Vicky and I realised only recently we were at the same housewarming party in 1996. We bumped into someone at Inquisition this year whose housewarming it was and she told us we were there.
So as long as 10 years ago we were on the periphery of each other’s lives. A couple of years ago Vicky slapped my arse on a dancefloor at an ACON party and captured my attention.
Oddly enough I bought a photo of her from that night from a photographer. After we met I showed her the photo and she was quite shocked that I had one of her already.
We then met up through an online dating website. She had a profile up and I think she was just jokingly flirting, but I think there was something serious behind it as well. She said, You don’t want a date, do you? and I said, Why not? She was on the phone in no time.
We went on the date and then I invited her to my house for Christmas a couple of years ago. I think she left rather more curious than when she’d arrived. She kept up my interest. I’d been single for probably two-and-a-half-years and had become rather a private person.
It took a whole month for her to crack my shell. We were on a night out in the January. One of her friends was in trouble and she took them to St Vincent’s Hospital.
It was 1am before she came back and I was about to leave. She came up to me, put her hand out and pulled me up onto the dancefloor and it went from there. I think she cracked my shell.
People had commented that I was a hard person to get to know before I met Vicky. She brings out the fun in me. We’re very good for each other in that sense.
We’ve been together for about 18 months now. I’ve never thought of marriage as something that I want to enter into, but my relationship with Vicky is probably the most important I’ve had. People can see that we are the sum of two people as a greater force than the two individuals.
We’d been talking about formalising our relationship for some time. I thought Vicky was probably keener than I was. When we started planning I realised I was further down the path than she was.
I was renovating my place at Potts Point one day and I walked into Freedom Furniture. They had these big mock diamond ring key rings on the counter. I thought, That’d be perfect.
At Inquisition I got down on one knee between both the halls and proposed to her. She blushed and raced back inside and showed everyone her ring.
One of the security guards was watching and afterwards said, I believe congratulations are in order. He said, If you need a limo driver, let me know. I’m also a limo driver.
So we got him to drive us on the day of the ceremony, which was on 14 July at the British Consulate-General in Circular Quay. My family came down for it. We’ll go to the UK in time and have a celebration with Vicky’s family. We’re looking at relocating to the UK in 2008 because we’ll be taken as partners there.
I guess on a grander scale forming a civil partnership is about pushing for law reform and recognition of same-sex relationships. We both want to have our relationship recognised so that we’re treated equally and have equal rights. It doesn’t matter to me what it’s called, whether it’s marriage or civil union, as long as the law recognises us as a couple.
Vicky is a British citizen, and became an Australian citizen at a ceremony in Marrickville in May. We both cried on the day -“ out of sheer frustration. In the lead-up to becoming a citizen Vicky had to go to an interview and answer a whole lot of questions about her rights and responsibilities as an Australian.
The night before she was running through all these questions and was quite cynical about the whole thing. She realised she was taking on the responsibilities of a country that didn’t completely accept her.
At the time the debate about books about gay families being used at the Sydney day care centre was in the press. It was quite upsetting to think that this was part of our everyday lives -“ that we’re still not accepted on a human rights basis.
Interview by Ian Gould