Saturday, 23 November 2013

Times: ‘Youngsters don’t care if their parents are gay’
Sunday, November 10, 2013, 18:28 by Patrick Cooke

David Worsley’s mother is gay and he calls her civil partner Mum Number Two. Photo: Facebook

David Worsley is a 30-year-old British expat with a steady job and a loving girlfriend. He was also raised by a lesbian mother, not that he thinks that matters.

“All I wanted as a child was a nice, happy home, and my mum was happy,” he said.

Mr Worsley opted to speak to The Sunday Times of Malta because he was frustrated by the tone of the debate on the Government’s plans to allow same-sex couples to adopt children.

“It is ignorance. People say ‘what about the children?’ But it’s not really the children they are worried about. They are worried about the awkward conversation they will have with their own children – the children don’t care,” he said forcefully.

The Bolton native was only seven when his parents split up, having grown apart due to his father having to work “down south” a lot.

“The difference between having a gay parent and two ‘normal’ parents was absolutely nothing. If anything, it was more liberal with my mum,” he said.

He was 11 when his mother first started dating a woman and he said it did not seem at all strange.

“You don’t even think about that stuff at that age, all you really care about is your friends,” he said, adding his mother was noticeably happier when she started dating and that had a positive effect on her children.

When he was 14, his mother met the love of her life, whom she ‘married’ in a civil partnership five years ago.

“I call her ‘Mum Number 2’. She is part of my family. If my mum is happy, I’m happy,” Mr Worsley said.

Despite his obvious approval of his mother’s relationship, Mr Worsley kept her sexuality a secret from his friends until he went to sixth form.

“I wasn’t in any way ashamed, but I suppose I was worried about other people’s ignorance,” he said.

Free from the pressure to conform in high school, he told his closest friends at college about his mother’s sexuality from the outset and was pleasantly surprised by their reaction.

“They didn’t care. If anything, they thought it was cool, they wanted to come round and meet her,” he said with a chuckle.

Does his reticence to be open about his mother’s sexuality during his school years justify concerns that children of gay parents are at risk of bullying?
The time will come when we’ll all look back and wonder what all the fuss was about

“If a child says bad things about gay people, then that comes from the ignorance of the parents.

“Adults need to be educated, not children. Society needs to grow up,” he said.

Mr Worsley candidly and eloquently tackled all the main arguments he has heard against gay adoption in Malta.

On whether he missed having a father figure or male role model, he pointed out that he had an uncle and grandfather.

“But I also think it’s quite chauvinistic to think that boys need a male role model.

“Why can’t you just have a role model?” he asked.

He also dismissed the argument that gay parents could influence the sexuality or gender identity of their children.

“Straight parents seem to be doing a good job of raising gay children. Sexuality and gender identity are biological.

“My mother's sexuality had no impact on my identity or the way I related to people. When she came out as gay, I didn’t suddenly want to stop playing football and start playing with girls,” he said.

He added that his mother had always been gay, but she married because she wanted children “and it’s tragic that a woman of her generation had to do that”.

Mr Worsley drained his pint and sighed when asked how long it would take before the arguments against gay marriage and adoption would cease.

“It might take 30 or 40 years in Malta. But the time will come when we’ll all look back and wonder what all the fuss was about,” he said.

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