‘ I HAVE TWO MUMS’

BRENNA HARD­ING, 21:

Cosmopolitan (Australia) - - Celebrity -

Brenna was born into ac­tivism thanks to grow­ing up with two mums

‘ MARDI GRAS was kind of like Christ­mas; we went ev­ery year and I’d be in the pa­rade, and we’d watch the drag shows. Those things coloured my child­hood, but all in all it was very nor­mal.

My mum was sin­gle when she had me. When I was f ive, she met my other mum, Jackie. She said to me, “Jack is go­ing to move in. Do you want her to be my room­mate or be your other mother?” and I said, “other mother”. That be­came my fam­ily unit.

As I got older, peo­ple had pre­con­cep­tions about what it was to be gay and as­sumed that be­cause my par­ents were gay, I was gay. But I’d been raised to have a real back­bone about it and to un­der­stand that there was noth­ing wrong with my fam­ily and it was some­one else’s prob­lem if they thought that.

Hav­ing same­sex par­ents meant I was born al­ready hav­ing to be an ally to the queer com­mu­nity – I didn’t have choice in that, and be­lieve no­body should have a choice in that; we shouldn’t get to choose whether or not we’re go­ing to ac­cept peo­ple for who they are. I was hon­oured to have that in my life so early be­cause I could see peo­ple as in­di­vid­u­als, value their dif­fer­ences and their di­ver­sity. I didn’t judge them based on stereo­types. I un­der­stood what dis­crim­i­na­tion was and the strug­gles that my par­ents and other peo­ple in the com­mu­nity had been through to be ac­cepted, so I never wanted to inf lict that upon any­one.

Believ­ing all chil­dren should have a mother and a fa­ther fig­ure is un­re­al­is­tic. I think there are very few fam­i­lies who do have a mother and a fa­ther fig­ure; fam­i­lies are in­cred­i­bly dif­fer­ent and it’s what cre­ates di­ver­sity within our so­ci­ety and makes us in­ter­est­ing. I think the most im­por­tant thing about par­ents is that they love their chil­dren – I had a very loved child­hood. That should be the pri­or­ity rather than gen­der or sex or sex­u­al­ity or race, etc.

When I have kids, I hope that they are able to ex­plore who they are, with­out feel­ing lim­ited by la­bels or by how peo­ple might judge them, and to feel free­dom in that re­spect and pride in who they choose to be. I hope that with that comes a valu­ing of kind­ness and car­ing for oth­ers, em­pa­thy and ac­cep­tance of other peo­ple’s jour­neys.’

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