The Love is Love campaign is something that is incredibly close to my heart.
I grew up in a household where many of our friends and family identified as LGBTQI+. My Aunt was in a committed relationship with another woman, my Uncle always had a boyfriend and until the age of 10, I didn’t know other people could be unaccepting of this ‘lifestyle’.
When I was 10, my Aunt dropped me off at school. My Aunt is an extremely well respected Doctor, naturopath and an amazing woman who loved me like her own child. This one specific day she walked me to my classroom, hugged me goodbye and I walked to my desk. One of the girls in the class watched this interaction, walked over stared me dead in the eyes and called me a ‘Lezzie Lover.’ Now, I didn’t know what that was, but it got me angry enough that this calm placid child to immediately punch her in the face.
Within minutes, I sitting in the Principals office waiting room eating a Mars Bar. The girl I had punched was in the sick bay with ice on her face, she was suspended for a week and her parents had been called. No one had reprimanded me. I had been given an icepack for my hand and chocolate bar and no one had called my parents. I thought I was in so much trouble, but I was allowed to finish my Mars Bar and was sent back to class. Nothing more was said about it and I never talked to that girl again.
This is my first real memory of fighting hate that I just didn’t understand.
I’m now in my 30’s and I look at my aunts, who for the record, are still together and my friends in my life who identify and I struggle to understand how in 2017, Australia, a country who are all for equality and a fair go, how this fight is still happening.
In September 2017, I watched a VOTE NO ad on free to air TV and it made me want to punch my parents-in-law TV. My reflex of fighting hate came back again. I told my partner I wanted to fundraise for the Yes Campaign. He nodded and said ‘sounds about right.’ Within days, we had some jewellery made up and we were selling them online.
I received my first batch of hate mail within the week. I even got called the magic C-Bomb. I had angry emojis put on my Love is Love posts. I had a repeat customer try to return all the jewellery they had previously purchased saying she thought I was ‘family friendly.’ Um, wasn’t I?
In response, I upped the stakes. I increased my advertising, created a broader range and pushed it out to influencers. The more rainbows, the more love and the more support Marriage Equality Campaign.
To my friends, my family, my people I say this to you – I will fight for you. I will fight all hate with love, I will fight it with rainbows and glitter because I know love always wins.