The Secret Reason I Support Marriage Equality

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic


The announcement of the postal plebiscite has brought up some conversations I've been resisting for decades.

Submitted: September 19, 2017

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Submitted: September 19, 2017

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The Secret Reason I Support Marriage Equality.
 
 
A few personal moments to set the scene:
 
*******
 
I'm nine years old, it's lunchtime at school, and I'm cornered by two boys from my class.
"Are you gay?" they ask me. 
I don't know what they mean, but it is pretty clear that the question is some sort of trap. I was a pretty naive kid, with no older siblings or cousins. I wasn't allowed much TV either.  
Even still, I could tell they knew something I didn't.  
"Well, if you mean gay like happy, then yes, I'm happy," I reply cautiously. 
"No, are you gay?" they ask me over and over. 
I ask them what they mean by 'gay', and they won't answer me. 
Whatever this gay thing is, it seems like something you wouldn't want to be.  
 
*******
 
Fifteen years old, and (finally) the beginnings of puberty starts opening up my body and experiences to a strange and mysterious new realm.
I'm hanging out after school with one of my friends. A wave of admiration and love washes over me, and I only *just* manage to stop myself from leaning over and kissing her passionately on the mouth. 
I'm immediately shocked and ashamed. 
Somehow, right down to my bones, I know 'that kind of thing' isn't ok, and needs to be hidden. 
I'm so horrified that I don't even write about it in my diary. I concentrate my energies onto the boys I thought were cute, even though I hadn't yet felt the overwhelming desire to kiss any of them. 
 
*******
 
I'm nineteen years old and have just recently broken up with my boyfriend. She is the new girl at college. 
It's the late 1990's, and she wears these square-necked tops with black velvet choker necklaces that beautifully frame her decolletage. I daydream as she is speaking, thinking about kissing my way across her graceful collarbones. 
I desperately want to ask her out on a date, but dare not do that unless I can be sure she is into women 'in that way'. 
A couple of months later, as a group of us are eating lunch sitting in the sun, she tells the story of how grossed-out she is that this dyke friend of her boss keeps hitting on her. 
I'm quietly relieved that I was cautious.
 
*******
 
I'm twenty-two and have just ended a relationship with another boyfriend. 
A friend asks if I've ever dated women. I ask why. 
She says one of her friends saw photos of me and thinks that I'm hot. 
The friend who'd made the comments is a stunningly gorgeous former model.  
"Sure," I say, "I'm up for a blind date."
We meet out the front of the fancy Italian restaurant she booked for dinner. I'm feeling super nervous, trying to appear cool. 
She looks radiantly beautiful in a strappy summer dress.
After dinner, she invites me back to her place. Our first date night goes *very* well. 
The next morning, I call my sister to tell her about my smoking-hot first date. 
"You're not going to tell Mum, are you?" she asks. 
Instantly the elation is gone, and I feel a cold, uncomfortable heaviness in its place. 
"Not right now. Only if it gets serious." I reply. 
After a few dates, I stop returning her calls. 
I tell my friends that it's because there's too much of a values and lifestyle clash to bother continuing.
 
*******
 
I sit here at my computer, conversations swirling in my brain, busting to get out. Demanding to be typed into existence.
And I'm surprised at the experience of anxiety gripping at my chest.
 
I've managed to avoid having these conversations with my family for over twenty years, and I thought I'd convinced myself that it was, ok, that it didn't really matter. 
 
...and then there was the announcement of the postal plebiscite. Followed by my shock of discovering that my Mum doesn't support Marriage Equality.
 
For years I've bought myself off with plausible-sounding justifications about why my sister is the only person in my extended family that knows that I have dated women in the past. 
 
To your average observer, I'm a cis-gender heterosexual woman, married to a cis-gender heterosexual male. 
The thing is - I'm not straight. 
By virtue of being femme and having a male partner I 'pass' as straight. 
 
As someone who 'passes' as straight, I'm clear that I've had an easier path than many in the LGBTQI+ community. 
As it worked out, the person I wanted to marry is the opposite sex. No complications or restrictions on our legal wedding.
 
I'm a passionate YES for Marriage equality. Changing the law demonstrates that, regardless of gender or sexuality, LGBTQI+ relationships between two consenting adults are valid in the eyes of the law, and therefore in society.
I wish my younger self could have grown up knowing that my experience of sexuality was nothing to be ashamed of. 
That is what I want for all people now and in the future.
 
Marriage Equality moves us in the right direction. 
 
Vote yes. 


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