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Saturday, 16 May 2015

Vote For Me

May 22nd is just a few days away.  After Friday you guys won’t have to listen to me pleading with you to vote or listen to my reasons as to why you should vote Yes.  You won’t have to say ‘I’m sick of this referendum’ or for those of you not saying it I know you are thinking it. 

If you know me, you will know that I probably had the easiest coming out ever.  My mother practically dragged me out of that closet.  I remember getting ready for a Pride march and she was insistent on coming with me.  I begged her not to and told her she would make a show of me and that none of my friend’s mothers would embarrass their child like that.  What I wouldn’t do to have her here beside me now.  If she was alive she would be out screaming about equality for her child and wearing her YES badge with pride.  She would Vote For Me.

My dad was great, he never made me feel any different to my siblings.  My brother and sister never batted an eyelid.  I always felt ‘normal’.  It was never an issue, which is probably why I never had a problem telling anyone I was gay.  The only discrimination I really remember feeling was way, way back.  I was about 12/14 years old.  A kid I was hanging around with spray painted a six foot wall with a poem.  This poem was quite creative but extremely hurtful and made reference to me having balls (you know who you are) and not the kind you juggle.  That poem stood there for many years, reminding me that I was different to the others.

Bar that incident I have never felt discriminated against.  That was until this year.  I have been with my partner for nine years.  In those nine years we have been committed to each other.  She has been my family since the day we moved in together. To hear people speak publically about whether I should or should not be able to marry the woman I love is causing me great pain.  I say pain because that is exactly what it is.  I feel hurt and angry and most of all discriminated against.  I should be able to marry my partner.  My partner and I are not going to redefine your marriage.  We have had the joy of being pregnant and suffered the loss of losing children.  We are not going to run out and find a surrogate to have a child for us.  Surrogacy law doesn’t even exist in Ireland.  If I want to adopt a child tomorrow I can.  Being married to my partner doesn’t change that. 

Families with same sex parents exist already.  Civil Marriage for same sex people won’t change this either.  Gay people are going to continue to have children.  The Child and Family Relationship Bill which was brought into effect last month already protects these families so Voting No won’t stop these families being created and that’s what they are, they are Families.

I have cried over this referendum and am so afraid that this will not pass.  I spend my days trawling through articles both for and against a Yes vote and continue to feel fearful.  As I drive to the local shop I see these awful posters that the No campaign are putting up and wish I could just look away.  I feel, for the first time in my life, like a second class citizen.  I know this doesn't mean as much to some people as it does to me and I know I am filling your news feed with Yes articles but it is because this means so much to me.  This is my life. This is my partners life.  This could be your child's life, your sisters or brothers life.  But for me, it is my life and its now. 

That is why I am asking you, all my family, all my friends and anyone who knows me, to Vote For Me.  Please Vote For Me.  The divorce referendum won by only 9000 votes.  That equates to 1 vote per polling station.  One Vote.  So don’t think your vote won’t make a difference, it may make all the difference in the world.  Well it will in my world.  Please Vote, Vote For Me.