Gaybies: True stories of growing up with gay parents

Will this play reach the UK; will it reach Northern Ireland. We can but hope, and failing that hope that it gets broadcast and that we can watch it that way

 Running as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, theatrical production Gaybies draws on real interviews with the children of LGBTI parents

Dean Bryant (centre) and the cast of his show, Gaybies

At a time when some territories in Australia continue to deny gay couples the right to adopt and foster children, a new play coming to Sydney next week is set to shine an illuminating light on the issue of LGBTI parenthood.

Gaybies will be coming to the Eternity Playhouse in Sydney as part of the 2015 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

Written by Helpmann Award-winning director Dean Bryant, the show seeks to tell the stories of children raised in rainbow families. Bryant created the script by drawing upon real-life interviews with people who have grown up with same-sex parents, surrogate moms and donor dads.


‘Gaybies is the perfect answer to anyone who has ever asked, “But what about the children?”,’ says Bryant in press material for the show. ‘It’s sincere, touching, hilarious and heart-breaking.

‘It requires a highly talented bunch of actors to do these characters justice and I’m thrilled to have assembled a dream cast which, in a wonderful twist, includes one of the original interviewees.’

That cast member is Georgia Scott, who spoke to Bryant about her experience of her own father coming out.

‘There is always a lot of hype around what people assume or what people can philosophize is going to be the effects of gay parenting on children,’ said Scott about the show.

‘This is a genuine look at how these people have lived and what their experience has been. And you know, it is not sugar coated and it’s not all great.’

Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, fellow cast member Cooper George Amai said: ‘The children interviewed for the play didn’t feel like they had missed out — more that they had an extra mum or dad.

‘Often people raised by single sex parents seem to be more rounded, more balanced, more aware.’

Although he wasn’t raised by gay parents, Amai said that he could relate to some of the thoughts and feelings expressed in the piece as he was raised by his mother and her two sisters, adding, laughing, ‘It sometimes felt like I had three mums.’

Dean Bryant

Speaking to GSN, Bryant [right], who is gay himself, explained what drew him to the subject matter.

‘I went to the 60th birthday party of a friend of mine and his two daughters gave hilarious speeches about growing up with a gay dad – watching Melrose Place as their family show, going on Mardi Gras floats – and I thought there’s some wonderful comic material here.

‘I also was keen to explore the gay marriage debate from the perspective of children of gay parents – to use their actual words to weave together their experience of growing up in this environment.’

Bryant has been with his partner for the past 18 years. Is fatherhood something that he would himself consider?

‘We love our nieces and nephews, but can’t afford to have children via surrogacy, living as we do on arts wages. If I was asked to father a child for a close friend, I’d definitely consider it.’

Gaybies was first staged as a reading at Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival in 2013, but this production marks its Sydney premiere. Catch it running between 6 February and 8 March 2015 at the Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst.

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