I am not going to use D&P as a political platform or to wax lyrical about why people should be voting yes, that should be clear enough to readers of this site, but because D&P is a site that I started because I believe in and love love, I really do think it would be remiss of me not to talk about some of the great love stories I have witnessed out of our fabulous LGBTI community.
I'll start by saying that I am a big fan of and have a big social network that is part of this community. A community that has welcomed me with open arms and full champagne glass to experience their community and support for each other. I am not going to lie it's full of fun parties and good booze and fantastic food and pardon the French, but not really, a f*ck load of the most magnificent people I am proud to call my friends. But above all, they are a community who want the same basic right as us heteros to marry the person that they love and be accepted in society as a legally married couple.
I get really passionate about this, because I have been friends with some of my LGBTI crew for over a decade, since we were twenty-something little, fun things enjoying life and many dance floors. As we have gotten older, we have all experienced love, loss and heartache but one thing that we have shared is our hope that we would find love, a meaningful relationship, a partner to share our lives with. My friends have nursed me through bad dates, periods of loneliness, periods of self-doubt and self-worth and now are people who me and my partner will share a million of our best memories with.
I will next year, watch one of my best friends marry the absolute love of his life. A friend who at the beginning of that relationship was treated so well by his suitor that he could hardly believe it was real, or fully grasp that someone was that into him. A man who every weekend goes to the markets and cooks up meals for them for the week so they can save for trips that would make you green with envy and nourish them through busy weeks of running a successful business and a hectic social schedule. A couple who I can't wait to watch live out their lives together because their lives are so much better because of each other.
Last year I also witnessed another one of the world's best people and fellow sea goat, fall in love. For years we would convene for Thursday date night over the phone with wine when I moved to Melbourne to chat life but a lot about love. He rode the high of me meeting my love and gave sound advice along the way and no more than a few months later we were sound boarding the exact same shiz for him. A guy who is as handsome as he is kind and caring, who has met someone who he travels the world with, makes memories with and wants and deserves to build their lives together.
Then there's my fave Melbourne boys, who when I made the decision to move here were incredible and generous with their time in making me feel so welcome. A couple who met while one of them was on a boys trip to Melbourne and proceeded a long distance relationship, before eventually starting life together in the same city. A couple who were committed to making a relationship work when distance made things tough and were dedicated to time and resources to keeping their relationship alive and well. A couple who have both now given up long and successful careers to start a fantastic business together, because to them, happiness and joy in life is more rewarding than a corporate dime, a couple who will succeed in all they do because they believe so much in each other.
There is the love story of all time that I get a couple of my friends to tell everyone new to them because it is that heart-warming and so funnily told by them. A story of Mardi Gras after parties and attempts to play hard to get. A story of bad timing, relationship ends and career moves, that turned into taking a chance and the best timing and subsequent proposals abroad and a marriage that is stronger than many that I know.
I was once at a party where I meet a couple and naturally asked the question of how they first met. They told me that they had been together for 18 years, that their families were friends but because of their families backgrounds were unable to share with them that they were a loving couple, rather than "best friends". That one of them moved to Melbourne the other following a while later so that they could live their lives together as a couple. A couple who have been together longer than most I know but are now enjoying their time together "out" so to speak. A true story of commitment and love at its most very finest.
I could go on and on with these kinds of stories. Loving, committed and monogamous couples in the LGBTI community are not the exception, they are the norm. I only wish that more Australians knew of these stories before we go to vote so we can all spread this love and end the vitriol that can sometimes surround this issue. Feel free to share yourselves!