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If President Obama had never been reelected, Denise and Ebony—the mothering powerhouses behind OliviaHas2Moms—would never have joined YouTube. Inspired by the historic moment, the longtime couple decided it was time to share their story as a two-mother household.
Shortly after getting married six years ago, Ebony and Denise knew they were ready to have a baby. After undergoing artificial insemination, Ebony gave birth to a beautiful baby girl named Olivia, who has grown up with an extended family of 80,000 subscribers.
The couple’s video library is a mix of content varying from Q&A segments and vlogs following their daily adventures to sit-down conversations about gender and their own experiences as a mother duo. What stands out in each video is not only these moms’ palpable love of their daughter, but also their genuine honesty. In their video “Do I Have a Daddy?,” the couple disclose their future fears of explaining to Olivia that all families don’t look like theirs. Will she be angry? Upset she doesn’t have a father? How will her classmates respond to her having two moms? Will she be bullied?
By making these videos, Ebony and Denise are taking control of these questions and their lives. Life on YouTube seen Olivia’s moms participating in VidCon, modeling for the NoH8 campaign, and advocating for the legalization of same-sex marriage. In six years, they’ve nurtured a growing community of same-sex partners they affectionately called Team2Moms with the hope of creating a world where all kids, no matter their parents’ identities, feel ordinary.
Indeed, Ebony and Denise aren’t the only couple using YouTube to challenge LGBT stereotypes: Through daily vlogs, long-time couple RJ and Will are showing the very normal life of an LGBT couple, while partners such as Jelly and Day and Kaelyn and Lucy have used their stories to personally connect to fans in the LGBT community.
All of these creators’ videos navigate conversations about gender and LGBT relationships, but Ebony and Denise’s are unique in how they speak to kids. By showing their daily life with Olivia, Ebony and Denise are giving a realistic voice to a community often misrepresented in the media and making a better world for their daughter to grow up in.
Screengrab via OliviaHas2Moms/YouTube
Carly Lanning is a journalist who covers social media. Her work has been published by Psychology Today, NBC, Thrillist, and Ms. Magazine.