STRIVING for marriage equality is more than just letting a same-sex couple say “I do” – it’s about sending a message to all Australians that inequality in our country is unacceptable.
It’s about breaking down the barriers for future generations and letting our children know that bullying is not ok, that they can be who they know they are without persecution or fear of being targeted.
Growing up in my early teenage years I battled with accepting my sexuality. There was never any question in my mind about being gay, however I did question whether it would be safe to be open about it without suffering constant bullying and discrimination.
I had girlfriends, who in later years became girls that were friends, however it always felt like a constant lie. I could liken the feeling to a sin.
I then decided the hurt of being bullied and discriminated against could not match the constant hurt of lying to everyone I loved, so I became open about my sexuality.
At this time I faced mockery and a lot of negative reactions due to my decision to be openly gay, however I learnt to ignore it all and built up an emotional wall to protect myself.
The problem with building this wall was that it blocked out everyone, my parents, my siblings, my aunts, uncles, grandparents and other loved ones.
So when people say it only effects homosexuals they are completely wrong.
Allowing inequality in our community does effect the majority, whether it be directly or indirectly.
Unfortunately not everyone has the ability to stand up and be strong when faced with this sort of discrimination, so it’s at this point people turn to their community leaders and ask those leaders to stand up for their rights. Their right to feel equal and their right to the same opportunities as their peers.
This is what we are seeing now, everyday Australians calling on their state and federal members to listen and to perform the duty that they were put in office to do – serve the needs of their constituents.
Too often now we are seeing members of state and federal parliament “shut-off” from the voices of the public.
We are seeing responses from MPs and senators saying that their response to your issue is on their website, with no consideration of what you have to say.
Trevor Khan stands strong and proud, not just for gay rights, but for equality throughout society, so in the future we may see less bullying, less discrimination and greater harmony in our community.
Being a rural-based member of Parliament Trevor sends a message to the community that where you’re geographically located doesn’t change whether it’s right or wrong to discriminate against certain groups within the community.
Mr Khan’s support is a clear message to our local and federal members that it is time to start listening, time to start taking action and time to start promoting true equality in our region.