Malcolm Turnbull is no longer Prime Minister, but as anyone familiar with the ongoing cravenness of Australian politics would expect, he tried to take credit for marriage equality as his political career went up in flames.
“I have been a reforming Prime Minister,” he said after being narrowly ousted in favour of now-former Treasurer Scott Morrison.
No, you didn’t. Sorry Malcolm, but that historic milestone was the product of years upon years of glittery blood, sweat, and predominantly tears.
It doesn’t belong to you. No matter how significant and shocking it was that you were the first Prime Minister to openly support marriage equality.
Yes, we all still hold bitterness towards the Labor Party for so insipidly hamstringing themselves during their own factional in-fighting and leadership carry-on by refusing to make legalising same-sex marriage a priority while in office, ignoring the long-held desire of the electorate to see it become reality.
But their failure in that regard is also your failure. Because, Malcolm Turnbull, you failed to prevent us from enduring the deeply harmful postal survey.
You failed to stop your anti-LGBTI colleagues – one of whom is now Prime Minister – from publicly, and no doubt privately, dehumanising us at every possible opportunity.
We narrowly avoided the Prime Ministership of a man so paranoid about a changing world that he wants to cease immigration entirely for the man whose Church’s founder insists on the Biblical wrongness of our sexualities and gender identities.
It’s impossible to be pleased we are instead saddled with a man who oversaw the initiation of Operation Sovereign Borders and a similar immigration platform through which he did everything in his power to delay asylum seekers – including the gay and bisexual refugees Australia presently imprisons – from access to safe and humane living conditions.
It’s impossible to be comfortable being led by yet another man whose disdain for LGBTI people shone through when he moved an amendment to marriage equality legislation which would have allowed parents to take their kids out of classrooms if same-sex marriage were discussed.
The postal survey – which gave license to homophobic vandalism of our property, attacks on young people, abuse that made us feel even more unsafe that we usually do, and a tidal wave of hate speech against us – is your achievement.
The outcome, the relief on that joyous Yes Day and all the same-sex marriages that have taken place since? They’re ours.
All that activism, that heartache, the years we spent – and some still spend, by choice or by fear – in closets were a toll on us, not you.
We have paid for marriage equality and the great symbolic milestone it represents. And there is still so much more to do.
Though you will soon find yourself out of a job, Malcolm Turnbull – despite the fact that you remain exorbitantly wealthy and will still be afforded a deeply undeserved governmental pension – marriage equality cost you nothing.
And that is why it is not yours. That is why it belongs to us.
Bye, girl. You won’t be missed.