9 December 2017 marks a historical change in Australia for all couples to enjoy equal rights for love and marriage. You may think that following this landmark change, Australia is going to witness a lot more couples coming out from the “dark” and begin celebrating their love publicly! Well this has certainly empowered a number of same-sex couples to do so. But, as far as I have observed, there are still quite a substantial number of same-sex couples, particularly from a more conservative culture background who still prefer to maintain a low profile.
This photo was offered to me by a same-sex couple who were happy for me to spread their happiness online. Although they were serious and proud of their relationship, they were still concerned about how they will be perceived by others, particularly those who are from the same culture background as them.
Being an ethnic Chinese-born person, I could certainly share their sentiment. In fact, I have heard even worst comments towards same-sex relationships from my culture. In my line of radio broadcasting work, I have the opportunity to interview a Chinese same-sex couple regarding their relationship. The video post of this interview actually spread among the conservative families and friends to reach as far abroad as one of the couple’s parent overseas, which has subsequently caused slight ‘inconvenience’ to the couple.
Almost all of the Asian same-sex couples I have met so far have no issues with disclosing their relationship preference to others. However, the only, and usually the most common, pushback that they might have is whether or not such ‘publicity’ might result in unnecessary pain, anguish and hurt towards their dearest parents and family.
Thus, I have been very mindful as a Civil Marriage Celebrant to choose what to share, and more importantly, what not to share, in order to protect the privacy of my clients. In part, this is also due to the fact that the local Chinese communities in Perth is still relatively small.
However, this very lovely couple below really won my respect and admiration!
Like most couples I have officiated, they were indeed a very sweet, endearing, lovey-dovey, and perfect sweethearts. But, what truly impressed me was their courage to share and their willingness to empower others who are in the same position as them.
She told me the world is in need of more stories like them to be shared and celebrated so that other same-sex couples would be courageous enough firstly to be proud of who they are, and secondly, to show others that their love is not inferior to, or at a lower level, than anyone else.
Isn’t that the exact primary objective behind legalising the same-sex marriage in Australia in the first place – to achieve marriage equality, human rights and freedom to love? I know deep down inside that I am going to remember this couple for a very long time, particularly the bride – elegant, stunning, strong and determined! The conversation I had with her really got me thinking. But ultimately, all I really hope to see is for this couple to be happy always, just like the fairy tale ending that we have grown up with. The only difference is that the prince and princess are no longer gender specific in reality!
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