Courtney Act Writes Heartfelt Letter To Parents About Voting For Marriage Equality In Australia

Aussie Drag Race star Courtney Act has written a heartfelt open letter to her parents making the case for marriage equality ahead of Australia’s federal elections on July 2.

Courtney explains that since her parents are likely to vote for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party, they would be voting for a party that wants to put the question of marriage equality to a contentious and potentially ugly national vote (or plebiscite), rather than voting in parliament for an issue that is already largely supported by most Australians.

“And I think about all the young people who, if Malcolm Turnbull gets in,—even though 72% of Australians support marriage equality and the government’s job is to represent the will of the people—and even though Australia is one of the last countries in the west to recognise equality, Malcolm will send the country to a $160 million-dollar plebiscite,” writes Courtney.

Read Courtney’s full letter below:

Hey Mum & Dad,

I want to make a video about Marriage Equality in Australia. And one of the points I thought of is that in this election you will probably be voting for Malcolm Turnbull and the Liberal Party (read: Conservative party).

It’s more than just about my rights, but I thought I might try this appeal to you.

If you vote for Malcolm, you are voting to say that who I am is less than. You are voting to say that because I love someone who is the same sex as me, that I don’t deserve the right to get married like you did.

But you are also allowing the government to use the institution of marriage to let the rest of Australia know that I am not equal.

I never really cared before, but last year when Obama declared marriage equality in the U.S. I broke down and started crying. I didn’t expect that at all. All of my life I have fought to be who I am in a world that did not support me.

It has been hard, granted, not as hard for me as others, but I have learnt to deal with it. It made me stronger.

But Obama’s declaration came from nowhere and went straight to the core of who I am. The struggle wasn’t over, but in that instant, the tables had turned. Who I am, my community, is now recognised as equal and hearing the President of the United States say so had more impact than I could have ever imagined.

Marriage equality isn’t about marriage. It’s about equality. I always thought it would be “us” and “them,” but now I have had a shift in consciousness and really see that it can be “we.”

You have always been amazing parents who supported and loved me and it is this fostering of love that I realise is such a privilege and I thank you for it. It meant that I made it through the dark times and out the other side and in some small way I try and pay that forward with my work today.

But not everyone is as lucky as me to have such supportive parents. And I think about all the young people who, if Malcolm Turnbull gets in,—even though 72% of Australians support marriage equality and the government’s job is to represent the will of the people—and even though Australia is one of the last countries in the west to recognise equality, Malcolm will send the country to a $160 million-dollar plebiscite.

A vote, that, when complete does not hold any power whatsoever and his party will still be able to vote against love. Not only that but the plebiscite opens the flood-gates for so much hate.

Already I have seen hate-inciting flyers being letterbox-dropped about the Safe Schools Program, which moves to include LGBT sex education in schools. This is just the beginning of the hate we will see coming from the extreme right in the coming months.

I don’t need who I am to be publicly slandered and dissected by conservative Australia. I don’t need to have my morals questioned, accusations and implications of sexual perversion, paedophilia and all of the other arguments the church and those like them bring up.

I don’t need to go through more and more months of hate and discrimination, fact manipulation and down right lies. I have spent my whole life living in a world whose institutions didn’t support who I am. I cannot accept that any longer.

Not just for me, but for all of the young people growing up in Australia. For young kids questioning their identity, for the little girls and boys and non-conforming kids who find themselves same-sex attracted.

To have to hear on TV, in magazine, and in the conversations around them, that who they are is less-than, that who they are is to be hated. And not just the queer kids, all kids. All people are being negatively educated through this process and instead of uniting us to build a strong future it is used to divide us and keep us separate.

So, on July 2, when you go to the polling booth to vote for a new Prime Minister of Australia, I ask you. What is more important to you? You hip pocket? Or me?

XX
Love, Shane

PS: Much like your unconditional love of me, it doesn’t matter who you vote for. My love is also unconditional. Love is unconditional so how can a government legislate my right to love? Love is love.


Update:
Mom and Dad have responded to Courtney’s letter. Here’s what they wrote: