Leah follows the prewritten letter on www.arcq.com.au then adds:

I’m a 20 year old lesbian who lives in Rochedale South. My partner and I have been together for about a year and we’ve talked about kids but it’s not on the agenda yet. Merely knowing that we’d both have the same rights as heterosexual couples is a comforting thought for the future. It’s not always been easy, I’ve known I was gay since Year 7 but I didn’t fully understand or realise till I was in Grade 9. My Grandparents who I adored condoned gay people and they even banned me from reading about any form homosexuality unless it was saying that it was wrong. I felt so trapped and so alone. Most of my school years were spent in a deep depression where I didn’t really want to live out of fear that anyone would find out and then think I was a “dirty” person. I was afraid my Mother would kick me out, she has much the same views as my grandparents. One night she saw a gay couple on the news and said to me “I would never disown you if you were gay, but I wouldn’t love you as much”. It was an excruciating experience. I think that acts like these are very important, they influence people to understand rather than judge. I see gay young teens now and how easy it is for them to be out. It’s only taken 5 years to advance with such change to the way people interact and think about gay people. It’s not just important for gay people to support this, straight people should too. What happens someone you know has to go through the same thing that I did, I would never wish that upon anyone. Having things like this makes a community realise that it’s okay if you disagree with it, it’s okay if you agree with it, but we need to have equal rights. Thanks for your time.

Leah

I love Leah’s letter to the Community Consultation because it reminds me that I’m not just fighting for equal rights for myself, but for a better life for all the young gay and lesbian folk coming up after me. It gives me a sense of community, and also of being – not exactly an elder (because surely I’d have to be, you know, old) – maybe a mentor, or a role model of one way it’s possible to live a good life as a lesbian.

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