‘I got a lot of support from my parents’

CONOR PENDERGRAST was raised by two mothers, but somewhat bizarrely only came to the attention of playground bullies because of his English accent.

Born in London but raised in Ireland since he was nine years of age, Conor is now 24 and believes his upbringing was not compromised in any way by the fact he was raised by his mother Ann, and his mother, Bernadette.

“Family life is pretty normal when you take away the fact that I have an extra mother,” he says.

“When I was younger I got a lot of support from my parents, which was really nice and made me feel quite special.”

When he and his younger brother Daragh moved to Clane in Co Kildare they attended primary school in nearby Straffan and then went on to two secondary schools.

He says he never had, nor sought out, a father, but his mothers provided him with plenty of male role models through family and friends.

“In school we were lucky, we didn’t get hassle, we only got hassle because of our English accents. We never had problems because we had lesbian parents.

“When you are younger, kids don’t have the understanding of having gay parents or a concept of sexuality. We were always quite an open family – in new situations I wouldn’t be completely up front about it, but I wouldn’t hide it either.”

He believes the Civil Partnership Bill is progressive, but does not go far enough in recognising the rights of same sex parents: “We have no link legally or otherwise to Bernadette even though she is clearly my mother – but she is not recognised as my mum.”


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