Australian Marriage Equality
This means so very very much- for my family, for my friends, for myself.
Today Australia voted YES. I had been holding my breath, hoping, but not just assuming that surely, surely, the vote would be yes. As queer identified myself, and fairly comfortable in myself I initially didn't think the campaign for and against would affect me very much while it was going on. But oh it did. So much.
Here is my story, and why one little word, yes, can mean so very very much.
My mum came out as gay when I was 10. It was the early 90s in Qld. I intrinsically felt that she was seen as 'other' and was 'different.' I remember her at the airport once with her girlfriend at the time, looking around to see if anyone was looking at her before she quickly kissed her partner goodbye.
In my mid teens, having seen how secretive my mum was, I can recall the sinking realisation that I was gay myself. I remember wishing that I wasn't and feeling shame and disappointment in myself, and just wanted to be 'normal.' That was almost 20 years ago now.
Today my mum cried when the yes vote came in.My friends cried. I'm still digesting it. Although I'm no longer lesbian identified I still very much align myself within the queer community. It has, until very recently been my whole identity. I remember feeling almost guilty holding the hand of a man, walking in public, knowing that no-one would look twice at us.
And this is why the yes vote matters so much- because I still, even now, feel that people will judge me in writing this.
A thread of self doubt and otherness lingers still from my childhood and teenage years, and sits so deeply within myself that the realisation that Australia supports my mother, my dear friends and even my own history will still take a while to fully sink in.
Thank you to my fellow Australians, you have demonstrated that equality is now a tangible reality- because love is love, and that, in the end is what truly matters.