Maybe gayby, I'll have you
A forthcoming doco suggests we’re in the midst of a 'gayby boom'. How times have changed, reflects Nicky Bryson, herself raised as a rainbow baby.
We certainly do have a bumper crop of gaybies this year. They are literally everywhere I look. A good portion of my Facebook are gaybies or have some of their own, I went to a gorgeous first birthday party last weekend that was packed with rainbow infants and now I see them in the mainstream media thanks to beautiful young people like Maya Newell – the impossibly cool director of Gayby Baby.
The crowd funding promotion video for Gayby Baby says we are in the middle of a gayby boom. I think that is absolutely marvelous. Just like the people in this doco, I am a gayby. But I am from a whole different era. Growing up, me and my siblings were definitely the only rainbow babies in the village.
My mum was so closeted she married a womanising man for three years and only actually said the words “I am a lesbian” to me once. I was 11 and I nearly fell off my chair. She always said that women slept in her bed because there was no room anywhere else. And yes, I actually believed that. She explained to me that my biological mum was her ex girlfriend and the reason I called her ‘Aunty’ was because it was too confusing having me call them both ‘Mum’. That was the first and last conversation we ever had about it (but it certainly explained a lot).
Even though she passed away a very long time ago now, my family still doesn’t talk about what a gigantic, butch, chainsaw-wielding country lesbo she was.
I guess what I love about the current crop of gaybies is that they are growing up without that silence. I’m not saying they don’t face challenges. They still cop discrimination at school, their parents can’t get married, people ask them stupid questions about their home life and they have to grow up knowing that just about everyone has an opinion about their family.
But at least people are talking! We have a long way to go until the day when rainbow families are just an unremarkable part of society’s fabric but we are finally on the way. The conversation is out there. Gaybies have the words explain their lives and the support to make them comfortable about it.
I think that is why the premise of the Gayby Baby movie appeals to me so strongly. It makes my heart swell to know that the kids who are growing up now can share their experiences and together forge their own ideas of what constitutes a family.
As I write this column, Gayby Baby is less than $10,000 away from the $100,000 goal required for the team to finish shooting and production. That colossal figure raised is astounding in itself, isn’t it? Of course, the catch with crowd funding is that you must raise the entire amount and the Gayby Baby project needs to do that by Tuesday, December 18. I’m watching their donation counter like the project is my own, praying that they reach their goal.
I didn’t have a voice when I was a gayby. The reality of my home life was something we had to hide. Films like this make it clear that families come in all shapes and sizes and the only thing they really need is love.
[Image] Maya Newell, the director of Gayby Baby, a doco about children raised in same-sex families. Photo: Courtesy www.facebook.com/gaybybaby