I am Australian, I am male, my eyes and hair are brown, my skin is olive, the sky is blue, the moon revolves around the earth and I was born Gay. These are facts about myself and this world that cannot be changed or altered.
After eventually working up the courage to tell my family I was gay (via text, sorry Dad) I felt liberated by the fact that I didn’t have to hide who I was anymore. I was extremely lucky and I am thankful to have a family that accepted me with open arms, some are not so lucky… Coming out is hard work.
The simple fact that ‘coming out’ is still a thing is proof that societal norms dictate homosexuality is against the status quo. Nobody comes out as heterosexual. Most people are amazing, some are fabulous (yes, hello, hi, I see you there), and very few people are sub-optimal. I want to live in a world where if any of my future children are born gay that they don’t have to come out to me. They will know from day 1 that they are loved no matter how they identify their sexuality or gender.
There were family and friends that I didn’t have the courage to tell in person, it didn’t mean I loved them any less it just meant I was just too scared and didn’t have the courage to tell them myself. I couldn’t bear the rejection of the people that I grew up with and held in such high regard. It has been one of the hardest times of my life coming to terms with this and I’ve been in a really dark place for so long I never thought I could get out of it.
Let me tell you, when you feel like that, there is nothing scarier than the thoughts that go through your head at night. The thoughts that maybe, just maybe it’d be easier to just stop existing than to wake up and endure another day of going against the grain.
If anybody reading this feels like this, I beg you to please talk to someone. Whether it be your doctor, best friend or someone on the other end of a help line. I am here today because I sought the help I so desperately needed from the people that meant the most to me. I was diagnosed with severe clinical depression and chronic episodic anxiety and with professional help, some top notch humans and a little extra serotonin I’m feeling better than I can ever recall feeling.
Living in a world where LGBTI+ people have to come out as being different to what is assumed is hard enough. And now that we’re about to go through a national discussion on whether or not we get the same rights to marry the people we love it’s made it so much harder for so many of us.
Not sure why it’s harder? Here are some cold hard facts for you. Those that identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are over 6 times more likely to end their own lives than that of our heterosexual counterparts. Shocking, right? Not only that, but those who identify as trans are 18 times more likely to commit suicide. So with that in mind, when you hold a national, optional, not legally binding postal survey on the Australian marriage law it has the potential to do real, irreparable damage to a group of people who are already a minority.
As one of those people, I’m finding it very difficult to be proud of a country that is doing everything in its power to prohibit me from committing myself to anyone that I might choose to spend my life and raise a family with.
The solution? Have your say. For those us to vote. Make sure you take part. What better way to prove marriage equality should already be the norm than with a resounding yes vote?