The mission statement of the organisation she leads is to achieve equal legal standing for same-sex parents on their children’s birth certificates. Though the enactment of the 2015 Children and Families Relationships Act was a step in the right direction, so many queer parents who don’t fit the strict criteria will continue to be legally alienated from their own kids.
This is an issue that Ranae already fought (and won) in court for her two children, Ava and Arya. Despite the gruelling and emotionally draining court process, she remains determined to do the same for her baby boy, who’s on the way. Reflecting on the decision to go through it all again, she upheld that “nothing is more important than our family and our kids. So we said fuck it – we’ll do it, and we’ll figure it out.”
The ‘we’ in this instance is herself and her wife Audrey, who are celebrating 15 years together this October. She had her partner to thank for supporting her throughout this journey in activism, with Audrey unhesitatingly carrying out the day-to-day necessities so that Ranae could attend late-night Zoom calls. She said, “Audrey would just take over and say ‘You do your thing’ I wouldn’t have been able to manage any of this without her support.”
As well as her wife Audrey, Ranae paid gratitude to the core team at Equality for Children for the work that they do, leading her to the position on the shortlist. They have been there since the beginning of the project, and “without them, this never could have continued. Those people know who they are, they are the best of the best and lifelong friends.” She highlighted the deep connections from what they’ve been through together, and by the sounds of it, they are ties that will never be broken.
Regarding what the nomination means for the united team, and indeed herself as the head of it, she continued, “I think it just really shows the importance of the work that has been done with Equality for Children and my role within that. I think it speaks to what a pivotal moment it is in queer Irish society and history. Marriage Equality obviously goes down in history, but this, the fight for queer families, will go down in history too.”
The writer, speaker, and celebrant went on to say that “in terms of my personal growth, I’ve just gotten to a point where I can ignore the noise and the nitty gritty, like articles being published that aren’t factually correct. That used to really bother me, but now I’m just like, ‘Okay, let’s fix it’.
I don’t take things personally anymore, I just try to remind myself what the end goal is, and that is equality for our children.”
She added: “I just can’t stay silent if I see an injustice, I’ll never be able to sit back and watch the little guy lose.”
Speaking of the little guy (and girls), Ranae revealed her daughter’s reaction to the news of her shortlisting, saying that “she actually does have a really good grasp on what we’ve been doing. Anytime I’m on TV or the radio, she’ll have a listen. She understands all of that (the work Ranae does), she thinks it’s kind of cool.” She laughed, “I don’t think she’s overly impressed or anything.”
Returning to the mission of Equality for Children and what she’s committed to, Ranae concluded that her position on the shortlist “just shows the importance of what we’re doing, that so many people will find themselves in this position and for years to come it will be the same. It’s so incredibly important that we continue until no one ever again will have to go through that.”