Environmentalist, feminist, bad-assist, LGBTI community member (AKA person) and all-round wonderful human Emma Hunt felt hurt by the announcement of the Australian Government’s postal plebiscite on marriage equality. Once she emerged, like a butterfly, from her self-declared ‘cocoon of fury’ she eloquently explained what’s going on and how we can all help out …Image by Dallas Clayton
The announcement of the upcoming postal plebiscite at the start of this week was hurtful and heartbreaking, but I am finally ready to come out of my cocoon of fury. I have had a couple of messages from people this week confused about the schmozzle that is this plebiscite and I’m hoping I can offer a couple of points on this issue (in the most chilled manner I can muster).
To our allies – I have had so many beautiful messages and check-ins from the amazing supportive humans around me. (Thank you so much and keep spreading that magical love all over the place.) If you have any LGBTI people in your life, now’s the time to check in on them or give a great big consensual embrace to anyone needing it.
This is an exhausting, difficult and daunting time for many Australians whose rights to marry the one they love is the subject of a popularity contest.
There are some LGBTI people out there who don’t have the same privilege to a supportive and loving network of people like I do. This will be a really scary time for them and this is why we need to vote. It angers me to engage with this optional, non-binding, opinion poll – but, if we boycott this plebiscite then we are contributing to the “no” campaign. We need to cast our YES votes to send a clear message, not only to this government but to the LGBTI people who have been subject to discrimination all their lives, those who are too scared to come out and all of us who are about to see and hear a lot of nasty comments coming out of the “no” campaign.
This is where I need all of my straight and cisgender mates to help out and start spreading your YES message. There will be many people who can’t be bothered participating or hate getting involved in politics. Help encourage these people to partake. They may not directly know anybody who is affected by this, but if they receive enough reinforcement from others – whether it’s on the socials or a chat in the office – they might just be swayed to make a positive contribution to history with a big ol’ tick in the YES box. Spread the love everywhere, post it, talk about it, attend rallies – (these are all important ways in encourage participation in this voluntary plebiscite.)
The 24th of August is a very important date. Mostly because it’s my sister’s birthdayy (cough: littleWren’s own co-editor Sonya), but also because you must be enrolled and have your details up to date by this day if you want to have your say. Ballot papers won’t be sent out until September and there is currently legal action against the plebiscite but, in the unfortunate case that this action fails, we need to be prepared now. You can update your details here.
My Aussies living abroad – it looks like you can register here. However, one of my friends said this may take her longer than the 13 days we have, which is very much BS if that’s the case.
Also, the government may have gone and stuffed up, and voting could very well be open to 16-17 year olds. If you are in this age group and are on the roll, you should be able to vote in this plebiscite, as it is a survey not an election.
Thank you so much in advance to those of you who are advocating for equality.* Let’s take this as an opportunity to remember all the other Australians whose lives, rights and dignity will be affected by this government, and remember to offer our support to all disadvantaged groups in our society.
*the editors of littleWren make no attempt to feign neutrality on this topic, and will back equality all the way!