It’s hard to know where to start with a post like this. Having just told my story in the previous blog post, I feel as though I’ve already given a good insight into this part of my life. At the same time, the previous post had very little to do with the referendum itself.
As the day draws nearer and nearer, I can’t help but feel disappointed that soon all the campaigning and support will come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to hopefully celebrating a step in the right direction, along with everyone else supporting a Yes vote.
My problem is that I don’t want the support to fade away as soon as the referendum is over. Seeing people sharing videos and pictures on Facebook in support of marriage equality has meant so much to me. From my close friends, fellow course mates, people from home; it truly has been an incredible experience to be a part of.
Every “like”, share or comment on my own statuses or on the statuses of others; every retweet; every single message of encouragement; it has all been phenomenal. I am extremely grateful on personal level but also on political level. There really is no reason this referendum shouldn’t pass and I’m delighted so many of you agree with me.
Apart from the obvious reason being that this referendum could potentially impact my life at some stage, I have many other reasons for wanting it to pass:
- Marriage is something that every child dreams of before they even know what the word “sexuality” means. Just because where initially they imagined themselves with someone of the opposite sex has now changed to imagining marrying someone of the same sex, that does not make them any less entitled or eligible for marriage.
- The only reason “traditional” marriage is seen to be that of a man and a woman is because that is what has been instilled in the minds of the youth. From nursery rhymes to fairytale stories, every happy ending involves a man and a woman falling in love and living happily ever after. If we simply rewrote these stories to involve same-sex partners, children would grow up thinking nothing different of LGBT couples.
- Thousands of people over the years who grew up in Ireland have had to move abroad to live fulfilled lives. They were unable to stay in Ireland and be themselves because Irish society frowned upon what made them different. If we treated every other minority group the way we have treated the LGBT community over the years, Ireland’s population would be heading towards extinction. The fact that Ireland is so open to embracing other cultures and ethnicities is what makes it so special. Why limit that openness?
- I’m sick to death of the word “tolerance”. I don’t want people to tolerate two men holding hands. I don’t want housemates to tolerate living with a gay student. I don’t want anyone to “tolerate the fact that I have a girlfriend. Marriage equality is a massive step towards acceptance and it cannot be underestimated. I want to be accepted as just another person in just another relationship. Not “that girl that has a girlfriend”. That gets old.
I want to know that in ten years time if I decide I want to marry the person I love, I can do so in the country I was born in. I want to know that the people I invite won’t have to worry about the cost of flying to a different country because I couldn’t get married in Ireland.
I hope that in ten years time if I do decide to get married, “gay marriage” and “same-sex marriage” are terms that won’t exist anymore. That my marriage won’t be considered a gay marriage or a straight marriage. It will just be my wedding day. Simple as that.