by Carrie Soderberg
What is different about this family? Increasingly such a picture is becoming not quite so different, and a new photographic exhibition, Rainbow Parents, hopes to bring awareness to the issues of same-sex parenting and marriage. In a series of black and white photographs, Sydney photographer Isabella Moore has captured the intimate everyday moments of gay and lesbian parents raising children.
“Australia has a large gay population and more gay men and women are having families but there are not many stories or images of their lives in the media,” she says.
The Rainbow Parents exhibition aims to emphasise the importance and quality of parenting rather than gay parenting. With over one in 10 Australian gay and lesbian couples having children, Ms Moore says she wants to give young same-sex couples hope that they can also have a family someday.
She spent two years following the lives of eight families in the Blue Mountains, Sydney and Melbourne. Her photographs capture family time. Play in the backyard, cuddling in bed, visits to the local park, attending a football game. Isabella says she had no trouble approaching the families.
“I don’t have a family, I’m only 26, but they were completely enthusiastic and open about it.”
She photographed Melbourne family Jason and Adrian Tuazon-McCheyne and their six-year-old son Ruben at a Sydney versus Essendon match. Jason Tuazon-McCheyne says “being visible decreases ignorance.”
“The idea of same-sex parenting is changing and Isabella’s photographs are an honest and real portrayal of families that people don´t get to see very often,” Jason Tuazon-McCheyne says.
Helen and Cath Mok live in Melbourne with their two children, Maisie, 8, and Dougal, 5.
They were approached by Isabella through an online forum and wanted to show the world what a normal daggy family they are. The pictures of the Mok family show them relaxing together in the backyard.
“What you see is what you get, it’s very much a portrait of us,” says Helen Mok.
She says the family is lucky to live in an area that is accepting and have support of friends and family. She hopes the exhibition will open the eyes of those who oppose same-sex parenting.
“Families are the same the world over and it was just really nice to see pictures of other families. It’s great to see the love and I think Isabella does a great job of illustrating love and devotion between parents and children”.