Apparently today is the last day Australians will be receiving their marriage equality postal surveys in the mail.
The fact that I even have to type this is embarrassing, but here we are, in 2017, ticking a box to signify whether we feel one human is entitled to the same rights as another. The obvious answer is that yes, they are. But a quick search of the no campaign on Facebook reveals that, holy shit, people are awful. They are ignorant, hate-filled, scared, and also, by the look of it, borderline illiterate.
Anyway, hopefully preaching to the converted here. I’m assuming most of you have already received, ticked yes, and sent that sucker back to the shithole it came from (I actually don’t think it came from Parliament House, but for poetic license that’s what I am insinuating). But I thought I’d take the time to explain why I hope you voted yes, or for those who’ve yet to decide, why you should. And it’s not just the obvious reasons (human rights, love for all, logic, reason, understanding, respect), it’s also because my cousin should get the opportunity to not invite me to her wedding.
It’s a rite of passage in Australia for straight people to get to hurt the feelings of those closest to them by leaving them off their wedding invite list. Since the dawn of (wo)man, families have been torn apart by the matrimonial slighting of aunties, cousins, friends and co-workers. Who makes the cut? For my cousin, she was robbed of this chance. Because marriage isn’t legal here, she had to fly to New Zealand with her girlfriend and get married there. It was a very low-key affair, just themselves, a celebrant, and a wedding photographer. None of the family were invited because, to her, it didn’t feel like a real wedding. She had to flee her own goddamn country just to make it happen.
But now, if the yes vote forces our ball-less government to finally make same-sex marriage legal, she’ll have the chance to have a wedding here, in Australia, which she may very well not invite me to, either. But that’s her right. I like to think of her, pen in hand, notebook open to a page full of names. At the top, her parents—my aunty and uncle—then her in-laws, then both their respective grandparents, her siblings, aunties and uncles, close friends. Then, in a different colour ink, my name amongst a bobbing sea of ‘maybes’. What power she has—like a modern Shakespeare. Are you really going to take that away from her?
On another serious note, when I actually received my survey, the hurt I felt imagining how those in same-sex relationships felt when they had to vote for their own rights in a non-binding fucking postal survey was heavy. It’s a low I didn’t know we as a country were capable of, and it will be a scar on our history forever. I just hope we are on the right side of it. Also, I wish nothing of promise or prosperity for a one Cory Bernadi, who is a poster manchild of these dark times. Though I loathe giving his abhorrent opinions any air time, I simply cannot let this opportunity to embarrass him go to waste. On Thursday, he tweeted, “One school in SA now has ‘wear a dress day’. This gender morphing is really getting absurd” in response to a local school’s support for the ‘Do It In A Dress’ campaign, which raises funds to educate girls in Africa. I don’t need to explain why he’s a first-grade wanker for saying this, but I just want to show you a photo of the artwork in his house. Hello possum!
In the eternal words of Thom Yorke, “You do it to yourself.”