There has been a video circulating the internet for a few days now, and whilst it is 10 minutes long, it will show you something that affects everyone.
Regardless of who or what you are.
If you are already thinking ‘oh god, I can’t be bothered to watch this’ or ‘Another person writing about the same thing as everyone else’ then please take a moment and think,
“What if that person was me?”
What if you were Shane, and your partner was Tom?
If you had met me a few years ago, when I was the typical university student who enjoyed drinking wayyyy to much and worrying about me, myself and I, then you would have known that I was against gay marriage. I know right, a gay guy is not supporting his community.
But hear me out on this.
I, like a lot of people in my generation and older generations, was brought up in a small town where traditions existed. Marriage to me was portrayed as a man and a woman uniting in a small church in the countryside, where you marry, have children, and continue on with your day to day life. I had never heard of the word ‘gay’ until I was about 11 years old. That is 11 years of tradition surrounding me, and even when I did hear it I was still unsure of what it was for a while. Throw in a few negative associations of the word at secondary school in this small town, and suddenly you feel that you have to go with the crowd to be cool and fit in, regardless of what you are. Afterall, who didn’t want to be popular and in with the cool kids?
Nowadays, children hear the word gay well before they are 11, and know exactly what it is. They are exposed to it and will grow up being more likely to accept it. Advertising has moved forwards, television too, and it is now prominent on a daily basis.
Obviously, my opinions have changed from those before; thats just down to the simple case of maturing and being exposed to a wider world than that of a small countryside town and realising what I stand for.
I am as equal as the person next to me; marriage equality is something I firmly believe in. Not only is it a symbol of unity, affection and love, but also a protection as you see in the video. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who are naieve, who belive it is wrong and just see it as a way for homosexual people to be even more proud of who they are.
It is simply not the case. We do not need marriage to be proud of who we are or flaunt homosexuality. We are proud of who we are. Relationships do not need a ring on each others finger to prove a point, whether you are straight, bi or gay.
It is simply a case of being treated equally and having the same rights as everyone else.
There are a lot of equality websites and groups that have sprung up over the last few years. Amongst the traditional websites such as Stonewall and The Human Rights group are a few new websites, noteably Ditch The Label (@DitchTheLabel) and OneLoveOneHeart (@1L1Hcampaign). Check them out- you will be surprised as how informative and friendly they are (not to mention the HOT guys and girls in the imagery!).
There are still people who are against gay marriage and civil partnerships, or just have a tendancy to judge and label people. Please share this on your Facebook or Twitter and let them see the consequences people like Shane had to go through due to not having equal rights, it really will make a difference.
I changed my perception, we need to change others.