‘Families come in all shapes and sizes. Gay-parented families are just one type of family. We should celebrate families for who they are – a group of people that love one another and care for one another and are sometimes raising children together and sometimes not raising children together. For me that’s actually the thing that government should be trying to support and enable is that loving connection that gives people health and wellbeing and a sense of belonging and not trying to make judgements about what type of family is best or isn’t best. I think that all families are doing their best and none of us are perfect.

‘Some of the most powerful advocates of marriage equality are parents of gay men, lesbians and transgender people. They’re incredible advocates when they say they don’t want anything except for their son or daughter to be treated like everyone else. Every story helps with the realisation that this is a very normal thing and the world isn’t going to collapse. All that’s going to happen is that people that love each other can get married and just get on with it.’

 

‘Recently I broke up with my wife. Having to walk away from that and say I can’t do this anymore was really hard.’

What did you learn from your marriage?

‘Never confuse your projection of someone else with what they are. What you think someone is isn’t necessarily what they are and no matter how much you want to be someone else, they are them. Whoever it is, you’re going to be with, you have to accept them with no conditions.’

‘The last time I saw my husband was on the 30th of September 2012. I miss everything about him – he is so interesting.I’m from Cameroon and have been in Australia for one year. I came here with nothing but the most important thing is I’ve got a place to sleep. I have no other family here.My husband got involved in a socialist group at home. My country is bilingual. We have the French and the English part of it. The French are more dominant because there is a larger population of them. My husband joined the English movement. It’s termed illegal by the President so anybody who is caught trying to fight for the rights for the English Cameroonians falls in to trouble with the President. We are treated like we are not part of the country.

During one of the meetings he got arrested but managed to get out of the country through the help of one of the senior members. I didn’t know where he was. The police were after me because of my husband’s involvement in the rights. He was a serious member of the movement.

It’s a government that nobody asks questions of. What happens happens. I have a Masters Degree in Communication but sometimes I am really scared to be a journalist because we know some of the things that happen. I was worried my husband would go to jail or be killed. Most of the members have been killed.

I didn’t know anything about Australia but when I came I had a warm welcome. The people have been very nice even though the whole visa process has been slow.

I’ve been training at Parliament on King for five weeks. I’m not a coffee person but now I get to make coffee and have been learning about all the different types. I am now in contact with my husband – he made his way to Austria. We speak every other day.’