Leeds-born Carolyn Robertson was delighted when her story was read out on CBeebies by former Pop Idol winner Will Young as part of LGBT History Month earlier this month, but was left saddened by negative comments on social media.
The author, who grew up in Crossgates in Leeds, explains what inspired her to write the book and her reaction to these negative comments.
Robertson and her partner are adoptive parents to two boys, with the author first inspired to write this children’s book whilst on her second round of adoption leave from teaching.
‘Two Dads’ is a story about a child who is adopted by two men, with Robertson intending the book to simply recount all of the great things there are about having two parents of the same sex.
She started to search for picture books that reflected same sex parents in order to help her
own children feel more validated, but struggled to find many tales about same sex adoptive families, so decided to write her own.
“I wanted to write books that were funny, engaging and affirming where our types of families could see their lives reflected back at them. So I wrote Two Dads, Two Mums and Two Mums and a Menagerie.”
Robertson explains how the book, and its recent broadcast on CBeebies, was a further step towards the validation of the LGBT community and their adoptive families.
But unfortunately this has not been without some negative backlash on social media.
Robertson said: “The decision to broadcast Two Dads on CBeebies is a further step towards validating LGBT and most importantly LGBT adoptive families.
“We are out there living and breathing normal lives and our children need, even if it’s just once a year, to feel that they are worthy of representation. To not feel different, to feel part of society, it means the world to them, and to us.”
In response to these negative comments, Robertson says: “I would like to say to those commentators who think that reading a book about a loving two dad family is ‘disgusting’ and ‘brainwashing’ to think about what they are saying and who they are further damaging by their hate filled comments.
“Our vulnerable sons and daughters, who’ve had such a difficult start in life, deserve much more empathy and validation.”