Am I equal? 'I've been compared to Hitler and a paedophile'

LETTER: Marriage equality, same sex marriage, gay marriage.

Whatever you want to call it, it's about to become the defining issue over the coming months.

I thought it important to give my perspective, as a young queer person.

I grew up here in Toowoomba, this place is home to me, but when I came out as bi, I was wracked with fear.

Could the city I loved prove to be hostile to a young man who painted his nails and doesn't care about your gender stereotypes?

Thankfully, this was not the case.

I've found Toowoomba to be a very accepting city, and while there are absolutely some who oppose the way I live my life, they are absolutely in the minority.

Yet, when thinking about the postal survey on marriage equality, I am petrified.

I will be forced to ask, nay beg, those I don't even know to please accept queer people as equal.

I've already seen what such a campaign will be like.

It's day three of this campaign and I've already been compared to both Hitler and a pedophile.

This is hard enough for me now, years after I've come out and been accepted for who I am.

I can't even imagine how hard it would've been for me when I was just coming to terms with my identity.

Yet, for some, this will be a reality.

This debate will not be subject to the typical rules of a campaign; there will be no protections against malicious campaigning as there would be in an election.

Meaning, anything goes.

Those examples from earlier could easily look tame by the end of this campaign, because those who oppose queer rights will be free to campaign however they like, with essentially no rules.

Toowoomba is such a beautiful city, filled with beautiful people.

When it comes time to return your survey, please think of queer people like me.

When it comes time to campaign, please think of queer people like me.

It will be very easy for this campaign to be hijacked and turned into something bitter and brutal, please fight against that.

This is about one thing: Am I equal?

Thomas Coyne


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