Australia: What it feels like being forced to defend your love and family

Natalie Macken and Nicole Kersh (pictured above) are partners in life, story and business. They’re currently getting their ‘L-Plates’ in motherhood and building a storytelling agency, The Content Folk. Below, they share why they’ve lost their patience when it comes to equality. 

Last weekend in The Botanic Gardens, we found ourselves unsolicited spectators of a wedding ceremony. We were happy for them. We recognised a part of ourselves in their story but we also saw the difference; he loves a woman and she loves a man. Who you love doesn’t negate the love – rendering a love as lesser, does. The irony is, love’s the one thing we all have in common; we all know what it feels to love and the value of it doesn’t exist in a vacuum.

With the nod to going postal, hate has now become a spectator sport. This very public game of ‘spot the difference’ is causing more harm than acceptance ever will. This is personal. This is our life and our love – not a popularity contest that arrives in your letterbox. Up until this point, we just believed society would shift.

In waiting for equality, we used to have patience, we used to have good will and we used to have hope that by 2017, we’d be equal. Instead, we’re feeling a polarising difference and vulnerability that follows us everywhere we go. As we walk through the streets, we wonder how many of our neighbours, colleagues and passersby have the power to shape our future.

As the days roll on, this debate veers more off-course with the point of contention debased to a conflating hypothetical of hate. Gone are the concessions of civilised discourse. This is homophobia; blatant, deep, long-reaching, pervasive and toxic. If we strip away the excess, we’re actually fighting for the same thing – the right to protect the sanctity of our experience of love. The actual question at hand is simple – ‘Hey Australia, do you believe in equality: Yes or No?’

When you package all the propaganda into a tidy little nugget, the commonality is fear. Fear that with ‘counterfeit’ women using the same toilets, we’ll see a rise in rapists. Fear that children of gay parents will suffer demeaned childhoods. Fear that ‘rainbow politics’ will pervade into schools. Fear that saying ‘yes’ to same sex marriage will be the fray that leads to the unraveling of decency and decorum. Fear that school will tell your son it’s OK to wear a dress. Read more via Women's Agenda