Letter: Must mother be female?

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The Independent Online
In contrast to Chrissie Franklin (Letters, 29 September), I found the photograph of the two gay men and their daughter utterly delightful. A conventional family with male and female parents can be one of the most cold and unloving environments and, hopefully, we are sufficiently aware of the mythology surrounding gender to know that identity need not rely on stereotypical role models.

A gay man who has already side-stepped society's macho conditioning is more likely to bring gentleness and warmth into parenting. If we define "mother" not merely as someone with a vagina but someone who bonds with, nurtures and protects then, judging by that photograph, that child will not be deprived of anything.

Maggie Guillon

Moorgreen, Nottinghamshire