The city of Birmingham has been in the news in the past week after unveiling a statue called “A Real Birmingham Family” with two mothers (who are sisters), two children, one more baby on the way, and no dads.
The statue has generated criticism and protest but most of the coverage of the statue has missed the fact that four fathers were amongst the other families shortlisted for the statue.
One of the couples shortlisted comprised a black father, a white mother and their mixed race daughter. In a film for the project, the father Ray Hay said:
“We’re all very close, we’re friends, family should be friends. There’s loyalty, there’s a lot of love and they’re in an out of my daily life.
“Family is extremely important to me, without them you don’t really have a lot. I am in a blessed position that I’m really close to a loving family and that to me is good, it’s almost a cocoon, it’s great
“Between us we can solve all sorts of problems and that’s what family is about.”
Ray met his partner Rachel Wooldridge in Birmingham which is known for it multiculturalism. Ray said:
“You get black and Asian mixing together across one street and that can be a typical street across anywhere in Birmingham. I don’t see any segregation and I go to all parts across Birmingham and it’s friendly, it’s open it’s a nice place to be.
Speaking about the possibility of been chosen to be part of the Real Birmingham Family statue, before the winner was announced, Ray said:
“I guess for me it will be almost immortalising us as part of Birmingham, the heritage. I guess the culture as well, other people up and down the country could see what we are as a modern family.
“It’s also the legacy it leaves behind for the younger generation coming up ad further generations.
“It’s not just your traditional mother and father and 2.4 children anymore and the dog. it’s now the multicultural melting pot. To me that’s quite important because that does show modern society and how things are these days. I think it’s a great thing. It will be amazing.”
To see all the families shortlisted for project see: www,arealbirminghamfamily.com