I remember the day that Australia legalised gay marriage. It was one of the best days of my life. The first thing I did after I cheered “we won! We won!” Up and down in my living room with my mother looking a bit frazzled at my excitement, was call my girlfriend at the time and cry alongside with her. The idea of us being able to turn our ‘what if we can get married’ to ‘what if we do get married?’ After celebrating my first pride and participating in the Say Yes march, the reward of acceptance was astronomical.
Of course, life isn’t as sweet as the best moment of your life. Often a day such as that brings out the hidden secrets that people close to you had hidden away. It still breaks my heart knowing the people who I considered family to be homophobic, wondering what would happen if they ever found out I date women. It did bring some new joys into my life, learning about my family who are gay, and how they are now in their older years living their best lives. It also brought out the joy in lots of couples in Australia, with the Bureau of Statistics recording 6,538 same-sex couples getting married in 2018 alone.
I have always wanted to get married, and I still very much do. In my adolescences, I fell in love with any girl who gave me the time of day as any young gay woman does. Often this lead into very childish heartbreak, but it also lead to a lot of learning and rebellion I could only experience as a 15 year old. Even if rebelling was being caught kissing a girl in a school carpark after hours by a teacher. It almost lead us into suspension. Even still, I’m very grateful that my fears were minimal, and I didn’t have to worry about being kicked out of home.
April 26th is Lesbian Visibility Day in Australia, and for a very long time I didn’t know that we had a date like that. Of course, I knew we had pride and Mardi Gras and even fringe festival, but I didn’t think that a date to celebrate just lesbians ever existed. When I first came out at around the age of 13, I didn’t know how to be proud of myself. Every time I told one of my friends, I would get the regular comments being unsure and dismissive. It took a lot of self search and love to find my ground in who I am and step into the world being proud of who I am. Even though the date started since 2008, I never noticed people or lesbians talk about it. But now, as I’m older and advocating as best as I can, I am noticing the pride in my friends and others on social media. It takes one person to even mention the date publicly for others to follow suit and if I was exposed to this date more when I was younger, it would’ve been my own personal holiday.
I can’t express the joy of seeing lesbians overcome with pride within themselves brings me. The first ever pride event I went too made me feel warm and, funnily enough, proud. Seeing my friends post on the 26th of April being proud in dating their girlfriends and showing off their gay art and just being themselves, reminds me that I am amongst some of the most incredible people out there. I love seeing them talk about their child self, and reassuring who they once was that everything is going to be okay. I love knowing that the next generation are going to grow up just that little more safer and happier with role models and safe spaces to express themselves and be who they are. Something so simple as a date, means the world to so many people including myself.
Written by Madison Hart
Madison Hart is a queer writer, poet, and performer. She has worked within Adelaide’s Feast Festival and with a recent bachelors certificate, will continue to work in the creative field closely with queer artists.
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