Welcome to Wrexham’s Rob McElhenney says being raised by two gay mums was ‘a gift’

Rob McElhenney pictured holding an Emmy award in 2024

Actor and writer Rob McElhenney has opened up about being raised by his two gay mums, calling the experience a “gift.”

Best known for his role as Mac in US sitcom It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, McElhenney graduated from acting to business when, in 2020, he and Deadpool actor Ryan Reynolds purchased struggling Welsh football club Wrexham AFC.

Sports documentary series Welcome to Wrexham, on which he serves as an executive producer, followed and covers the club’s ascension from a cash-strapped club floundering in the fifth tier of English football, to a team flying high in League Two and who made it into the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Since the series aired, McElhenney has spoken about his family background and growing up as “part of the gay community.”

After his mother, Helena McElhenney, came out as a lesbian, she and the star’s father divorced and McElhenney became part of a new, extended family unit – with two mums.

In an interview with GLAAD in 2021, Helena recalled her experiences of meeting her now-wife, Mary Taylor, almost 40 years ago.

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Rob McElhenney (L) with his family. (GLAAD/YouTube)

“I was a school teacher for a few years, then decided to get into nursing, and that’s when I met Mary,” she said. “The minute I met her, she was the person that I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.”

Now, McElhenney looks back at his parents with admiration, revealing in the documentary that he “recognise[s] the amount of courage it took” for the two women to do what they did.

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“I have so much empathy for her in that situation because it was a different time. And anybody who is over the age of 35 who’s watching this can understand,” he went on to say.

Rob McElhenney won an Emmy for 'Welcome To Wrexham'
Rob McElhenney won an Emmy for ‘Welcome To Wrexham’ this year. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

“I get asked a lot about what it was like to have two moms. The truth is that it was a pretty great gift,” he said in 2021.

“By the standards of 1984 South Philadelphia, our upbringing was unconventional, but my brother, sister and I were able to recognise early on that not every family looked exactly the same or like what we saw on television.

“Yet we had nothing but love and support and compassion and empathy. And I think that allowed us to flourish.

“I have two brothers who are gay, so I have always been part of the gay community,” he told Deadline in 2018. “It’s just always been a part of my life.”

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