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Parents At Work embrace families of all shapes and size – whatever race, relationship status or gender preference there are no barriers to embracing the richness that a loving connection with family brings.

Today we bring you two perspectives from two different family members of a rainbow family. The first is mother of a gay woman and the other is a father and transgender bisexual male. Read their stories and the joy their family brings below . . .

  

Claudia Calero - Mother to Isabella (Izzy) Calero

60 years old, cisgendered, heterosexual woman.

Do you face any challenges particular to you and/or your child(ren)?

How have you overcome them? I am aware that some people I come in contact with that do not accept homosexuality but I have not encountered any confrontation. If I hear any homophobic comments (and not at me directly or about my daughter) I will give my point of view and ask: Would you reject your child?

What would you like to share about the great things of being part of a rainbow family?

I am part of the rainbow family because of Isabella, with great honour, It has given me the perspective of what young people have to go through.

“The passion and energy with which she advocates her beliefs in supporting those in need makes me proud to be by Isabella’s side and help.”

Does being part of a rainbow family have an impact on where you work and/or on your child’s childcare or schooling?

I work for UNSW Sydney who is a supporter of diversity and antagonism of any form is not accepted.

If there was one thing you would like people to know about you and your family what would it be?

I come from a cosmopolitan country and grew up surrounded by people of various cultural backgrounds and the teaching I had from parents was to accept everyone and to treat everyone as equal.  We migrated to another country who embraces all cultures, have friends from different parts of the world with different beliefs and we have harmonious long relationships.

Any tips / learnings you would like to share with other parents from rainbow families?

I believe that our children must be supported and that we should have an open mind to ensure that they are empowered to become good human beings. My daughter is my child and I am there to be by her side to encourage her to follow her dreams to be happy. She is also my friend and I enjoy listening to her perspective in life, her dreams and goals.

“No child should be going through life alone.”

 

Graham Maru - Father to Bastien Maru

22 years old, transgender, bisexual male.

Do you face any challenges particular to you and/or your child(ren)? How have you overcome them?

So far, none that I can think of as particularly adverse or quite particular to myself or my kid. Early on, it was a struggle to move past my dysphoria, however. There's nothing wrong with being a mother, but as a trans man it made me feel disgusted with myself to be called "mum". I've since overcome this feeling due to a healthy mix of hormone therapy and my kid calling me "Baba" with the greatest affection.

What would you like to share about the great things of being part of a rainbow family?

It might sound a bit conceited to say, and I don't mean it that way, but it would have to be the fact that every choice to be this way was made from love. As accidental as my kid was, I chose to have him. My partner and I chose each other, pre- and post- my transition.

“We chose to be this family, together, because the love and respect for this family we made was, and still is, hugely present.”

Does being part of a rainbow family have an impact on where you work and/or on your child’s childcare or schooling?

For my work, no. My workplace is respectful and those whom I've been placed under the management of have been understanding. In the realm of childcare, I've been looking but the current health climate has been worrisome; I admittedly have some anxiety surrounding how other families would treat ours and, personally, I don't think that will ever truly go away for me. Whether being a rainbow family affects childcare in future, we'll have yet to find out.

If there was one thing you would like people to know about you and your family what would it be?

 

“We are 100% cool and Bas is about 90% of that.”

 

Any tips / learnings you would like to share with other parents from rainbow families?

1) Your kid is a conduit of your own love and respect. My kid is cheeky, but he loves our friends and family so much and returns that tenfold. 2) Don't let your own parents micro parent you. As long as your kid is happy and healthy, who cares? 3) Missing some milestones may be disappointing, but the excitement for your kid to show you what they've learned will always be worth it. Seeing it first is great; them wanting to show you in particular is greater than that.

 

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For more information about Wear It Purple day visit www.wearitpurple.org