Personally we noticed a total lack of representation and we could not find anybody that looked like our family, we went through our pregnancy under a veil of heteronormativity and every word, every congratulations came with a certain lack of truth.
We both knew it was going to be hell and we wished that we could have been more open with everybody, it would have made our lives a lot easier.
Despite this, the pregnancy and birth of our daughter was monumental, in the best way.
Lisa & Hugo (3.5yrs)
Hugo's other mum and I had been together for over a decade when we decided to have a child together. We opted for an anonymous donor and went through ART - I was Hugo's birth mum. It was a really exciting and lovely time and we were blessed with a trouble free conception, pregnancy and birth. Hugo's other mum and I separated when Hugo was two, however are committed co-parents and share custody.
Is Freddy my Dad? (Asked by Hugo, Freddy is the family dog)
Hayley, Sophie, Max, Monty (Spoodle) 2 years.
We are such a normal family. We are actually as boring as they come and live lives very much like everyone else
Prior to being pregnant and having a child, I was not too fussed about the ability to get married as I was already married in New Zealand. Once I had a child however, and the plebiscite was in full swing, it felt like my family and specifically Max, was being targeted as being a child born in unfortunate circumstances. This is so far from the truth and we all felt hurt by it.
Anne, Jax, Jacki ( Just a few days old) Hawthorn, Victoria.
“When the survey was called I (Anne) was pregnant, but we still hadn't told everyone. It was heartbreaking to be in the first trimester and dealing with all the fears associated with that while the public debate started.
We went through IVF to have Fern, which we found terribly difficult. We were classed as "socially infertile" and so the first round of IVF we had no access to Medicare rebates. The IVF forms didn't allow for our family structure, we had to cross out 'father' a few times, and Jax was listed as the 'donor' on some forms as we did reciprocal IVF, and not the parent. Jax is a wheelchair user and the medical industry view disability as a terrible tragedy, not a site of identity, rights and pride, so we came under a lot of pressure to test for a variety of disabilities, even though we made it clear from the outset this wasn't something we wanted to do.This is an ongoing project. Rainbow families from all over the country are welcome to contact me.”
Fern 37, Kathryn 39 & Franklin 2
I thought that being able to be legally married would be amazing and that we would jump straight in and have a wedding... In reality, the shine wore off with the ugliness that we faced during the debate over our family's right to equality.
It can be difficult when we are out as a family and we meet strangers and people ask "so, who is mum?" The answer "both of us" should come easy but we know that around 33% of people don't agree with our family & after all of the hurtful things people have said to us in the past, I fear that someone going to say something that will hurt our beautiful, kind little boy.
During the marriage plebiscite we experienced a real sense of scrutiny and judgement like we never felt before in our 19 years together. We had never really experienced negativity or felt like we couldn't be open about ourselves (in Australia anyway) and hold hands, for example.
We had the rainbow sticker removed from our car whilst in our own 'safe' neighbourhood - which voted yes 76%. We felt like we had to shelter the kids from the news and talkback radio and the junk mail. We didn't feel much better when it was all over. 60% is shithouse.