Posts tagged ‘marriage equality’

DREAMS THAT YOU DARE TO DREAM. 

Not much stuck from my childhood. Actually, that’s not quite true; LOTS of it stuck but there’s not much I choose to hold onto. This week though one thing has resonated. 
As I child I was taught that if you feel like saying something you should ask yourself three things – Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? This ridiculous, non binding, divisive, resource wasting postal plebiscite has exceeded the fearful expectations of those who opposed it and the climate is ugly out there. It is being used as a platform for sinister untruths and as a license to spew hate. On a daily basis, on a deep level, people are being attacked for who they love. 

Of course, this is nothing new. The LGBTI+ community has never been immune to persecution. It is the openness of the hatred at the moment that appals me. That we are being compelled to choose a side and that an actual campaign is being waged to validate bigotry. More resources wasted to generate and perpetuate hate. 

I am a Sagittatarian, it’s kind of mandatory for me to be blunt and I value honesty highly. But I come back to those three questions; Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? The thing about opinions is that everyone has one and I’m not going to argue that you aren’t entitled to yours, even if it opposes mine. What I am sure about though, is the neither of us should take our opinions and use them as the basis of acts that damage other people. 

If you do feel you have something to say then be thoughtful around how you express yourself. Check your facts. Make sure they are, in fact, facts. Decide if you really need to say anything. Will you actually be contributing? If so, express yourself respectfully. There’s a school of thought that asserts that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all. I don’t agree with that. Lots of the things I speak about here aren’t nice but I feel like I have something to contribute by not staying silent. I hope I am respectful. I try to be. 
Daughter Number One’s best friend was gay. Well, to the best of my knowledge he still is! She loved him dearly. She had been to several Mardi Gras parades in Sydney before she died at 14. Son Number Two, my tall, nineteen year old, straight son, also has friends who fall outside of heterosexual norms. So do I. Dearly loved friends, some I have had for decades, some who have walked with me through the darkest of nights. Even Daughter Number Two has a best friend who shows signs of growing up to walk the road less travelled. He’s young, so who knows? My point is that whoever her friend grows up to be my Daughter will not judge him on who he loves. Because she loves him. Just as he is. 

I have been so sad about this postal plebiscite. The stories both from mainstream media and people I know are heartbreaking. I go to rallys when I can. I posted off my yes vote. I write about marriage equality here and I share things on facebook. But this issue has been going on for so long now in Australia that I am able to share facebook memories from three years ago that are still sadly relevant. And, in the face of the sea of hatred that is tsunami-ing over us, it doesn’t seem enough. 
So tomorrow I am going to a PFLAG meeting. PFLAG stands for ‘Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays’. When I rang up today to register my interest in attending tomorrow the lady on the phone asked me for my story. She asked where I heard about PFLAG. I’ve seen them march behind their banner in Mardi Gras. I’ve watched Debbie represent in Queer as Folk. I’ve heard them speak at rallys. What’s my story? “Do you have a gay child?” she asked. And I don’t. But I could. And that would be perfectly fine with me, because love is love. 
I believe in love. With so much ugliness in this world I believe in love. I know and love many beautiful people and I believe they all should be allowed to make the choices they feel are right for themselves, in their own relationships. I don’t believe ‘different’ should equal ‘lesser under law’. So, I’ll go to the PFLAG meeting tomorrow and I’ll go to the marriage equality rally next week and I’ll keep writing here about things that matter. 

This article here gives some insight into why straight allies are important and this link will point you in a practical direction if you have time and energy to share. PFLAG can be found here and there are many groups and events you can make contact with in your state. 

Travel safe x 

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WE’VE BEEN POISONED BY THESE FAIRY TALES. 


All we have to do, at any given moment, is take the next step. Sometimes they are big steps and sometimes they are baby steps. Sometimes they are sidesteps and sometimes we take a step back. But all we have to do, at any given moment, is take the next step. 
Last week I had the most lovely day with friends. We took my friend’s two year old, The Best Boy, to the park. Actually we took him to two parks! At the second we met a dog, named Milo, who was swinging on a swing. Chill as you please. Milo was so relaxed he even let The Best Boy push him on the swing. It was very cool to watch. Unexpected and entertaining. Milo, you are a legend. 
I watched The Best Boy navigating both the parks we took him to. His sturdy little legs and boundless enthusiasm taking him further and higher, one step at a time. His Mum was there to offer a steadying hand when he needed it; it’s good to have support around you. 

Incredibly, to me, Australia is still debating Marriage Equality. I am waiting for us to take the next step. 
Change isn’t always easy, even when it is necessary. Even when it is the right thing. Even when we know it will be the best thing. It is difficult to step out of our comfort zones and into the unknown. But if we do we can be Milo the dog, swinging at the park, sun in our face and wind in our hair. Loving life! 

Someone special gave me a little cactus plant. It had grown quite a lot and I was worried that it was getting too crowded in it’s little pot. I don’t have a green thumb and I thought that I might kill it if I tried to repot it. What I knew for sure though, was that it had outgrown it’s little pot. To keep living and thriving I would need to find it a new place to be. It wouldn’t look the same. It would have to adjust to it’s changed environment. But it couldn’t stay where it was. 
So I found a white pot, with ‘Grow! Grow! Grow!’ painted up the side. I found some lush soil and I replanted the little cactus. I gave it a little bit of water and let it have a little bit of sun. I don’t know exactly how it will work out but I know that I have given it the best chance to survive and flourish. 
There are no guarantees in life. Sometimes you just have to make your move and take the next step. Talk to a stranger, climb up a mountain, go to the theatre, walk out the door, open your arms.  Live your life. Grow and flourish. One step at a time. 
❤️💛💚💙💜
Safe onward travel x 

FIGHT SONG.

Images from the Rally for Marriage Equality, Perth, Western Australia, Australia – 25th June 2016. 

MARRY THAT GIRL, MARRY HER ANYWAY…

Yesterday I was asked to do a reading at a dear friend’s wedding in August. There are not many bigger compliments one can be paid. I am truly touched and excited beyond belief.

During the longest night ever, when I was so very, very scared and so very, very alone there was one friend I called. Just to feel less alone. I have two dear friends that I went to high school with. They were bridesmaids at my child bride first wedding. They were there when I gave birth to Daughter Number One. They knew her for her whole life and they came to her funeral. During the longest night ever one of my dear friends had a young child that wasn’t sleeping well. The other lived alone and so I rang her. And she answered. And she kept answering my calls, all through that long, long night. Even as I went from confused to terrified to distraught. By the next morning, when I knew the worst, she still answered my calls. Then she came to my Daughter’s funeral and in all the years since she has stayed my friend. Even when being my friend cannot have been easy and judging me most definitely would have been. That’s true of all my friends, the ones who love me and I know how lucky I am.

After my Daughter Number One died I watched as my dear friend met someone new who made her smile. I was privileged to watch her fall in love. I’ve watched as she’s renovated a home and raised two daughters and built a life with her one true love. This is one of the strongest, most enduring relationships I’ve seen in my life. I’m sure they have their hard times, everyone does, relationships are hard work but love has prevailed and in August, when they will celebrate ten years together my dear friend and her true love will be married.

Kind of. Sort of. Except it can’t technically be called a wedding because my dear friend’s one true love is also a woman. And my country doesn’t recognise their ‘kind’ of love and commitment – that would be the REAL kind if you ask me! My country says that the only ‘true’ marriages are between a man and a woman. On this issue I am embarrassed by the laws of this land. We are behind much of the civilised world and it feels backwards in the extreme.
This_Is_Love_by_MOKOtheCRAZy.
Love is love.

I told you recently about a friend confiding in me about proposing to her partner. I wrote of the happiness I felt. That also is an EPIC love story and luckily for you their love story right up to the grand proposal has been shared with the world on my friends blog. So, do yourselves a favour and go check it out for a feel good read and try not to cry at the video (I failed)! If you do, you’ll note that my friend is also a girl in love with a girl.

Love is love! In this world where so many bad things happen to so many good people, in this life that is so short and when love is all that remains when everything else has gone why can’t love just be love? I get to plan my wedding and call it that. I get to have my marriage recognised by law. How can anyone judge that my love is more real, or true, or deserving than either of my friends? They are building lives together, they are raising children together, they have made homes together. How could my love be more valid just because my partner is a certain sex? There’s a simple answer. It’s not.

Love is love.

Going Through Changes.

In some ways the things I am going through at the moment are like a birth, or a re-birth if you like. As much anticipation and excitement as there is there is also patience and damn hard work to struggle with. I’d like a magic wand that could wave me about 6 months into the future when the preparation will be done and I can get to the good stuff. I am a big picture kind of girl and sometimes the day-to-day details can feel a little overwhelming. Still, there is a certain satisfaction in ticking things off my list and knowing that each step I take brings me closer to where I want to be.

Things are moving along, both within myself and externally. I’ve been getting rid of so many things. Things we’ve outgrown or don’t use or that were being saved for a rainy day. Each time I pack something or put it into a bag for charity it is almost as if I can feel a weight lifting off me. Here I’ve been surrounded by all of these things, pretty things, nice things but none of them held the key to my happiness. In fact the opposite seems to be true; they were part of what was holding me back. So much of this process is about letting go, and physically letting go of so much stuff has been cathartic. My sons are getting into the spirit, letting me list things they no longer use on eBay, in hopes someone else will have some use for their stuff, with the bonus of actually earning some cash. The bonus for me is feeling us pull together and work towards a common goal. It has been awhile since I have felt that this consistently.

There is no irony lost on me; that I feel like we are pulling together and working towards a common goal in the face of going our separate ways. When I last arrived home after being away I had some lengthy discussions with Son Number One about whether he still wished to live apart from us, given he now had some idea of what that would be like. Had the separation changed his view? If anything it strengthened his resolve, and his most recent word on the matter was, philosophically, ‘I would have had to move out someday, Mum!’ This is true. Things change. C’est la vie.

What else is changing? Aside from the physical changes from continuing to eat better, exercise more, and slowly lose weight ( I say slowly because I am an impatient bugger, and my progress feels slow to me, but it is probably actually realistic) there have been some changes to how I think about things and myself. A couple of weeks ago I asked ten of my nearest and dearest to share with me how they saw me. What they thought my strengths and weaknesses were. You can imagine how thrilled they all were, but they are good friends who love me, so they indulged me. There were a few things I learned from the exercise. Aside from the obvious; that I have VERY GOOD FRIENDS. It was interesting to note the similarities to things I thought about myself, as well as the differences. It definitely gave me some direction on things I need to work on.

The other particularly enlightening conversation I had recently was with a new friend of mine, who asked if I still believed in marriage – having been married 3 times, divorced twice and widowed once. It was an interesting question for me. My experiences with marriage are no reflection on marriage, but rather on me. So, it is not so much if I still believe in marriage but rather what it meant to me then as opposed to now. What had I believed about it to begin with?  The 17-year-old me, pregnant with Daughter Number One and fresh out of Catholic Girl’s School, believed getting married was the ‘right’ thing to do. She believed she could build the type of family she’d never known. She set herself on a path of defining herself by her association to others. As someone’s wife. As someone’s mother. I believed it gave me an identity, which I’d not grown up enough to find and create for myself. That was definitely something I carried with me into my second marriage. That external and misplaced search for meaning and validation. After the rape and murder of Daughter Number One I felt as if I had been stripped of everything that defined me – motherhood, womanhood, everything. The marriage to which I had been committed for almost ten years a sham. Or if not a sham then what exactly? How do you sort the reality from the deception? I couldn’t. My third marriage, sadly, I entered into for similar reasons with regard to identity, but also with the added thought that if ANYONE was willing to take me on then I should be damn well grateful. I had no trust in my own instincts at all. I married for the third time not even three years after Daughter Number One died. To say that I was in a bad place in my life is an understatement. I do have Daughter Number Two to show for that union though, and for her I am thankful.

I no longer believe my only worth comes from being someone’s mother or wife. I am no longer seeking to define myself through someone else, their views, their happiness. I am still an all or nothing girl. If I commit to something or someone then I give my all. I can’t say that I will never marry again; I like to think I will. Hope springs eternal. It would be an interesting proposition to consider as the me I am now.  I don’t think I believe more strongly in marriage, but I definitely believe more in me. I no longer place any religious significance on marriage and I’m not sure how much significance society places on it any longer, certainly I don’t need their validation. To me it is about hope and faith and love between two people. I don’t think you need marriage for those to exist. I do think that any way people choose to signify the depth of commitment between them, their faith and love in each other, and their hope for their future, can only be a good thing.

Which is why it really makes me angry that we do not have marriage equality yet. Here I am, with a less than stellar marital history, but with the option to marry again another dozen times if I so choose, simply because I am heterosexual. One of the MOST LOVING, HEALTHIEST, COMMITTED relationships I know is between some lesbian friends of mine. Despite their house and mortgage, the fact they each contribute financially and emotionally to each other, despite their CHILDREN they lovingly raise TOGETHER their relationship is considered less than Britney Spears running off to Vegas with Jason Alexander. Please. It is embarrassing and shameful to me that Australia is trailing in this regard. Julia Gillard as Prime Minister could not be a bigger disappointment.

Times they are a-changin’ though. For me, and around me. Maybe not as fast as I’d like but changes are coming. And that’s what I know for sure.

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