Our country won’t change for the worse because of a few little words in the Marriage Act, writes Roisin Bevan.
WHEN LIFE starts to feel a bit crummy, I often turn to the internet — memes, to be specific. I find them helpful and carefree. They tend to sum up the most culturally relevant and globally impactful events in a few fruity words. Like the one of that demented looking toddler saying 'as soon as you finish putting on my diaper, I WILL SHIT' or the close up of Vladmir Putin’s face with hairy testicles drawn around his neck. Or just that series of memes that went around the internet of animals with no necks. Great stuff. What a crack-up.
Today, however, I came across a meme that actively directed my mind to form connected ideas; it actually made me think: “Dear 2016, Y U No End Yet?”, backdropped by a picture of a fiery butt hole.
There is no doubt that 2016 was in many ways the personification of a fiery butt hole for multiple global reasons, but it had me pondering the impact of something a little closer to home. Now, I don’t mean to be paranoid, but I’m pretty sure that meme was directly related to something that I did last year. Something I did that had a potentially catastrophic effect on the lives of others. What, wait, did you miss it? Were you too busy thinking of the truck killings in Nice? Or Brexit? Maybe Syria? Is Trump coming to mind? Think bigger. Something really destabilising to man-kind. Okay, I’ll help you. Last year, I got Gay Married.
Twelve months back, I became a wife to my wife and it ruined 2016 for everyone. Our conscious coupling left loads of happily married people feeling attacked and degraded. Our parents were traumatised and our neighbours were outright offended. Our marriage swiftly led to our social undoing: we smoked crack, forgot to pay rent, got into bar fights and frightened A LOT of small blonde children. I toyed with the idea of bestiality and thought next time I’d try marrying a shoe — I was off the chain!
Listening to Eric Abetz on same-sex marriage is a slippery slope to living out his nightmares. pic.twitter.com/WNiPoW6RIB— Mark Humphries (@markhumphries) August 22, 2017
Now, just before you start signing for your perpetual subscription to the Christian Lobby’s monthly mag, pause for one second to consider the reality. Truth be told, we got married and it rocked no one else’s world but our own.
In my experience, absolutely none of the things that terrify people about gay marriage actually happen when gay people get married. My marriage to my wife has had virtually zero impact on anyone’s day-to-day life, including mine. Apart from that glorious melty-heart feeling I get to live with because I got to marry her, our life looks exactly the same as it always has. The world still ticks over in its usual fashion. There’s still war, still famine, still Trump. There remain oodles of straight couples, undeterred by my unholy matrimony, who continue to get married and have babies and raise wholesome families. I haven’t converted anyone to my camp who wasn’t already there. I haven’t forced any bakeries to make us gay cake. No straight men or animals were harmed in the making of my nuptials, I assure you.
My wife and I are both Australian, though we were married in London, where it is legal. It was a small, sweet affair with close buddies. We told our Aussie family to stay put because we’d soon be coming down-under to do it all again, when gay marriage became legal. My father (who is equal parts Aussie Dad and Germaine Greer) didn’t get to walk me down the aisle. He knew the day would come eventually where he could do it on home turf, but it hasn’t. I try to wrap my head around what some of the naysayers feel so scared of. When I’m in London I often think of Australia. I look around me on the Tube and ask myself: “Is my marriage really a threat to these people? Have I risked the stability of traditional values for them?”
I see no evidence of it yet. That woman on the train doesn’t know I’m Gay Married — she doesn’t care. No upheaval has occurred in the U.K. since legalising gay marriage, so why would it in ours? If you want to talk religious argument, this is what I say to you: If you trust your Gods judgement, why don’t you let Him take care of the smiting? You sit back, chillax, love a little, let your hair down.
Not only has my marriage been beautifully mundane, but my whole experience of gay-ness has been relatively uneventful. I dated men. I had a lovely boyfriend who made me croissants and taught me lots about sex. Then I fell in love with a girl. And that was it. It wasn’t more complicated than that. I wasn’t repulsed by men, I wasn’t shamed and scrutinised. I don’t have a traumatic coming out story. Sure, I still get the occasional pig-headed comment about double ended dildos and the like, but on the whole, it’s been okay. I know I’ve had a pretty cushy experience. I am white, middle class and have parents who love me. I’m lucky. Mainly, I am so very lucky to have loved with my whole heart in this life.
Australia, I appeal to you. Our country won’t change because of a few little words in the Marriage Act, it just won’t. I promise. If you’re struggling with your stance on gay marriage, I’m not actually asking you to agree to my position, I’m just asking you not to vote "NO". You don’t have to sanction it or promote it. You don’t have to attend any extravagant gay weddings or change your beliefs. All I’m asking is that you don’t block it, just because you’re scared. All a "YES" vote says to the gay people of Australia is: “You do you, I’ll do me.” I want my dad to walk me down the aisle. I want to celebrate on home soil. I want Australia to say "Yes".
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
I'll see you on the bright side of history, Australia.— Bindi Irwin (@BindiIrwin) August 25, 2017
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