Thursday 22 November 2018

'I'm walking on air': Gay Newstalk presenter on her pregnancy

Dil Wickremasinghe also gearing up for next year's same sex marriage referendum

Jason Kennedy

When Newstalk presenter Dil Wickremasinghe announced her pregnancy on Twitter earlier this week, she was overwhelmed with the response. Hundreds of people sent online messages of good will to her and her other half.

However, unlike most pregnancies, there were a handful of people who weren't so eager to share in Dil's good news. Dil, in her own words, is the first lesbian in Irish public life who has decided to start a family with her partner.

The broadcaster and human rights activist and her partner Anne Marie were preparing for pregnancy for a long time now, setting the wheels in motion in November 2012.

"I prepared myself. I went to boot camps, stopped drinking last December. I was really conscious about my diet. In August we went for our first IVF attempt and it was successful, thank God for that," she said.

"I had no idea it would generate thousands of tweets and 99.9 per cent of that have been absolutely wonderful and supportive and I'm delighted."

Although Dil was overwhelmed by positive messages, one message stood out to her as particularly mean-spirited.

"I have no issue with debating. It's very important, but this particular tweet came in saying 'I should report you to child services, because a fatherless baby, by design, is equivalent to child abuse'. So they actually called Anne Marie and myself child abusers because we want to bring a child into this loving partnership.

"I find that really hard, especially as someone who has experienced child abuse. I know what child abuse is. Anne Marie and myself will do whatever we can to ensure that we have the child's best interests at heart."

The fact the couple now have a baby on the way has excited Dil even more about next year's same sex marriage referendum. Anne Marie and Dil decided not to enter into a civil partnership when it was introduced to Ireland, but said they'd rather wait until a time when full civil marriage was introduced for same-sex couples.

"They say Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, well Hell hath no fury as a mother scorned, because Anne Marie and I feel very passionate about the marriage referendum. We want our special day, but now we are two prospective mothers," she said.

Dil and her fiancee Anne Marie
Dil and her fiancee Anne Marie

 Dil moved to Ireland almost 15 years ago after living in Italy, Sri Lanka and Bahrain. While living in Sri Lanka she was kicked out of her home by her parents when she came out as gay. She also lost her job in Sri Lanka media. She says that life in Ireland has allowed her the freedom to live her life as she wants to.

She received the Lord Mayor's Award earlier this year.

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