As the child of same-sex parents, I stopped counting how many times I was asked: "Do you miss not having a father?" How can you miss something you've have never had? Even now, if someone asked me that question, I'd just as likely reply, "Do you miss not having two mothers?" I suppose, whatever each of us didn’t have, we missed out on.
But this line of interrogation does beg the question, what is a father, after all? And what exactly have I missed without one?
Maybe a father would've taught me to be a bit more gruff and strong, rough-and-tumble; or perhaps he would've taken me out and spoiled me every now and then with ice cream. Maybe dads tell good bedtime stories and carry you on their shoulders at the beach. Would I be better at throwing balls if I had a dad? Or maybe dad would've made sure my boyfriend was a good bloke before we went on a date?
Fortunately, in my house, family is not defined by biology or gender stereotypes. I have learned this from two mothers that have taught me that women can be whatever they want to be, and that there are countless, exciting and powerful ways to "do" femininity. Kids need a mother and a father only so long as we keep those roles quarantined and artificially separated into rigid, airtight compartments. In this day and age it is safe to say that dads have resilience that enables them to do what mums do, and vice versa for mums.
For me, family is the community you create. It lives in the simplest acts, like laughing at the dinner table, or being pushed up to the sky on a swing so that you think you know what it means to fly. It is being forced to do the washing up, crying because you don't want to go to bed, and the frustration of having your nose blown for you.
Whatever prejudices and misunderstandings gather around the same-sex family debate, one of the sustaining influences of such intolerance is a scarcity of stories. With this in mind, I got together with a friend Charlotte Mars and we made a film Gayby Baby – a feature length documentary that tells the story of same-sex families from the rarely heard perspective of the kids.
Now when people ask me impossible questions, I tell them to see my film.
For more information visit The Gayby Project