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Meet the family

By Stuart Horrex - posted Thursday, 1 September 2016

My fiancé and I have been together for over 20 years.

In the ultimate expression of modern romance we amended our Facebook status to 'engaged' one day about 5 years ago. Why? It was becoming increasingly awkward to explain our situation, and our relationship, in hetro-normative terms.

Today, when I say I'm engaged the first question people generally ask is, "When are you getting married?" "Oh" I say, "we've been together over 20 years, and we'll get married as soon as it's legal."


Then I stand back, watch the double take blink, and wait for the cogwheels to slowly turn. It's a small political act, challenging people's assumptions and unconscious (sometimes conscious) biases.

More often than not I'll get one of two reactions. There's the standard 'some of my best friends are gay.'

Isn't it great to have allies?

Another common response, and a much more uncomfortable question for both of us is "why don't you go overseas and get married there?"

I, like my fiancé, am an Australian citizen, so the natural question is, why should we be forced to leave our own country to get married? Would you? Especially when the certificate we carry home has no legal standing or recognition when we return?

There's plenty of commentary available about the Marriage Equality debate. I was drawn to Hannah Gadsby's posting late last week where she talked about her personal experiences growing up in the 90s and her quite justified fears the upcoming plebiscite will create an "open season for hate".


It will.

I grew up in the late 70s, early 80s. Mine was a meat and three veg, Sunblest white bread world (home delivered, just like the milk).

The only queers I ever saw were either objects of fun and ridicule like Benny Hill's characters, John Inman's Mr Humphries, and Dick Emery caricatures. There were also the arch queens like Kenneth Williams or Quentin Crisp; sharp, bleak, and sometimes bitter. Or there were the victims. To be pitied certainly, but it was made clear they did really bring it all upon themselves. Meek and afraid, bashed for having AIDS and destined to be saved by Johnny Depp on 21 Jump Street.

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About the Author

Stuart is a Deputy National President of the Australian Democrats, and currently serves as the party National Secretary.

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