You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Monday, June 07, 2004


...on the Playschool issue I present you with the defence of one of the participants inthe drama (culled from The Courier-Mail feedback forum)

From: Vicki Harding, Sydney

Comment: Press Release: Playschool who are the bullies? 4 June 2004

Brenna is famous but she doesnt understand what the fuss is all about.

On Monday, Playschool screened a rerun of Through the Window featuring my family my partner Jackie, our daughter Brenna and me. It was first screened in March, without a peep from the mainstream press. Larry Anthony didnt see it, Tony Abbott missed it and John Howard was probably holidaying overseas, because he didnt notice it either.

But many lesbian and gay parents and their children, and friends, saw it and loved it.

Our children thrive when they see images on TV or in books that reflect their lives. I have no doubt that all politicians, no matter which side of the fence, desire this sense of validation and acknowledgement for their kids.

So why do they want to deprive my daughter of this essential confirmation of identity and position within the world something most of her friends receive all the time?

My daughter and I wrote two books for children learning to read because we wanted families like ours to be reflected in the classroom and in school libraries. My House and Going to Fair Day feature a family with two mums, a child, a cat and two dogs. Its an everyday family, the illustrations are colourful and funny, and we dont use words like lesbian or sex or even girlfriend!

Like the Playschool segment which has attracted all the fuss, we refer only to two mums so that children of lesbian parents might feel included, once in a while. We tell stories about dogs and cats chasing each other and Brenna wishing that they could just be friends so they could all play together. We describe how Jack, a dog without a home, finds a loving and caring family to live with when he wins the dog show at a Mardi Gras Fair Day.

The Playschool segment filmed Brenna and her friend enjoying Wonderland with her mums. Most of the feedback suggests that other mums and dads identify with us, even if they happen to be heterosexual. Because, bottom line, the segment is about kids having fun and being loved.

What exactly is offensive to our Federal Government? Which bit exactly caused alarm, shock, horror? There are no images of torture, or war, or violence, or poverty. Theres no sex.

I challenge the politicians, especially those awaiting an election later this year, to point out the offensive bits, because Im totally in the dark!

Vicki Harding

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