Same-sex couple: ‘Showing gay parents on adverts will show our children that you don’t have to have a mum and dad to be ‘normal”

Did you notice anything different about this years long awaited Christmas adverts?

This Christmas saw the inclusion of same-sex parents, an interracial family and a single father in the new Sainsbury’s advert.

The advert proved popular on social media, praising it for ‘reflecting modern British family life – in all its diversity.’

It was also voted 2nd in The Metro’s ‘Christmas advert 2016 ranking’, beating other popular advert rivals; M&S, John Lewis and Waitrose.

Lucy from Pillow Talk went to speak to same-sex parents, Donna and Jenny Stanley, about what it’s like to be a ‘modern British family’.

Jen and Donna, on their wedding day in July 2013.’

Donna describes their wedding three years ago, ‘We got married in on July, 13, 2013.

‘We both wanted to wear dresses because growing up that’s the dream when you get married- that you wear a great big expensive dress

‘It was all traditional, so we picked our dresses separately and kept them secret from each other.’

Same-sex marriage became legal in March 2014 but Jen says that didn’t change anything for them, ‘Our marriage is classed as a civil partnership, we just missed out on same sex marriage being legalised.

‘We had the choice to change it to a marriage, but to us we are married and it wouldn’t change anything for us.’

Jen pregnant with Beau in 2015

Donna and Jen both always wanted children together. But Donna explains how it wasn’t as straight forward for them, ‘We made it quite clear early in the relationship that we both wanted kids.

‘Trying for Beau wasn’t like everyone thinks. We went to a special clinic and got to choose the features of the sperm donor.

‘Jen didn’t get pregnant with Beau until the fourth try and we lost a baby before that, so that was hard for us.

‘Because Jen carried the baby we decided to choose a donor who had the same eye colour and hair colour as me so she had features of both of us.’

Jen added, ‘It obviously doesn’t work like that because Beau came out with blonde hair and blue eyes, which isn’t like either of us!

‘We wanted to call her Beau Jean, but then her initials would be ‘BJ’ and we didn’t want her having those initials and lesbian parents!’

Now that Beau is 16 months old, Donna told us about new challenges they are facing with her.

‘At the moment she both calls us ‘ma’, but we think once she speaks properly she’ll probably start calling us Mummy and Mummy Donna.’

‘We always seem to know which one of us she wants though when she shouts us.’

‘On our holiday, last year, we were on the plane and Beau was looking over seats and laughing at the woman behind us.

‘She was extremely drunk and said to us “which one of you is her mum then?”. We replied “both of us” and told us that wasn’t possible, which obviously got Jen really mad.’

‘A lot of the time though if anything happens it’s just getting funny looks off people trying to figure out our situation.’

Donna also talked about their future plans to have more children, ‘We both definitely want more kids in the future- but we want to enjoy Beau for a bit longer yet!

‘Next time we’d like to go to a clinic where my egg can be used and Jen can carry the baby. It’s really expensive to do it that way though, so we’d have to look at our finances at the time.

‘If we couldn’t afford that though I wouldn’t mind doing the same process again- Jen does make beautiful babies anyway as you can see!’

Donna and Jen’s daughter, Beau Stanley.

We asked Jen and Donna what they thought about they inclusion of same-sex parents in the latest Sainsbury’s advert. Donna said, ‘It’s about time they had gay parents on adverts!

‘It’ll show our children that not everybody is the same, and that you don’t have to have a mum and dad to be ‘normal’.

‘We took Beau to the gay pride in Sheffield last year and we loved it.

‘There were loads of other gay couples their with their kids.

‘A lot of our friends who are lesbian also have children as well- it’s so common now.’

Beau and Donna at Sheffield Gay pride, 2016

So with more same-sex couples having families, we’re hoping to see more same-sex families on adverts in the future, representing what is now the modern British family.


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