Last week Australia legalized gay marriage, and although I am super happy for my fellow brother and sisters to get married, the news came very bittersweet to me.
When I was dating my Australian guy, I was advocating to every Australian I encountered in LA to make sure they were voting for it to pass. I was so invested because I had it all worked up in my mind that he and I would one day tie the knot. Gay marriage is legal for me here in the states, but I wanted our future marriage recognized in his country as well.
When I was with him in Australia, I was by his side as we watched them announce the people’s vote for legalization. It wasn’t a guarantee that it would pass legally, but it was a huge step in the right direction. I like to look at it as the spark that started the fire, and a fire wouldn’t exist without a spark. It is, essentially, the most crucial part.
As we sat in his caravan watching them read the results, I felt so elated I was there by his side. I wanted to kiss him, but I didn’t want to be too forward, and once they released the yes he leaned over and gave me exactly what my heart was begging for.
But for some reason, he seemed distraught.
He told me he felt guilty we weren’t in Sydney to celebrate with everyone, but the thing was, the only person I felt I wanted to celebrate with was right there next to me. Us, in the cabin, was the only celebration I wanted. I asked if he was happy I was there with him, which might have been a foolish question, yet he flashed me his smile and said, “of course.” But if anyone has been following my journey with him, you know that a part of him was wishing he was with the other boy too. This moment should have been a vibrant red flag that he wasn’t choosing me if he was too upset about missing the “party” of the city.
But in order to bring him back, I told him that the people’s vote is awesome yet it’s not the end result, so he shouldn’t feel bad for not being with “everyone.” I tried to justify us being together and away camping by saying the main result will come from the government, and when that does, then we celebrate big.
It seemed to do the trick, but the pain of having to diminish my historical moment with him lingered. I made something that was so important to me mean nothing just to satisfy his desire to have wanted to be elsewhere. I made myself small to make him big.
By the time the government legalized it officially, him and I were no longer talking. I never got to celebrate with him, I never got to give him that “we can marry one day” kiss. Instead, he celebrated this moment with the guy he chose over me. The “important” moment belongs to someone else now, and my moment was just a step when this dude got the finish line.
But something interesting happened.
Since I had cut off all contact from him and blocked him, he took the effort to reach out to my roommate to tell her to tell me that marriage passed since he no longer had any means of contacting me.
- Why did that make you think of me?
- Why would you tell me this when I know you have a boyfriend? Am I supposed to be congratulating you on the ability to marry him?
- Why is this the thing you felt you HAD to tell me? Do you not think I have the internet?
Him telling me, actually, offended me. It brought back the reality that he is with someone else. Maybe it wasn’t his intention, but it felt like he was rubbing that fact in my face. Or was he trying to give me a sense of hope. Did he want me to think that I could still be the one he chooses one day? Or was he waiting for me to give him a big CONGRATULATIONS I hope you’re happy with your new boo.
Whatever his intention, I didn’t and I haven’t, broken my vow to abstain from him in my life. It hurts, and almost everyday I still find myself curled up in a ball of tears listening to music. But everyday I pick myself up, remind myself of my own worth, and focus on falling in love with who I am.
So congratulations to all of Australia, but fuck off to my own personal Australian.