A collection of personal stories told in 10 minutes, chaired by Yvonne John.
Ron Whalley is an only child and very much regrets that he was not allowed to have a family of his own, the reason being that Ron is not only gay but also old, and until he was 25 being gay itself was illegal. The chance of adoption or surrogacy through all of Ron’s normal “child rearing” adult life was non-existent. While he welcomes the changes in social attitude and the Law, he looks on with some envy at the increasing number of modern gay “husband and husband with two kids” families.
Andy Harrod wanted to have children, but sadly that didn’t happened due to infertility. He explores his childless experiences through writing, including the grief, acceptance and (in)visiblity of being childless not by choice. He is interested in creative expressions of childlessness, which he shares at invisiblechildlessness.co.uk.
Bransby Macdonald is a singer/songwriter and broadcast media professional from Chester. He plays live regularly around Chester and is active on Spotify and Youtube. He is 45, lives with his partner Dawn who he has been with for 20 years and is happily childless by choice.
Robert Nurden is a teacher of English, former journalist with the Independent, Telegraph and Guardian and the author of Between Heaven and Earth, the biography of his unconventional grandfather – cowboy, hobo and preacher. Childless, single and now in his seventies, he recently wrote Empty, which is a play about the challenges and barriers faced by a man wanting to become a father late in life. He is hoping that one day it will be performed. He has also just completed Notes from a Childless Man, a hotchpotch of reflections, regrets, longings and humour. He lives in east London with his partner, who has three grown-up children.
Ed Harrison has wonky sperm and he is not afraid to talk about it and the impact it has had. For him it is less about grief and more about frustration at society’s obsession with pronatalism. It might not seem like it at first glance but he doesn’t think non-parents needs should be invisible and their lives count for less.
Chaired by Yvonne John the author of Dreaming of a Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children (2016). As a public speaker Yvonne has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, including ‘Woman’s Hour’ on BBC Radio 4, to talk about her experience of recovering from the devastating grief of involuntary childlessness.