The postal survey opened up conversations between friends and family, good and bad. Melbourne’s premiere ‘corporate’ queen Karen from Finance suggests this may only be the beginning.
Sasha has just come off stage from performing her incredible Gollum meets Kate Bush lip sync, and Trinity’s already getting changed for the second show.
There’s a good forty minutes before we need to go back on and the dressing room is buzzing, so I take myself out to the street for a dirty cigarette, even though I don’t really smoke anymore.
He’s been working these nights for a few months now. Some passers by mutter something under their breath as they slither past, and he reminds me that I am safe.
We go back to talking about RuPaul’s Drag Race and about how strong the fandom is. He tells me that he has seen the show, and giggles about how he thought it was going to be an actual car race the first time he sat down to watch.
The pleasant guard goes on to congratulate me on our Yes win.
I was in customs on the morning of the announcement. I’d been performing at the Austin International Drag Festival – a celebration of all things drag and community – a weekend full of utter fabulousness.
I stepped off the plane at 9:30am, still jetlagged from the flight there, and tried desperately to load a live stream of the news or an online radio station or anything that might allow me to hear the announcement; but that part of the airport is just like the casino – a black hole without any data reception or service.
At around 10:10am my brother’s girlfriend called as I was filling out my landing card.
She told me the news and I instantly broke out in tears – happy tears at the relief, but mainly pained tears at what we had to go through to get it.
I half expected others in the terminal to be waiting for the same news, but the crowds were oblivious.
The guard at the nightclub continued to praise the vote. He said that he was happy that it had gone ahead but that there was one point he didn’t agree with. I questioned him.
He explained that whilst he believes in marriage equality, he disagreed with the use of the word ‘marriage’.
He believes that marriage specifically should only be between a man and a woman, and that the change in the meaning severely impacts him and his family. He thinks it should be called something else.
“That’s not really equality though, is it?” I responded, surprised. “That’s segregation. That’s something different.”
The guard stood straight. He flared his chest, albeit subtly, and reminded me that it was his opinion and that he was entitled to it.
I agreed with him and stepped away. I butt out and went back inside.
We put the show back on and it closed to raging applause.
I’m writing this in the air. After two shows in Melbourne we have our first Sydney date tonight before enjoying a few nights off.
I’ll be flying back home to Melbourne tomorrow though and heading straight out for a pre-Christmas lunch with the extended family.
Most of my family have come forward to express their support and to show their solidarity throughout the course of the vote, although some stayed silent.
I wonder whether they’ll ever come forward; in a similar way to the guard last night, or like other members of my family did when it counted.
Some friends have told me stories of being absolutely overwhelmed when they have been contacted by family, friends, and neighbours showing their support in circumstances where they never thought they would hear it.
Others have told me stories where friends that they always thought had their back have come out of the woodwork on the opposing side, and what once were strong friendships are now broken and no more.
I wonder how other people’s families are going to approach the conversation these holidays. I wonder how many families this vote may have split.
Perhaps there are some that it brought closer together like I felt it did with some of mine, but then again, it seems that the divisiveness of this vote may have only just begun.