Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's Time to Kill Some Puppies.

No, it isn't.  Just like it isn't time to sell heroin to children, rob the elderly à la the opening scene in Mystery men or kidnap some nuns, force them to strip for nothing except torn up pages of their own bibles, shoved unceremoniously in their lacy underwear by the guys who come to your door and try to get you to sign over with their electric company.
It's just two people wedding each other; it's time to say yes to same-sex marriage.
In 1895, women (who were British subjects and 21 or over) were granted the right to vote in South Australia.  1895.  The first parliamentary elections in Australia were held in 1843.  That's fifty-two long years of women being classified as second-class citizens.  In 1962, the Commonwealth Electoral Act provided that Indigenous people should have the right to vote, though under Commonwealth legislation, it was illegal to encourage them to.  NINETEEN-SIXTY-WHAT-THE-FUCKING-TWO.  Not even sixty years ago.  I'm not going to digress down that particular road, because I'll be here writing for too many hours on end, but suffice to say Indigenous Australians are still struggling for equality, and so am I.
We struggle for different reasons, neither of them is more important than the other, and they are equally ridiculous.
This is 2013.  It's easy for people to sit in their living rooms with their moccasin-clad feet resting high on their matching poufs and tutt-tutt about how terrible it is that Aboriginals weren't allowed to vote until the 60s. 'Isn't it terrible, Mabel!  You'd think it was the seventeen hundreds!  Such antiquated and bigoted views!  I'm glad Australia sorted itself out; we really are the lucky country', takes a sip of red bought from a boutique winery in the Barossa worth $80 a pop.
'Oh yes, Nigel, I wholeheartedly agree... and by the way, Macy and Julie invited us over for dinner.'
'From next door?  The spinsters?'
'Well, yes, but they aren't spinsters, they're a couple; in fact I believe they were married last week.'
'Married?  How?  They're both women!'
At this point the couple stop what they're doing, look at each other and pause, then erupt in tittering laughter, like some pointy-nosed green bitch from the Wizard of Oz and an evil ho-hoing Santa.  Then they high five, each give their poufs a good kick in the ribs and then pick their teeth with the bones of baby bilbies.
Well, that's how I see it.
I don't care what your religious views are.  That's not to say I don't respect your beliefs, because I do.  I respect choice.  I have made mine; I don't shove it down people's throats, because I don't appreciate when they try to shove theirs down mine.  What I do care about is that other people's beliefs are standing in the way of me being treated equally, in this so-called 'lucky' country.
The WA School Education Act states that the curriculum and teaching in public schools is not to promote any particular religious practice, denomination or sect, and goes on to say that public schools provide a secular education to students and families from many different cultural backgrounds and faiths.  In NSW, parents can choose if they want their kids to attend religious instruction in school, and in ACT, parents have to actually request if they want their kid to receive it.  So, the free, public, available-to-all education that our country provides teaches kids that in these times, in our society, we don't identify as a particular faith, because we welcome beliefs from all walks of life and are tolerant to them all.
Then, little Johnny grows up, graduates from high school, falls in love with James, wants to spend his whole life with him but is told 'whaaaaaaat?!?!?! You two can't marry!!  The bible says so!'
Johnny furrows his brows and says 'what the fuck's a bible?' cos his family is atheist, and he was always taught in school that religion is a choice, but our nation does not force it on us...
I'm a good person.  I love kids, and they have always loved me, because I don't give a shit how I look and I'll be a dick in public if it makes them smile.  What's that?  You wanna play dragons in the supermarket aisles?  Well you better run, cos my wings are bigger than yours.  I volunteer in a prison once a week, helping the residents with literacy and numeracy (though I suck at long division).  I once rescued a baby plover (the birds I hate the most of all birds) from peril, as it had fallen in the gutter, even as its mother attacked me.  I am not a monster, I'm just in love with a woman when I also happen to be a woman.  Together, we own a house.  We donate to the Guide Dogs and the Australian Conservation Foundation.  We're good fucking people, goddam it, but we're treated like second-class citizens.
Why do I pay the same taxes as straight people?  I pay the same money for less rights.
Am I getting through to you yet?  No?  Then I'm guessing you're straight.  Try this: imagine that you are in love with someone of the opposite sex.  Imagine that you simply cannot picture your life without them.  Imagine that you feel like you've always loved them, and that you can't wait to see how cute they look with wrinkles.  You look at pictures of Paris and imagine you and them atop the Eiffel tower, wind whipping your hair around each other's faces as you embrace and whisper how perfect the moment is.  Like, seriously, this person is the shit.  Then, imagine that they only have one leg.  It doesn't matter to you; you don't even notice.  It's a non-event, beyond insignificant.  Who needs two legs?  You can get by with one.  It's just a leg.  A person's worth isn't defined by a leg, that's ridiculous.  Things are going great, and you decide to get married.  You become engaged, and it's the happiest day of your life.  You start planning your wedding.  Then, all of a sudden, you find out that you can't be married.  Two-leggers can't marry one-leggers, dummy!  E'rybody know dat!  Where you been living, under a rock?  No fucking way!  That would be an abomination!  You two are not normal, your relationship isn't natural.  I mean, if you want to be a couple, that's fine (make sure you tell centrelink so that they can pay you less though), but nooooooo, you don't get to be married.  That's only for the two-legger couples.  You can't believe it.  You see forward flashes of your life together, hanging out with all your two-legger married couple friends... you're all having fun, they think it's stupid too, but you always know, deep down inside, that in the eyes of your government, you are less than equal.
If you still don't get it, fuck off outta my blog, ya maggoty bigot.  Go on, get.
So, that was just some ranty stuff to ponder... now onto the nice stuff.
Anyhow, I proposed to Mercedes on Sunday at the Adelaide Roller Derby grand final.  Not gunna lie, I'm pretty chuffed with myself.  She is the queen of surprises, so I knew I had to go big.  She'd been nonchalantly dropping little hints for over a year, saying how her friend proposed to his girlfriend with a ring from a 20c machine, saying how a twisted up piece of straw would suffice, as long as it was circular, showing me stuff like this.  It was always accompanied by an assurance that there was no pressure, but I knew she was basically saying 'I'm ready when you are.'
The problem was that I just don't have the money for a traditional ring, you know, made of gold and with shiny rocks in it.  But, I knew it was time.  It felt so right; I'd never been more sure of anything in my life.  So, I got to thinking... I knew if I made her something, it would mean a lot more than if I bought something.  She'd shown me these cute robots, and we would like to get them tattooed.  So, I decided to draw the boy one on shrinky-dink paper and I got my beautiful friend Letta to help me make it into a ring.
As it happens, shrinky-dink paper can be a tricky business, so I had to make quite a few before I sorted out a good method.  I curled up a few first.  They came out of the oven like little circular robot wheels; I felt cruel throwing them away.  I made various sizes, colours and even one was on skates.  I then gave them to Letta to mount, and the game was away.
Bout day came and I woke up surprised that I had fallen asleep at all.  I still wasn't nervous, but I thought it was maybe cos it was still hours away.  Once at the showgrounds, I made sure everything was as it should be.  The commentators were prepared, Kit Cat had the ring that I'd chosen from the multitude poor Letta had to make, and a lovely bow tied around her neck.
We did the skate out, and the two teams playing first headed to their benches.  I hung around awkwardly, running over my lines in my head, and counting them out on my fingers.  The commentators were handing out a big novelty cheque to our chosen charity.  I finally started to feel my heart jumping in my chest, and I noticed I was shifting my weight from foot to foot and exhaling through pursed lips.
They finished the presentation.  Then Lori, our head commentator had the mic and walked over to me.  She handed it over and I headed into the crowd.  Kids I knew were in the front row; one of them looked up at me and said 'you're awesome', to which I replied 'YOU'RE awesome, now get outta my way.'  Behind me on the track, my whole team lined up on a knee as well.  I fucking love them.
Mercedes could tell I was heading for her, and her face said 'whaaaaaat are you doing?'  I reached her and didn't really know where to begin, so I introduced her to the whole crowd of approximately 2700 people.  A strange calm came over me and I looked deep into her eyes. Then, I took a knee and said 'baby...'
She gasped, and her hand flew to her mouth.  She began to cry, which was not my intention, but I was in too deep to stop by then.  I (as calmly and clearly as I could) recited the following words that I had written the week before, and practiced many times whilst delivering pizza:

You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,
I fell in love with you the moment we met.
You were everything I'd ever searched for,
and everything I could ever want for the rest of my life.
You're my best friend, my soul mate
and the woman I want to spend eternity with.
Will you marry me?

The crowd erupted.  I reached to Kit Cat for the ring, and it flew onto her finger like it was magnetic.  In the video, it looks like she's going 'gimme gimme' hehe...  She grabbed me and held me so tight that I didn't hear almost three thousand people, I just heard her telling me that she loved me.  If you'd like to see a video, it's here.
And that was that.  We already have received an incredible amount of support from so many people who tell us over and over how stupid it is that we can't legally be married.  Hopefully it's just a matter of time until we're seen as actual real human beings who deserve the same rights as everyone else.
It's been a while since I've written a post.  There is a reason for it, but now isn't the time to tell it.
Thanks for reading:)

P.S. The Salty Dolls won the grand final.  They played amazingly.  So did we, and it was close, but they ooched us out.  It was the most fun game I'd played in all year.  Afterwards, we partied until the wee hours, as a league, and it was perfect.  I love the absolute shit out of my team and league.  I've never played a sport before where that would happen.  We've had a bit of a rough year, and I couldn't have possibly been more proud of the team if we had've won.  Below is a pic of us after losing a game lol...

 Photos by Matt Walker and Suitcase Photography.