Support Gay Marriage; I Do

Written by Jessica-Lee

In 1962 America, a couple named Richard and Mildred decided to get married. No big deal, I hear you say. But back then it was an enormous deal – an illegal one, in fact – because Richard was white and Mildred was black.

This simple fact made their marriage illegal in sixteen states across America – including Virginia where the couple resided.

One night, police broke into their house and arrested them. Much to the disappointment of authorities, Richard and Mildred weren’t having sex at the time so they couldn’t be charged with the crime of ‘interracial intercourse’. However, they were still jailed and charged for being married with the judge ruling that their marriage was now void, stating that ‘Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red and He placed them on separate continents. The fact that He separated the races shows that He did not intend for the races to mix.’

In 1967 two civil rights lawyers took Richard and Mildred’s case to the US Supreme Court where the Interracial Marriage Act was overturned. In their unanimous ruling, they noted that: ‘The freedom to marry has long been recognised as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.’

The idea of two people being banned from marriage because they have differing skin colour is a ridiculous one to consider in 2012.

So my question is, how the hell is it still acceptable for two people to be banned from marriage based on their sex and sexuality?

When we hear people speaking out against same sex marriage, it usually has something to do with God, religion or the bible. I find this to be most ironic considering marriage didn’t start out as a religious institution. For most of European history, it was simply a business arrangement. Love or God had nothing to do with it. The church remained anti-marriage for quite some time. And in this day and age, you may choose to get married in a place of worship but that’s certainly not what makes your vows legal. Explain to me all the people who get married at the beach, in their backyard, in gardens and who compose their own vows… Marriage is a civil union so why the hell are some taxpayers allowed to take part and others are not?

A lot of these same people say that it’s ‘detrimental’ to their own marriage. If two people are in love, and want to stand in front of their friends and family pledging their love for one another and their desire to spend the rest of their lives together, what does that have to do with your marriage? How can that possibly be to its detriment? Does Kim Kardashian’s definition of marriage affect your marriage? Certainly not.

Statistics show that every third marriage in Australia will end in divorce. Marriage certainly isn’t the sacred thing it once was to a lot of people. So while heterosexuals are walking away from their marriages in droves, there are gay people trying to go in the other direction. Except their path is barricaded by governments and religious leaders because…well, ‘just because’. Nobody seems to be able to come up with a very good reason beyond ‘just because’.

Marriage equality is something I feel extremely passionate about and I am eager for the day that same sex marriage is legal. I have two main reasons for this – apart from what I have discussed above – and for the simple fact that I believe it is a basic human right.

 

One of my reasons is that when I have kids, I want them to be able to have the choice to get married regardless of their sexuality. I want them to grow up in a world where we are all treated as equals. No matter whether you are gay, straight, transgender, bisexual, black, white, short, tall, skinny, fat, Christian, Muslim, atheist or if you have three legs or two. I want my children to have every opportunity in this world.

My other reason – and one that I have held close to my heart for a very long time – is for my Uncles to have the opportunity to get married. They are a gay couple who are still very much in love and they have one of the best relationships I have ever been witness to. For someone to tell me that they do not deserve to get married absolutely kills me. I could sit here for hours and discuss all the valid and varying reasons why they should have the choice to get married (and there are plenty!) but take this one for instance… They have been together since just before I was born. I was born in 1987 which means I am turning 25 this year…

So why, oh god help me why, are idiots (I’m talking about the Britney Spears’ and the Jennifer Lopez’s here) with no concept of true love and commitment allowed to get married at the drop of a hat but my beautiful, gorgeous and devoted Uncles are not?

And what about my many friends who are also not allowed to get married? The majority of them aren’t even in a relationship at present let alone thinking about getting married but I want them to be able to have the choice.

‘Tradition isn’t an argument for anything. It’s an argument against change.’

Come on, Australia!

 

 

The Straight Pill

Written by Mitchell

I’ve always wondered if there was any way of “turning” straight. If there was some sort of magic pill or vaccine which instantly caused some light to go off in your head and suddenly you’re heterosexual. And then I wonder…if this pill existed, would I take it?

I’ve always been very much determined to prove that the homosexual part of me was a very small part of my personality and that there was so much more to me than just being gay. And it’s true.

Jessica thinks it is weird that I am not really that much of a sexual person. I mean, I can be. I am human after all. But compared to most, I almost sound like a nun. I hardly ever look at porn, I can’t really even write or say the “m” word let alone do it, the notion of sex just exhausts me and I don’t really find a penis attractive to look at. That being said, at least they don’t actually scare me, like vaginas do. Notwithstanding, I wouldn’t say that I was driven by my sexual preference as a person in any way.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to fit in with the gay world while also trying to prove my own identity, break the trends and not spend a lot of my time focusing on it. Six months ago I wouldn’t have dreamed of starting a blog based around gay issues. Beyond gay bars (which act as a safe haven for gay people in a dangerous intoxicated environment) I always thought it was silly having gay clubs within universities, a gay radio program, gay bookstores etc. All that stuff promoted segregation to me; the notion that we were somehow different from straight people and needed a specialised version of everything.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to have a chance to reach out to other gay people like me. The ones who knew they were gay and were proud of being gay, but also ones who don’t believe that this is the sole framework of their personality. Ones who don’t wear make-up but accept those guys that do. Ones who don’t do drag but support it as an artform. Ones who cannot escape the relentless “is he/isn’t he” from co-workers, because there’s never quite a clear indication. Ones whose girl friends get angry that they can’t pick out a decent designer pair of heels within a mountain of shoes, nor do they find this kind of shopping enjoyable.

I’ve got a little brother. He’s ten. Obviously he is much too young for his sexual identity to reveal itself for sure, but I think most signs indicate that he is straight. He doesn’t play with girls toys in the department stores and he doesn’t memorise and perform spice girl lyrics (I suppose it would be Lady Gaga these days). Not that this means anything, but it’s all I can really go on at this stage.

I am glad and happy for him and to be honest, though I would support him, I would hope that he isn’t gay. Because while I am proud of myself and the person I am, growing up as a gay person is a frightening and lonely battle, where the future never seems as laid out as their straight counterparts. My theory is that people are born gay for a reason. It’s often the ones with the most potential. Strong willed and determined people. We are dealt this hand to play because we are the only ones strong enough to deal with it. It is almost a sort of test, to an extent. By overcoming my battle with coming out and becoming comfortable with my own sexuality, it has made me fearless. It didn’t kill me after all, and I now know that no matter what life throws at me, I can get through it.  I don’t think I would have been so optimistic about life, if I hadn’t conquered my sexual identity as a young adult.

I think straight people have it a lot easier. And sometimes I wish that I had been born straight. It’d make life a lot easier. Perhaps then I would be comfortable to hang out with straight guys and talk about the footy at work, I’d be able to relate more to my dad, I wouldn’t be asked all the time if I have a girlfriend (because maybe I’d actually have one haha). But to answer my own question, if there was a “straight pill” that I could take to make me heterosexual – I wouldn’t take it. If I did take it, I just wouldn’t be me. And saying that I want to take a straight pill would be implying that I’m not happy being me. I’d rather live with the pressures and everything barriers of being a gay person than be anybody else. And I think most gay people would say the same too.

Let me know if you’ve ever wished that you could just wake up straight. Do you still think that way? In my next post, I will be switching things up a bit, and shedding light on the opposite situation. Until next time, keep being you.  🙂

Ten Things I Love About Mitchell

Written by Jessica-Lee

In the spirit of love and friendship, I now present to you some of my favourite things about Mitchell, my Diamond.

1. His warm fuzzy heart. Mitchell and I are basically the same person. We have the same thoughts on most things and are both sensitive old souls.

2. His face. Mitchell has a very cute little face that he emphasises when he wants something because he knows that I can’t say no to him. My favourite is when I am making purchases at the petrol station, supermarket or such and he spots a lolly of some kind that he wants or is thirsty and wants me to buy him a drink. I imagine I endure the same kind of pressure as a mother with their young child. Except I have no willpower and he always gets what he wants.

3. His dedication and drive. Mitchell is one of the most motivated people I know. I mainly respect his willpower with exercise, healthy eating and budgeting because they are the areas I seem to struggle with myself.

4. All of the silly little things we share. Nonnie, links, ‘Jessica, you are not my wife!’ (we couldn’t get more ‘Will & Grace’ if we tried), canoodling, our dinners, chats, our intense love and care for each other and just how easy our relationship is.

5. His humour. Mitchell and I share the same humour and find the oddest of things hilarious. A lot of the time, our jokes are either at the expense of ourselves or other people but they are only ever made with the purest of intentions.

6. His messages, emails, phone calls, hey tells etc. Every day without fail I wake up to a good morning message from Mitchell and our communication basically doesn’t stop all day. I tell him everything.

7. I love that we have known each other just short of two years yet it feels like an eternity – in a good way. I am sure we knew each other in a past life. Mitchell is my twin soul or, as I ever so infamously told him one night, my link.

8. His love of certain celebrities. Mitchell is what I would call Jessica Mauboy’s number one fan. He has been known to check her positioning on the ARIA and iTunes charts daily, have a shrine in his room dedicated to her and whilst I complain about his competitiveness and obsessiveness over her, I secretly like her and have all her hits on my iPod.

9. He is the one person who I know I can rely on. For anything.

10. Mitchell is one of the best smelling people I know. I have a very strong love of scents and perfume so it’s something I hold dear. I have a select bunch of people who have distinct smells from the colognes they wear and Mitchell is no exception. Although he has a couple of aftershaves on rotation, there is one in particular that makes me feel at home.

And here, my most favourite photo of him looking his cheesiest. This is the face that makes me give in as mentioned above.

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Ten Things I Love About Jessica-Lee

Written by Mitchell
Since we are in the spirit of revealing a little more about ourselves today (even adding a photo or two), I thought I would share with you ten of my favourite things about my co-blogger, Jessica-Lee.

1)      Jessica is funny as hell! She has a sense of humour that I gel with really easily. It mostly centres on her hilarious observations of people and human nature.  She is also not afraid to laugh at herself and not take life too seriously.

2)      Jessica is protective, and to those close to her, she will defend you until the ends of the Earth. She will always have your back and her loyalty is something I know I can always count on.

3)      Jessica is one of those most forgiving people I have ever met. She can be easily hurt because she wears her heart on her sleeve, but if you give her time, she is more than likely to forgive you multiple times over. Forgiveness shows her grace and maturity.

4)      One thing Jessica and I uniquely share is our ability to reference extremely weathered D-grade celebrities and pop culture icons from the past. People who most people wouldn’t know or would have long forgotten about. One mention of Rowena Wallace, Prue McSween or Monica Trapaga has us in stitches!

5)      I love the little care packages Jess makes for me when I am feeling sad or grumpy.  Whether it’s a box of cupcakes or a little note, or even a bottle of Sealy’s Sugar Soap, she is the first to always be there to cheer me up with her little gifts. Of course, my favourite gifts from her are the hugs and genuine concern she shows me.

6)      The little sayings and catchphrases that Jess and I use make me love her all the more. It’s sometimes like we have our own language. “Very weathered’ and “sadly no” and “Nonnie” may sound very strange, but they are words we use hourly in general conversation.

7)      I love Jessica’s sentimentality. She is the type of person who keeps all her favourite photos pinned up on her wall, who saves favourite text messages and voice recordings in her phone and journals important events in her life. She understands that in the end life is nothing but precious memories, and preserves those memories better than anyone else I know.

8)      I love the fact that Jessica is the only person that I can bare to be on the phone to non-stop for over an hour. Time seems to fly when I’m talking to her.

9)      Jessica’s cartoon features! One of my favourite past-times is taking hilarious photos of Jess. She complains, but I know deep down she loves it! Bad angles, shots by surprise, I have hundreds. Jess’ expressions are absolutely hilarious and I can’t look at photos of her without laughing.

10)   Jessica always has my best interests at heart, and I know that seems like such a basic thing, but it’s also the most important. Too many people in this world are interested in only what they can gain from a situation or what is at stake for them. Jess cares only about her friend’s interest. Sometimes, she cares even a little too much for her friends and puts their happiness before her own. It’s a trait that I adore about her and she inspires me to adopt a much more  selfless attitude myself.

I leave you with one of my favourite pictures of my Nonnie, Jessica-Lee.

Rubies, Pearls, Emeralds, Sapphires, Opals & One Special Diamond

Written by Jessica-Lee:

I often get asked what is the appeal of having gay friends and also why I have so many of them. To answer it shortly, I love their company.

If we were to delve into it a little further, I would tell you that I think they’re funnier, more fun to be around and that a night spent with their straight counterparts (male or female) just isn’t quite the same.

And if we really wanted to scrape the barrel, I might end up admitting that I have secretly wished I was a gay man on more than one occasion. Hell, my CD and DVD collection proves this theory alone!

You see, I have been around them since I was a little girl and – if we’re really being honest – growing up, all I wanted was a gay best friend. And I wanted my relationship with said best friend to be like the one between Will and Grace. That special friendship with someone who loves you to the moon and back, would do anything for you and who you just click with. Kind of like a marriage – but kind of not.

I’ve started comparing my gay friends to being like a jewellery collection. There is one for almost every occasion or mood! And, of course, there is that extra special one for every day – he is the diamond. The rarity in the world and the constant in my life.

And what was it Marilyn said about diamonds being a girls best friend?

My Diamond is the most lovely boy I am sure I will ever know. Our friendship just is and it just works.

I have been to three Mardi Gras parades in Sydney (cried during the majority of my first one), a number of Pride parades, seen countless drag shows, been the only girl in the room more times than I’d care to admit, spent literally thousands of hours within the confines of gay bars and nightclubs.

I have had dear friends, good friends, party friends and people who I’ve loathed and who have hated me just as much. I have – not all at once – danced on a club stage in Sydney wearing a hot pink cowboy hat a flower hanging out my mouth, had photos taken with pink feathers pinned to my hair and full drag make-up, worn a shirt embroidered with the name of a very famous gay nightclub in silver sequins, decorated my car with shiny disco balls, had Pride rainbow flags decorating my room.

I think it’s easy to see that this is a community that I feel very strongly about. It’s my home in a sense.

It’s a community that has been my life for a number of years and one that I am defiantly proud of. I will argue gay rights and marriage equality with anyone who cares to disagree with me. I will protect and nourish my close friends to the lengths of this earth. I am a fiercely loyal friend and I have a strong maternal instinct. I have a lot of friends but there is a very select bunch who I hold extremely dear.

I literally believe that my friends are the family I have hand-picked for myself. I do not know what I would do without you. You make me smile, laugh and cry.

So I want to take this opportunity and dedicate my first blog to all my wonderful friends. I want to say thank you to you all – near and far. To the ones living interstate and overseas, I love and miss you.  And to my Diamond… You are my world and my sunshine.