From the moment I realised what love and marriage was, I have always thought that one day I would marry, the fact that I was attracted to boys never stopped me. As a child I always would talk about “when I get married” knowingly it would be to another boy.
I always thought Australia would be one of the first to legalise same sex marriage and as time goes on, my heart sinks- to think that we are not as forward thinking as I once hoped we would be, even back in 1980.
I have always been a romantic and I feel Love the same way any heterosexual person does.I cannot see how the leaders of this country have never been able to acknowledge and take action I even had a relationship with that lasted longer than my own parents marriage.
I am disappointed in the Governments that have and now run this country, why after all these years are we still fighting for such a basic right?. I have jokingly said in the past that gay people should not pay tax or make divorce for heterosexuals ILLEGAL.. until we are granted the right to marry afterall why should every other aspect of my life be acknowledged but my desire to marry?.
As a three year old in the sandpit, I still remember the moment that I wanted to marry a boy and it felt natural and very normal. I knew that boys did not marry boys but I thought by the time I grew up that it would be allowed to happen.
I was born in Sydney,I pay tax, I fill out the census, I am legally punishable should I commit a crime, I am responsible for my actions and I vote. I am a hard working Nurse in the NSW public health sector and currently I am not able to legally marry in my birth country of Australia.The same government who expects me to contribute as a person, does not feel that my right to same sex marriage is deserving of any recognition.
If anyone had told me at the time that it would not be legal in Australia in 2011, I don’t think I would have accepted it.That was 31 years ago and very sadly Australia does not lawfully allow for me to marry the man of my dreams. I may be single at the moment but I fully support and encourage for marriage equality for same sex couples in Australia and I still have that hope and dream in my heart from all those years ago.
To our Government I say to you, Its not too late.. stand up and show that we are a country that is taking the steps forward to make all of its citizens equal and that we are a country that is accepting and embracing of same sex marriage.
NOTE: I have written this post in great haste as I am due to be at work in 45 minutes.. helping to bring new babies into the world until dawn… It is my hope the babies coming into the world in 2011 will never have to be a part of this ongoing fight for equality, but study it in schools and it bewilder them as in their time same sex marriage would be legal.
" You are not a victim, but a lesson to us" - Lady Gaga in reference to Jamey’s death
Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14 year old boy ,a child, who took his life because he was tormented and bullied for being gay. I didnt have to know Jamey Rodemeyer to feel the empathy of what he went through nor to feel the sadness at his death.
Music can be a powerful tool in how it can affect our moods and what we learn in life. Now the internet seems to be a powerful tool amongst teenagers and is being used as a weapon to ultimately and destroy self esteem cause humiliation on literally a global scale. Bullying is becoming scarier and with the internet being a protective barrier for the bullies and big old red target for the vulnerable.
I can identify with Jamey how Lady Gaga helped him to get to the point where he did - before his death. I just wished that he was able to have continued to fight on. As the media keep mentioning… ” It didnt get better for Jamey”.
Jamey’s death made me cry and I have spent the last week reflecting on my own experiences of being gay in high school and how I was bullied. Kids have been and continue to be bullied and very heartbreakingly take their lives.
Growing up can be a blissful experience for many but for others the road can be a slightly more difficult path. Music tends to become a huge part of our childhoods in some ways its a tool to learn about the world and can be the only avenue for some to feel validated by how they see and how they are affected by the world.
I would revert to listening to music that made me happy and luckily for me the 90’s provided pop fairy floss that aided me in lifting my moods when required. Madonna helped to heal my heart by writing songs about her own experiences with the death of her Mother.. and Kylie & Dannii sang with happiness Love and always hopefulness. In my instance they were amazing role models where the family around me lacked in teaching me about the world and life.
When I was Jamey’s age I was 14,I had suffered sexual abuse, my parents separated, my older half sister had been taken to live with her real father. I would have to help with a sick and aging single parent, at 13 I was orphaned ( 10 months apart), living with the grief of their deaths, moved from my childhood home to a new school and new town and was living with family members whom considered me more of a burden than anything else. I was experiencing the early and ongoing battles of weight gain and I my sexuality was starting to be come identifiable. I was always taught in a very harsh way that my life was not the worst and I accepted that. I felt left to my own devices by the remaining family members whom where “doing their duty” to raise me and my sister. Abuse was rampant and very alarmingly accepted in my family and I was forced to grow up faster than I ever hoped or imagined.
As I hit high school I was becoming more outward in my sexuality, puberty had struck and more deeply introverted in character as to not draw attention to myself and like Jamey- I had female idols who’s music inspired me and made my world a better place. In 2011 it was Lady Gaga for Jamey and the Minogue sisters for me. I was tormented for even being a Minogue fan but always stood strong and proud.
In my school people also realised that Kylie and Dannii Minogue were becoming a gay icons and whom ever uttered their names or covered their school folders with their pictures like I did unapologetically, were prime targets for bullying. The quieter ones who associated with me would also suffer the slurs, It was gay by association. I was never outwardly flamboyant but I was thoughtful,respectful to my peers and to adults.I could be crippled in my shyness and sensitivity. However I did come with shoulder length thick curly hair that made permed women green with envy (that is the only thing i miss about my school days now).
Somehow I was voted onto student council every single year and the teachers would go on to elect me to be the sole student representative for the school council. I was respected by many and hated by many. I would never confirm nor deny my sexuality because as a teen I felt I did not want to nor have to. The time I chose to reveal it would be doing and it was not that I was ashamed of who I was, I felt that it was the only control I had at the time.
In years 9,10 and 11 I was with the popular group and I even had one point had a girlfriend. Everyone in that group knew I was gay without me having to say it. I think my girlfriend did too, at times but she was in love with Craig the person, not Craig the sexual preference. Needless to say I broke her heart and the other couples we hung out with went on to marry, are still married and have children.
I had notes put into my locker ” We all know you are a FAG” , “You will die from Aids” and after my exams one day I was one of the last ones to leave the exam room to collect my bag from outside the hall. I saw everyone staring at the wall, during the exam older kids had depicted me in drawings, in sexual positions with my friends whom they assumed too were gay. The WHOLE entire year had seen it and I didn’t cry but was embarrassed and worse my friends were dragged into it. The school did NOTHING ABOUT IT nor could they identify the handwriting all over it.I tried so hard to hide this from my family and at the age of 16 I came out. It was not looking for acceptance nor sympathy I told them that this is how it was and this is how it will be. I was still and will always be Craig as you know me now. My sexuality was also a part of me not who I was nor shall it be the only thing I would be known for. I refused to let this happen and I think still to this day I was able to be like this as I was one of the lucky ones whom had realised from a tender age that I will not marry the girl from the rich family as my dad had predicted, but a gentle and loving man. I wished that Jamey had felt that he too was entitled to feel this contentment. I recall the school showing concern as the end of year 11 was coming closer and the nominations for school captain were approaching. I was pegged as becoming atleast vice captain and primed by a few of my teachers. The only notice that the school took from the cartoons on the wall incident was that to have a gay captain or vice captain could be a mistake there was a negotiation that I would stay on the school council role and act in an advisory role to the new captains.. NO DEAL. I refused every school role offered to me and left the school instead. They couldn’t guarantee my safety nor would they take gay bullying head on. I cannot deny there were times in my teenage years when suicide crossed my mind.. There were days when I felt defeated, where I cried, prayed my Mum and Dad would come back and save me. I was angry that they were taken away from me. My mother was not their to once again help and assist me to take on my bullies like she had done with an older boy who had abused me when I was 5 years old. She unknowingly stopped one of his sexual attacks.
My own acceptance came from me wholeheartedly believing in a simple but powerful rule and belief that- I have paid for my ticket in this life, just like everybody else. I am not that different nor shall I be negated for being who I am.
I am sickened to think that there are people out there who are STILL making fun of Jamey even in the week since his passing.Nobody ever really knows how another is and can be suffering. It seems that to not cope is a sign of weakness and is shameful to some to admit. I personally think what is shameful is that bullying is not a punishable by law in this world.
I really do hope and pray that there is justice for Jamey and that the people who helped contribute to his bullying are made examples of and shown to the rest of the world that this not acceptable and as in actual life be accountable for their actions. This child need not have died nor shall be forgotten, like the other thousands of kids who have also taken their lives. My heart goes out to his family and to all that loved him.
I cannot help but have a heavy heart when I think about Jamey and nor can I shake that initial feeling of … That could have been me 20 years ago.