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25 October 2013   |    Parenting


By Jo Clifford


How strange it is that the opponents of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersexed (LGBTI) rights should so often describe themselves as defending family values. As if we didn’t belong to families, we’re not daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles, parents and grandparents, too.


It is sad that the families we were brought up in so often betrayed our need and right for comfort, love, acceptance and support, and were so often instead a source of oppression and suffering.


But that doesn’t stop some of us choosing to contradict the past, and create new families that can be such a source of profound joy and liberation.


For myself, I feel so blessed and fortunate in my late partner, my daughters and my grandchild. My daughters especially taught me to value myself and showed me a way forward out of the crippling self-judgment that was a legacy from the prejudice I grew up with. Being a father and now a grandmother continues to be one of best things about my life and one of the achievements I feel most proud of.


But all too often the stories of LGBTI parents are not fully told. That’s one of the many achievements of this new resource from the Equality Network: that it gives space and respect to so many beautiful stories of courage, of liberation, and of love.


Jo Clifford

Playwright, performer, professor, parent

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