with an answer that just seems so obvious.

I’m standing in a backyard, pretending to care about what genitals a baby has. As much as I enjoy enforcing gender stereotypes on a child before it’s even born, for some reason, this ‘gender reveal’ party hasn’t put me in the best mood. 

“What about you, Jessie? Do you want kids?” asks the sweetest cis-het-woman, completely innocently.


“No,” I reply, “but if I did, I’d get a rescue. So many babies already exist that we don’t need to breed more on purpose!” I’m confident my logic is sound, but she is still shocked somehow. 

You see, as a lesbian woman and a millennial, I was really hoping to escape the public pressure to have kids. Traditionally, queer people have embraced our nurturing sides by adopting pets – our famously doted-on ‘fur babies.’ However, now I’m finding that fur babies aren’t enough, and what I like to call ‘skin babies’ are expected. 

I always find the question, “Why don’t you want to have kids?” really hard to answer because, honestly, the real question is, “Why the Hell would I want them?”

With the rising cost of living, threats of nuclear war, climate change, completely unattainable house prices, and genetics rife with elements that would benefit from just dying off, I am completely fascinated that literally, anyone is having kids. 

Study after study has found that millennials are struggling in ways our parents weren’t. The Washington Post even called us ‘the unluckiest generation in history.’ And although we are still learning about Gen Z statistically, their futures are uncertain. Many of them have adopted a half-ironic, anxious nihilism just to be able to cope with the fact that they were born on a dying planet during late-stage capitalism.

So now that everything is expensive, we can’t afford a home, and sea levels are rising, it’s a bit cheeky that older generations are shocked that we aren’t just popping out babies. Here’s me in my 30s with two jobs, studying for a master’s degree part-time, renting a one-bedroom apartment, and struggling to keep a houseplant alive, with people thinking I should add a baby to the mix. Sure, why not! Why not have two at the same time so they can keep each other company while I’m at work like you do when you adopt cats? I’ll teach them to water my houseplant. 

For me, not having kids isn’t just an easy decision but an obvious one. The sheer number of things that would have to change before I would feel comfortable bringing a child into this world is completely impractical. Not to mention that as a lesbian you have to really want kids to have them, cause it isn’t going to happen by accident. IVF can cost more than $10,000 a pop, and as much as I love my guy friends if one of them tried to come near me with a turkey baster, I’d throw hands. 

So no, I don’t want ‘skin babies’. I enjoy spending my very limited spare time dissociating and playing video games. My life without kids is already a parade of stress, expectations, and responsibilities. I’m self-aware enough to know that with the world and my life, as it is now, I would be a terrible parent. So better to save my future, hypothetical child the therapy bills by doing the best thing I can for them, and ensuring they don’t exist.