#VoteYesAustralia

Sep 16, 2017

Something a little different today, a guest blog. Nothing to do with SF or Fantasy, but a poignant letter from my sister, Jacqui.

She and her partner, Alena, of 16 years are currently unable to get married because they live in Australia, it remains against the law. Citizens there soon have the option of a vote to change this.

Here’s her story.

As a child I never saw myself getting married, the whole white wedding was never for me. All that money, the stress of public speaking, the fanfare of fabric, hair, makeup, etc., frightening!!

If two people love each other that should be enough I thought.

Looking back, I guess I knew that I wouldn’t be getting married because deep down I knew I was different, and that my life wouldn’t follow the normal route of settling into happily married bliss with Mr. Right like my friends & family expected me to.

It was only in my mid 20’s that I allowed myself to come out, first to myself (hard enough), then to close friends and family (much harder & extremely emotional). This journey was not an easy one, and there were some very dark, and very lonely moments. When you fear losing everyone you know & love, fear being rejected, displaced, ridiculed or worse. I did not choose to be gay, no-one does, who would choose to go through this?

But I am, and I am now a much stronger & braver woman for going through this journey. I am so proud to be a part of this GLBTIQ 🏳??🌈 community that accepts not only me, but who are also so accepting & forgiving of those who have not always been so of us.

I have been fortunate to find the most magnificent woman to share my life with, we have supportive friends & family around us, and have found the majority of people we have met during our time together, from all walks of life, from all around the world, to be accepting & non-judgemental of us. I count myself very lucky.

And so I have found myself wanting to marry, but this has not been an option for us in Australia…

Alena & I have been together for 16 years, and engaged for over 14 years, but we have not been able to celebrate this in the same ways as our straight siblings, because ‘it’s not legal so what’s the point’. Our politicians have continually denied us the right to choose this option, and the future of our beautiful relationship now lies with the people of Australia.

Since this postal vote was announced, I have been walking around my neighbourhood, walking our dog around the park, passing locals & friendly faces, and can’t help thinking that every one of them will have a ‘vote’ on whether my relationship is acceptable to them, whether they consider my relationship to be as valid as theirs?

This has made me angry at times, but most of all it just makes me incredibly sad. There are so many more pressing problems in the world right now that we should be voting on, and denying people the right to love who they love just seems so ridiculous in comparison.

But here we are, and I am hopeful that a result will be a resounding ‘YES’, that our politicians will then accept that vote, and we can finally have our relationship fully accepted, and move on with our lives.

I am eagerly awaiting my form in the post & will be ticking the ‘YES’ box.

YES for my own relationship, YES for my friends relationships, and YES for those relationships & young people I don’t know, because they deserve the right to choose who they love, and how they live without judgement or fear. Let’s get this done Australia! #voteyes 🙏??💛💜💚💙

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