To finish up the year that was, we’re going to bring you the most popular Mamamia posts of 2013. It’s like a countdown, an advent calendar of sorts, but one that gets your through the post-Christmas blur and into the new year. We’ve been lucky to have some truly wonderful writers join us to share their thoughts on Mamamia this year. This is the very, very best of what they had to offer. Enjoy.
Thirty six years ago, I fell pregnant with a one-in-a-million baby.
My husband (proud dad-to-be) decided to document every step of my pregnancy in photographs. This one is of me at 39 1/2 weeks. We were so excited we even counted the half-weeks.
You see, at the time we thought those were the chances of us becoming pregnant.
But today, when I look back at this photograph I marvel at my innocence.
All I knew back then was that I was going to have a much-wanted baby, that my husband loved me and that we were just like all young parents: busy preparing the nursery and ensuring I had everything prepared, including having my bag packed and ready at the door.
We felt we were two of the lucky ones, bringing up a child in a country that believed in a “fair go for all.” We thought equality was automatic and assumed.
Eleven years later there was a shift in our family’s prospects. I started to think that James our eldest son might be gay. He had a brother by then too, so we proceeded to make our home gay-friendly. This meant no inappropriate jokes or comments would be tolerated. I just wanted James to feel as at ease with himself as his brother did with himself.
He finally came out at the age of 18, and though I’d made our home safe for him and although I felt no differently toward him, I was absolutely terrified of the uncertain future he faced in the outside world.
It was 1995 and we lived in Queensland where the only right as a gay male, was the right to be gay without fear of arrest. I thought, “This is not fair, his straight brother has all these additional rights like financial rights between partners and the right to marry the person he loves.” They both started out with the same life but now, through this one admission, my son James would be prevented from living an equal life, not just by the attitudes of people but by outdated laws.