November 26, 2010

Marriage is so Gay.

SawHole is not here. She is in China sourcing new Merch. I have not heard from her for a while. But she will be fine. As long as there are spring rolls, she will be fine. I said she will be fine. And I have an infected cuticle which is making typing very hard. So I am not saying anything today.

Instead, I have asked an ex of mine to write me a little something special. And he has. Thank god I turned him gay. Steven Murphy is a Sydney based Publicity Supremo who has to get something off his (immaculately waxed) chest.


I’ve actually found it much harder to write this piece for Mrs Woog than I would have ever predicted. There is so much I want to say, it’s a subject that is very close to my heart. I’m incredibly passionate about it, I’m very vocal about it and I want to share with you what I think may be quite a different perspective. The subject is gay marriage. It’s a hot topic at the moment and I feel that the debate that is currently taking place is missing the point on many levels and I think what I have to say may resonate with you much more than the fierce editorial pieces you read in the papers.

But first a little about me so you can understand where I am coming from. I’m a very proud gay man. From that light bulb moment when I was 23 (yes, quite late in life) when I finally understood who I truly was I have embraced the gay lifestyle. And I’ve loved it! I’ve never felt threatened because of my sexuality, I’ve never felt in danger. I’ve always had amazing friends and family who care. In a community where so many horror stories exist of discrimination and outcasting I’ve never had that happen to me. I am incredibly lucky. I believe one of the reasons why is that I wear my sexuality on my sleeve with great confidence. There is no one I meet who presumes for a second that I am a straight-boy, or worse, a closeted or frustrated gay man. Isn’t it ironic then that the only prejudice or discrimination I’ve felt in my life is from my government.

I am also incredibly lucky that at exactly the right time in my life I met a boy called Ashley. (left)

We moved in together after 4 months and bought our first house at 9 months. We’ve been together for 6 years now and in every respect, besides that piece of paper, we are a married couple. We both work hard, we pay a lot of taxes, we stress over the renovations. We love dinner with friends and time on the couch. We fight over the remote but both love our resort holidays. We don’t mind paying more for our dog’s haircuts than we do our own. We fight over money, we love Centennial Park. My family is his family, his family is mine, we now share all of our friends. There is nothing outrageous about us, we live the same life as any other mid-30’s couple. Except that our government does not feel that we are worthy of being recognised the same as a straight couple - and that INFURIATES ME!

Society and government have worked so hard to eradicate all forms of discrimination and ensure equality for all. Why does this not extend to gay relationships? Why does my government feel that it can say to me and all gays and lesbians that our relationships are not as valid, not as worthy, not as recognisable as straight relationships? I think there are sectors of society that believe being gay is Mardi Gras, promiscuity, dirty sex and drugs and therefore feel they can’t validate ‘that’ lifestyle. Are you kidding me!

This is a debate about human relationships not a sexual act. It should be a debate about human love not a clich├ęd, misrepresented lifestyle. It makes me so angry that what has been lost in this debate is the human desire to have a partner, to create a life together and to be able to celebrate that love with their family and friends. This shouldn’t be a debate about sexuality but about all men and women being able to celebrate their love for their partner.

The other thing that really upsets me about the inequality of gay relationships is the message it sends to young gay and lesbians. For children who are beginning to feel they are different to their brothers and sisters through to teens who are struggling to understand how to express their sexuality – what message does this inequality send them? The subliminal message to gay youth is that when they grow up and fall in love it won’t mean as much.

When I think about the ‘journey’ of my sexuality there was only one moment when it truly devastated me that I was gay. It was a few years after I ‘came out’ and I got a phone call from my much-loved mum to share some exciting, beautiful news. My cousin Jill was getting married. My cousins and I grew up together like brothers and sisters so I was ecstatic for Jill and Scott, they are perfect for each other. The whole family was over the moon. My mum was so proud and so happy.

I literally broke down and cried for 3 days. The reason was it was the first time that the harsh reality really hit home that I wouldn’t be able to make my mum proud like that, that I wouldn’t be able to share my love with my family the way my brother and cousins can, that I was undeniably on a different path. While I was cruising around Sydney having a fabulous time being fabulously gay it suddenly hit home that as comfortable and confident as I there was a fundamental and truly divisionary difference with how I loved. It was heartbreaking.

So when you see news footage this weekend of the Same Sex Marriage Rally being held in Sydney, ignore those images that pop up in your mind of camp-as-Xmas queens, butch lesbians, Mardi Gras, Jack from Will & Grace, Rupert Everett in My Best Friends Wedding and every other boring, tired gay cliche.

Instead I want you to think of Ash and I on the couch arguing over who should win Australia’s Next Top Model. Imagine what it would be like for a 15 year old who’s being called a fag on Facebook. These are the reasons why our government needs to give gay relationships equality. Our government is there to ensure all Australians get a ‘fair go’ and I am here to tell you that they are not. I passionately feel our government urgently needs to change the legislation so gays can marry so that all human relationships are equally validated.

We fall in love, we take care of our partners, we create lives together, we can even have our hearts broken – just like everyone else.


So why can’t we get married?


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