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Thursday, 4 April 2013

Fighting for love


I am 21 years of age, straight, been Catholic all my life, and I have never been in a relationship. So why am I here fighting for marriage equality? I've wondered the same thing time and again.
The first time I supported marriage equality through Facebook, I was bombarded with comments and it turned into a debate thread straight away. I even had someone ask me something along the lines of "I thought you were Christian, Jess?" which I thought was fair enough. The answer is that yes, I have my religious beliefs but more than that, I am a human being. To quote Morrissey: "I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does". Mothers, fathers, partners, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, lovers, children. Love is a basic human need but it is also exclusive in a sense that we choose who we give this love to.
So going back to the question of why I am fighting for this. My siblings and I were raised by parents who are still married and very much in love. I am straight, and this does not concern me at all. It's because I am standing up for love.
I have never been in a relationship, I have always been the perennial single girl. I think I've been in love once but the feeling wasn't mutual. I wish I could say I've held hands with a boy before because he liked me in that way, but I can't. I wish I could say I've been kissed by a boy without being under the influence, but I can't. I wish I could say I've had guys ask me to go out on a date with them because they wanted to get to know me, but I can't.  I know firsthand how hard it is to find this love that everyone keeps raring on about.
It is very lonely on the other side. I wish I could accurately express how hard it is to be surrounded by couples and not have a hand to hold. If you asked me if I would trade it all (a semblance of a career, all my clothes, and even my Dr Martens collection) for love, I would probably say 'yes' in a heartbeat. That's how much I want to feel this kind of love. To believe that I too, am worthy of being loved in return. Don't get me wrong, I am all for being an independent woman, but someday, if the time comes where I find someone to love and who loves me back, then I want the whole package: marriage, children, one dog, and a white picket fence.
So if you find someone who loves you back, who is to say that it is wrong? How can we intentionally stop someone from marrying the person they love? Why would we deprive someone of the right to marry whoever they choose? Why would we deprive a child from being adopted into a loving home? Wouldn't we rather live in a world where orphans were put in families who would provide them with a home, an environment to grow, and a chance to feel that safeness and comfort in knowing that you have a family to always come back to? Given it's not a typical mum and dad situation, but the thing that turns a house into a home is love. Why would we deprive someone of love?
This is why I'm fighting for this cause. For these people who have found love regardless of whatever trials they have faced, these people who have fought for their love, and these people who continue to fight for love. These people have found someone who loved them not because, but in spite of, everything. These people who love you for who you are. They are the lucky ones, because I would do anything to have what they have.
I know equality isn't just about marriage or love and the fight has really just begun, but I am hopeful. Call me an idealist, but I think it should start and end with love. No buts, no ifs.
I am going to keep fighting because I really do believe love makes the world go round. I am going to keep fighting for marriage equality, just like I am going to keep fighting feeling lonely and not worthy because I don't have someone to love and who loves me back.
I am going to keep fighting for the couples who can't marry who they love because of their gender. I am going to keep believing that people's minds will change, that someday we will look back on this as a turning point in our evolution as humans. Because really at the end of the day we all just want one thing: To have someone special to share this amazing life with.
I am going to keep fighting for that because love is something that we are all worthy of. 

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