18 April 2013- Today is a Good Day

‘I Do’ cookies at the Rainbow Youth viewing of the third reading (Source)

Yesterday, I woke up to rain. Over the summer it barely rained, but it rained yesterday and sort of set the scene. Rainbows everywhere.

Rainbow Youth members celebrating marriage equality (Source)

In July of last year, I wrote this little spiel on my thoughts about gay marriage. Essentially, it was me trying to map out why I cared so much. At the time, I was single, young, and far far far too poor to get married (I’m still two of those things). But writing it made me realize is that the Marriage Amendment Bill is not really about giving people the right to marry whoever they want. Well, I mean yeah, it is. But for me it resonates much deeper than that.

It goes back to when I had my first ever kiss with a girl and knew that something had shifted in my life and would never shift back. It goes back through my whole childhood to the fact that I have always, always been happy to call myself a New Zealander. But today, on this day, I am honoured to call myself one. Because today my country validated my struggles, it validated any shame I’ve ever felt at landing somewhere outside the sphere of normality. It told me that I am allowed to feel those things but I am not less because of them. I can walk through the world knowing that my home, my whenua, has told me that my love is something to be proud of.

Last night, our Parliament voted through the Marriage Amendment Bill at 77 votes to 44 and, maybe without fully knowing how or why,  they gave a nuanced gift to any queer and trans* person who has ever felt that their world was a little off kilter.

And today, we have equality.

Today is a good day.

Toni Duder

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