Two mums and two dads works well for modern family
IT'S 6pm at the Noonans' West Gladstone home.
The telly's on. Leigh-Anne's just finished work at the local real estate agency, which her father owns.
Her wife Susan flops on the couch next to her. She runs a home day care.
And she's just handed over her last little charge.
Their daughter Ruby, 2, is a live wire - in a good way.
"She's always had a personality and a half," Leigh-Anne laughs.
Parenthood was always on the cards for the couple.
"We always knew we were going to have a baby.
"It was just a matter of working out the logistics," Leigh-Anne says.
The pair met online six years ago in a run-of-the-mill chat room, not a gay forum.
Susan was across the world in West Virginia, on the United State's east coast.
Leigh-Anne's a Gladstone girl, born and bred. She felt a spark instantly, as did Susan.
It surprised both women as neither had been in a same-sex relationship before.
"It just felt right," Susan says.
Her wife agrees. "It's not about gender. It's about a connection."
After a few months, and several huge telephone bills, Susan flew to Australia.
Leigh-Anne waited until Susan had arrived in Gladstone to share the news with her family.
"You don't know how people will react," she says.
But the reception was overwhelmingly positive.
"It really surprised me how well both of us were received," she says.
And that's across the board.
Gladstone's often touted as homophobic, but the Noonans have never had any flack.
"We haven't had a problem," Susan says.
"Everyone knows us as people - not the labels," Leigh-Anne adds.
As they talk, little Ruby's helping to conduct the interview.
She's perched on the lounge, acting as scribe and taking her own notes.
Susan asks her if she'd like a little brother or sister.
The toddler stops scribbling and looks up.
She nods her head and says, "Mmhmm."
That's yes," Susan laughs.
They want to add to their family. And soon.
"It's important for Ruby to have a sibling," Susan says. "We don't want them too far apart."
RUBY Noonan, 2, has two mothers. And two fathers.
"Leigh-Anne's 'Mummy' and I'm 'Mama'," Susan says.
"She calls them 'Dad'."
The story behind Ruby's conception is amazing.
Susan carried her. Ruby is her biological daughter.
A gay couple donated the sperm. But not just any gay couple.
Leigh-Anne grew up with Dan*. They even dated on and off in high school.
They stayed in touch over the years.
When the Noonans shared their dream to have a baby, the 'boys' offered to help.
The sperm was mixed. That way both men feel like they're equally Ruby's dad.
"So they're both 100%," Susan explains.
Leigh-Anne is just as much Ruby's mum.
"She's every bit my baby," she says.
She and Leigh-Anne have Ruby full-time. They are financially responsible for her.
The boys have Ruby once a fortnight.
All the nitty gritty was worked out before Ruby came along.
And the situation works perfectly for all involved.
So good, in fact, that the foursome will create another baby together when the Noonans are ready.
*Not his real name. He is 'out' but his partner's work is unaware of his sexuality.
DYLAN Carmichael, 27, is gay and proud of it.
And the Gladstone resident wants the right to be able to marry.
He's organised a marriage equality rally along Goondoon St next Saturday.
The 3km course is set to wind through the CBD.
Dylan's no-nonsense on opposition to same-sex unions.
"If you don't like gay marriage don't get one," he says.
Dylan has found the gay and lesbian community in Gladstone to be fairly underground.
The hope is to encourage others to show pride in their sexuality.
"I hope this march raises the profile of 'gay in Gladstone'."
- When: November 17, 2012.
- Where: Apex Park, Gladstone CBD.
- Time: 1-1.30pm (speeches), 1.30pm (march).
- After: Reception held at Scotties at 3pm.