A midwife has homophobically abused a mother after she spent 17 hours in labour.
Kirsty Laverty had just finished giving birth to a daughter, and left the newborn baby with Roslyn, her partner of 17 years, while she went to clean up.
The mother, who lives in Western Australia, was looking for some well-deserved downtime, but instead faced an unexpected homophobic backlash while “literally at my most vulnerable.”
Writing on Facebook, she said: “A midwife made derogatory remarks to me because I am gay.
“She waited until I was alone and naked in the shower after a 17-hour labour before she attacked.”
Kirsty shared her story as part of the #TheyGetToVote campaign, which is encouraging Australians to vote in favour of same-sex marriage by highlighting the hateful people who also get to cast their ballots.
Speaking to Kidspot, she recalled how the midwife “told me off because I’d left my baby with ‘a friend’ while I went to have a shower.
“But when I explained that the friend was actually my partner Roz, and she was having skin-on-skin time with our baby, she said: ‘You’re disgusting for wanting to carry on this farce of two mums.’
“I was so shocked I said nothing. I was silent.
“I was literally at my most vulnerable,” she added.
Kirsty filed a formal complaint about her abuser and requested a new midwife.
The hospital’s response to her complaint was dismissive.
“I was told they would give more ethics training,” Kirsty said.
The mother-of-three explained on Facebook that this was not the only time she had been attacked because of her sexuality, using the #TheyGetToVote hashtag after every story.
“I was sexually harassed and physically assaulted at work because I am gay.
“So respectful,” she added sarcastically.
“A doctor refused to see my toddler because her parents are gay. What about the kids?
“My home has been vandalised because I am gay.
“Already equal. Homophobia doesn’t exist,” she said, sarcastically repeating common phrases used by the No campaign.
Kirsty explained that Australia’s postal vote on same-sex marriage had taken a huge toll on her.
Ahead of the vote there has been a surge in homophobic hate speech in the country, with leaflets distributed in Sydney bearing the slogan ‘stop the fags’ and linking gay people to ‘child predators’.
The ‘Coalition for Marriage’ has recently put out materials suggesting that letting gay couples marry will deprive children of a normal childhood and make them transgender.
And Kirsty wrote that “anyone who knows me well, knows just how much I am struggling at the moment. Mentally. Emotionally. I’m. Really. Struggling.
“I can’t even describe how humiliating and dehumanising it feels to know that my personal, intimate relationship is up for judgement by every adult I come across.
“I struggle to come terms with the fact that people would actually vote to stop Roz and I from being each other’s next of kin, from accessing our joint assets in the event that one of us dies.
“That people would prevent me from planning the funeral of my wife or that they would put either of us in the position where we might have to fight to keep our children together in the only home they’ve ever known if one of us is dead,” she added.
“I don’t want pity. I don’t want platitudes.
“I just want people to think clearly about what they’re doing to actual people when they engage with this.”