Imagine becoming a parent and not receiving any sort of acknowledgement or attention. It sounds unlikely in a day and age when both parents are encouraged to turn up to obstetrics appointments, ultrasounds and birthing classes. But it’s a common occurrence for same-sex couples.
When Eilis Hughes’ daughter was born, for example, some people didn’t even congratulate her partner Kristen or understand that she too had become a parent.
“People know how to talk about mums and dads but they don’t know how to talk about the other mum,” Hughes says.
While we claim to be fine with homosexual couples with kids, cheering when federal minister Penny Wong hit back at Joe Hockey’s, insinuation that heterosexual parents are superior and tuning into Modern Family, the fixations of heterosexuals often betray our awkwardness or unease.
One such unexamined prejudice manifests in an obsession about who the “real” mother or father is. The issue recently reared its head in commentary on Brenna Harding’s Logie acceptance speech in which she thanked her two mums.