Category: marriage

The reasons I will be voting ‘yes’ to marriage equality.

I originally posted a version of this on my Facebook page, but I thought I’d share it here on the blog too…

Fellow Aussies, please please please vote in this upcoming plebiscite for marriage equality (especially if you want to say ‘yes’). It sucks and we shouldn’t be wasting our money and our time and be told to use snail mail when quite frankly a lot of us younger folk hate it, but we can’t boycott it. We just can’t. Because even though this isn’t even binding, we need to make a very clear statement to the ‘no’ campaigners and to our government. That anything less than equality is bullshit and we as a people will not accept it.

There are some bigoted people out there. Some people who are hateful and small minded. These people will probably never change their minds. We need to rise above them – cancel out their votes. We might not get through to them but we need to have conversations with our loved ones – ask them their intentions, their reasoning, explain ours. Because for every extreme bigot out there, there are some well meaning people who might not have thought it through or who despite being otherwise quite lovely people, may be planning on voting ‘no’ out of fear or due to a misguided loyalty to a religious/family background that if they are really honest, they do not themselves completely live by any longer but are scared to step out of line with.

I feel like those are the people we need to try to reach. We all think we feel confident that most of Australia will support marriage equality, but we can’t be complacent. I have heard so many people tell me recently that they thought for sure that their partners, parents, siblings or friends would vote yes, only to have a conversation with them and find out that they had assumed incorrectly. This is a non compulsory vote, so the loudest voices will win. I want love to win. Not fear or complacency or hate.

The reasons I will be voting for equality are:

1. Think of the children! Think of your children. Who might they be one day? Maybe you might not believe that them being gay would be ideal, but if you would love them no matter what and never want them to feel like second class citizens if they ever came out to you, then vote yes. Do it for them and for every other gorgeous child out there who will grow up LGBTQI – they don’t choose their sexuality, they are born that way. How would we feel years down the track knowing we voted against our own children? Or our dear friends’ children who we adore and have known forever?

2. My friends. My amazing friends. A lot of them are not heterosexual. I grew up with these people, attended uni with these people, have cared about these people for most of my life (often long before their ‘coming out’). I can’t stand the idea that I can swan about with my wedding ring on and make jokes about married life, while they don’t even get a choice. Sure, not all of my gay or bi friends want to get married but FFS they deserve the right to choose. How can you look these people in the eye if you snuck off to the mailbox and voted against them having equal rights?? Or if you didn’t stand up for them by bothering to put that shit in an envelope and send it off? You’re no friend. I know that seems harsh, but seriously!

3. Plain empathy and a passion for social justice. I am not queer but I have experienced discrimination. Racism (both overt and casual). Sexism. Being treated as just a little less. Being talked to loudly and slowly and like I’m stupid. Hearing my race or my gender being referred to in ways that are designed to let me know I’m ‘less than’. Internalising that as a young person and starting to believe it. That feels like SHIT. And I don’t want anyone to feel like that about the things that make them them. The things they cannot change. As a society, we need to do better than that. For everyone.

4. Love is always better than fear or hate. ALWAYS. So if more people in our nation are allowed to express that love with a fabulous celebration and commitment to each other, then why the hell should we stand in their way? Our world could do with more of that.

5. The legalities. I want gay people to have the EXACT same legal rights as straight people. I mean come on. It’s just awful that in this day and age, that’s not happened yet. It’s not rocket science.

I don’t claim to have every single fact on the matter but what I won’t do is make up fake statistics or abuse anyone for their opinions. What I will do is speak on the things I do know: love, equality, understanding, empathy, friendship, family.

Everyone deserves that much.

Please vote. Please vote yes.

x

Better Together.

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Today marks the 6th anniversary of marriage for Mr Unprepared and I. We’ve been through a lot together (and even for a small not so talked about time apart) over the years and it has only been because of our hard work, determination and commitment to each other that we have found ourselves where we are today. Really tough things have happened to both of us over time and we have had to learn to be strong – not just as individuals but also as a couple. Β It hasn’t always been easy. As long as we keep growing and learning for the rest of our lives, I know there will always be good things coming to us.

We celebrated this year, with a picnic at an outdoor concert (Jack Johnson – AMAZING). I spilt my sparkling wine on myself several times and tripped over some poor innocent people (not from being drunk on either account – just clumsy in picnic situations). Mr Unprepared wore his sunnies and hat even when it was dark. We sat on uncomfortable low backed beach chair thingies (I can’t remember what they’re actually called) until our bums and our legs were numb. Mr Unprepared had to restrain me from calling my mum to ask how the Little Mister was. I tried not to cry several times when I was having a magical music appreciation moment (music moves me – what can I say). Mr Unprepared ate camembert on corn chips just because he could (they came with the exorbitantly priced hamper we’d pre-ordered). It was perfect.

Jack Johnson even played our wedding song to end his show (the title of this post).

All of the every day stresses of life melted away right when I needed them to (don’t ask haha) and we were just there in the moment, remembering fun, remembering our life as a couple (and not just as parents), remembering what’s really important. All the noise of the draining week we’d had faded out and was replaced by Hawaiian musical love.

On the way home we reminisced non stop about our favourite live music moments. All the memories certain songs or artists evoke. We relived the night and what it had meant to us. We laughed about the 90s. Who doesn’t? It was awesome.

I feel so excited about seven and the journey there. Hell, I even feel excited about next week just because it’s next week and I’m in a good mood thanks to this weekend!

I love you, Husband.

It’s been one hell of a decade.

 

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Today marks 10 years of my relationship with my husband. I’m going to be honest. It’s been one hell of a roller coaster ride. There have been highs and lows as we’ve grown up together. We started out as friends, becoming crazy annoying lovebirds at the ages of 18 and 20 in 2002.

When we jumped in head first, “I love you”s at 3 weeks, moving in together at 3 months, we had NO idea what we were getting into. It’s safe to say that we were awesomely unprepared for the crazy that was to follow. We just knew we were meant to be together in some way.

We’ve endured a lot in our relationship and all of the other things that life has thrown towards us. We’ve had to learn how to grow together and become proper adults – we started this adventure as not much more than kids, really. We’re still learning a couple of houses, a couple of dogs and a baby later! We’re doing everything we can to develop as individuals who each bring something unique and special to our relationship and I hope we can continue to carve our own way as a little family, with new traditions and amazing memories.

I am thankful for the fact that our relationship has brought us our beautiful Little Mister. I am thankful that we’ve never given up on each other when times are tough.

I hope that our future will glow brighter and brighter with each year that passes.

x

Getting hitched: Does it change anything?

Pic: Her life would never be the same again – or would it?

Last weekend I was honoured to witness one of my best friends trying on the dress that she will be walking down the aisle in. Let me tell you, I am so excited for her it may as well be me πŸ™‚

A quick conversation came up in the carpark (where all dodgy business is discussed) about the changes that marriage brings. My friend’s grandmother suggested that it can be a massive lifestyle change, but the younger ones (my fellow bridesmaids) suggested that these days as a lot of people live with their partners before marriage, perhaps it doesn’t change anything at all. I realised that my (internal) answer was different to that of my friends. For me, marriage changed everything. I wondered why that was so. On the surface nothing seems different: I lived with my husband for about five years before we tied the knot. We saw each other at our worst moments and our best moments. We knew what it was to have a house, bills to pay and a pet to look after (the shared pet is almost like the first rite of passage as a long term couple – a sign of intended commitment). We had to negotiate issues with finances, household stuff, big life decisions and social lives – not always with initial success (it’s always a learning curve)!

We basically did everything before the wedding that we do every day now (only hopefully we’re a bit wiser and more mature these days), so it got me thinking. Why did it feel so different once that wedding ring was placed on my left hand that fateful day in 2007?

Aha! Turns out that as well as a strengthening in our love/bond that came with us both having made such a big, momentous commitment (and one we take seriously), a lot of the changes I felt were personal growth and sudden revelations about myself as an individual. Sounds funny, but getting married made me a more confident person who feels like she can stand on her own two feet (even though there’s this good dude who will be there for me by my side for life).

For some reason, being a Married Woman changed the way I identified myself (for the better). For me, growing up with such amazing role models for parents, being a Wife has symbolised strength in character, equality in relationships, confidence and conviction in your decisions and the ability to be strong, yet flexible, loving and compassionate. I suppose I feel the same about the role of a mother – for me, when I look at my mum that’s what I think of (awww).

Getting married meant that all of a sudden I was somebody’s wife! I was a grown up (holy crap). I changed my surname (the hubby wouldn’t change his last name to my last name – shame – it would have really sounded nice). I started being a Missus. I realised that if I was grown up enough to be somebody’s wife, a Missus who was taking care of things as an equal, then I should bloody well start acting like it! I needed to realise that it was time to step up to the plate and start having confidence in my decisions, confidence that who I presented myself as to the outside world was what I felt on the inside, and the belief in myself that who I am is enough to be taken seriously! I had spent a few young adult years feeling like a clueless idiot, not trusting my own opinions and not wanting to rock the boat. A new marriage may have been the catalyst, but I should have believed in myself all along. Hindsight is 20/20 is it not?

All of a sudden I felt like I could do anything: sell myself at a job interview (instead of feeling like a useless unqualified wallflower), buy a house (you know – talking to scary bank managers all by myself and signing Very Important Documents without much help), finish my degree at university (not just to scrape by but to really try hard) and not be afraid to take risks in life. I was finally making decisions because they were MY decisions – I was thinking things out for myself and not just going with the flow. I realised the strength as a person I had wanted to feel had been there all along – I had just forgotten about it.

I think that getting married was a wake up call. Getting hitched is a big decision that should be made by people who have some maturity…I felt duty bound to grow up and own my adulthood!

I guess I just started taking myself more seriously. They say you can’t expect others to do that for you until you do it for yourself. Wise words.

Perhaps some of my friends started out on stronger footing than me (with more confidence in themselves). Perhaps that is why they feel that marriage hasn’t changed anything.

We’re still not perfect people (no-one is) and we continue to grow and share new experiences – three and a half years into marriage we’re only getting started! Now that there is a little life on the way, I look forward to all the love, growth, changes and revelations that being parents will bring too πŸ™‚

Are you married? Did getting hitched change anything? Do you hope to get married one day? What are your expectations?

See what other 20 Something Bloggers have had to say on the issue – here πŸ™‚