In this LGBT history month, we should celebrate how far we as a society have come in regards to the LGBT movement. But we also need to look at where we still need to get to. People are generally more accepting of queer relationships, and gay marriage, but the subject of gay parents is sometimes still a bit taboo.
I didn’t grow up with gay parents. My Mum and Dad were married, and we lived together as a family unit for around 11 years. And I have a younger brother too, so I wasn’t a weird accident.
But then my parents split up, my Dad moved out. My Mum started to hang out with a female ‘friend’, at this point I didn’t suspect anything else. We even went on holiday with my Mum’s friend. Then she disappeared and there was a new friend.
At first, this was just our new Aunt-like figure. She was fun, happy, outgoing. But I was at an age where I was becoming wiser about the world, and starting to wonder about liking girls myself. I left my Mum a note asking her if she was gay with this woman.
You’re still my Mum
My Mum came into my room, crying. She came out to me, but she was scared that I was going to hate her because of it. I told her the truth; “You’re still my Mum.” How could I hate my Mum just for being who she was? And she was happier, I could tell.
I knew she was also worried about what other people would say to me about having a gay Mother. But I didn’t care because I would stand up to them because I was proud to have a Mother who was being herself, and being happy.
From then on, Tara, my Mum’s girlfriend, was like a new Mum. For years now, me and my brother have called her Mumma T. She has been in our lives for so many years now, we cannot imagine our lives without her.
Full of love
I still see my Dad, he hasn’t disappeared from our lives. He is remarried, and I have two step-brothers on that side, and many step-cousins. My family is so big and full of love!
I remember one time, years after my Mum came out, I was talking to a colleague at work about having gay parents. He told me that he hated his Mum because she was gay and it ripped their family apart. I was appalled that anyone could feel that way about their own Mother for that reason. I understood that the family unit is traditionally a Mum and Dad and their kids, but if your Mum isn’t happy in that way, then let her be her true self.
A few years ago my Mum and Mumma T got married. I was there, I was a bridesmaid, I was a ‘best woman’, I sang at the reception. I cried when they exchanged vows because I was happy and proud.
They have their own bungalow and I visit when I can. We always spend Christmas together as a family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m proud of my little gay family.
In my Mum’s words:
“I got married and had children because I wasn’t fully aware I was gay. I didn’t really know what a lesbian was or what the thoughts and feelings I had were, they weren’t obvious to me then. And my parents brought us up to believe that a girl gets married and has children. I do not regret having my children at all, I just wish I had been aware of who I was earlier and could have had my family with my now partner. But if I hadn’t done those things I wouldn’t have the children I have, and I might not have met Tara.
When I came out to my kids I was scared of their reaction. I wasn’t sure how they would react. I was scared that Maddi might be unaccepting and angry, but I knew Ash would be okay because I already knew he was gay. But I was relieved and grateful when I was accepted. I felt blessed to have such understanding children. Now, the way I parent and think about parenting hasn’t changed, my ideas of how you treat a child and what you teach a child hasn’t changed. But I am happier in myself so I might be more tolerant and patient.”