Fifteen minutes of joy - then a pang of disappointment. That’s how I felt today after the announcement came that the majority of Australians had ticked the yes box on the same-sex marriage postal survey… but that 56% of my electorate had voted no.
I moved to Sydney’s Earlwood, in the Barton electorate, when I was pregnant. I fell in love with the multicultural mix, the bustling shops and, let’s face it, the property prices that were lower than the inner west suburbs on the other side of the Cooks River.
I was, I told myself and anyone who’d listen, still living in the Inner West - a by-word for lefty/eco-friendly/gay-friendly/good coffee. The people are friendly! My neighbours are gay! I imagined my daughter growing up on Earlwood’s quiet streets, walking to the little public school up the road, having playdates with kids from all kinds of backgrounds.
Now, it breaks my heart a little bit to know that the majority of kids she’ll be going to school within a few years time will have been raised by parents who don’t want to see equality for LGBTI people, minded by grandparents likely instilling their intolerance in their darlings.
Maybe I’m overreacting. Maybe I should embrace the fact that I don’t live in a bubble, where everyone is PLU (People Like Us) and my 16 month old will never encounter an un-PC comment. And maybe wherever you go there’s intolerance (okay, not maybe - definitely). I’d just prefer that it wasn’t in the majority, like it is here.
Fortunately, that's not the norm for the rest of the country. I'm overjoyed that nationwide, the majority of us embrace equality. That’s a win for love… and the next generation.