Tomorrow in Ireland, May 22nd, we will be voting on a marriage equality referendum, to decide whether people of the same sex can get married, legally, not just a civil partnership, but share the same legal rights as any other married heterosexual couple in this country.
I myself have struggled with my sexuality silently and alone for the past couple of years. Growing up I was told that I would find the perfect man to marry someday, someone who would take care of me and be the perfect husband and that’s all great, but what if I don’t want a husband? What if I want a wife? Which is something that can be possible for me if the outcome of tomorrow’s referendum is how I hope it is, with marriage equality for us all.
I had a feeling deep down inside when I was about sixteen or seventeen that I was attracted to both men and women, and I struggled about whether to tell anyone about it, or to keep it to myself. I told someone I thought I trusted only to have them joke about the subject and I found myself completely regretting the decision to ever think about opening up to my loved ones about how I felt.
When my mother sat me down and jokingly said that if I liked girls it was okay, seeing as I was forever single, I felt a deep sense of relief in knowing that my mother would accept me and everything about me, but ultimately I didn’t have the guts to open up and tell her the truth, so I laughed it off and said of course I’m not gay.
Over the past few weeks of seeing the Vote Yes posters and the Vote No posters, I’ve been passionately posting online and debating with people about why voting yes is so important to so many people, talking about how there are people in this country that deserve to marry the ones they love, without ever considering that I was campaigning for myself. I realised yesterday that in the leadup to the vote, I needed to speak up, I needed to tell my family and friends because now was the best time to do it.
I realised this when a picture of my friend Dominic and his boyfriend Calvin popped up onto my Facebook timeline, they are so happy and this is evident from their pictures.
I had been debating within myself whether or not I wanted to write a blog post about this issue, never thinking I would be talking about my own experiences within the post.
Growing up I have heard a lot of opinions, a lot of negative opinions towards those in the LGBT community and I argued with many people on their behalf, passionately opposing opinions I didn’t agree with all the while deep down I was doing it for myself. I am bisexual, I am attracted to both men and women and there is NOTHING wrong with that. I have been nervous about telling people this, I know people who don’t agree with voting yes and that is fine, that is their opinion, but to try and stop me and everyone in this country who wants to marry the person they love is wrong, everyone is equal, whether you love a man, a woman, or both. They are opposing equality, thinking that what we are is disgusting, well I think they themselves are disgusting.
I’ve also heard from people that bisexuals aren’t real. That we’re merely greedy and cannot make up our mind on which sex we’re attracted to and I think that is, excuse my language, bullshit. Who are you to tell me I can’t be attracted to both men and women? What gives you to right to oppress me and tell me how I feel is wrong? You have no right to do so and that is why this vote is so important.
I’m not here to make the No side feel guilty because ultimately they have the right to their opinion, they have their right to vote and if they wish to vote No then that is their constitutional right, but if you’re on the fence, I beg of you to read the facts and make your decision wisely. This vote has absolutely nothing to do with children, something the no side are pushing on people, gay people can already adopt, nothing about the adoption process is going to change.
The only thing that will change is that members of the LGBT community will have the same legal rights within their marriage as any herterosexual couple has, it will no longer be a ‘civil partnership’.
For everyone saying, sure they already have civil partnership, why do they need marriage. You are what is wrong with this country, if we have civil partnership, why NOT give us marriage, you’re saying it’s basically the same thing so why not vote yes and let it be the same, let everyone have the same legal rights within their marriage, again children aren’t affected by this, stop shoving false information into everyone’s face. It is about marriage, that is all..
If this has not changed your mind, then that is fine, as I said you have the right to vote whichever way you want, but I hope that by Saturday I’ll be allowed marry a girl in the future if that is what I want. So what if I have the choice to marry a man or a woman, at the end of the day it is exactly that, my CHOICE.
My future marriage is not going to affect you yourself or your marriage, so why not give me the right to marry the person I love?