The ‘Yes’ voter: We might be on the right side of history, but we can be ignored in the present

I’ve voted, had my say, and made my voice heard. However we who vote Yes should not forget that we could easily be ignored, and all the pain and hurt would be for nothing. I hope I’m wrong.



As we crane our neck skywards, with the visage of the grand azure spoiled by the blemish of articulated hate, we steel ourselves to the “Yes” vote, and the idea that a win on this battlefield will ensure victory in the war.

Sadly, I fear no.

I voted yes, because of course, I did, plunging my hopes through the slot, and much like everyone else, I uploaded the event to social media. But this collective unison force, that will skewer the spear righteousness through the blackened ice heart of inequality once and for all…I’m not feeling it. Not in equality, but rather in that our efforts will bring the change we seek. Best case scenario, yet more acid spews from the halls of the Senate, and we’ll all yet agree, filling comment boxes with caustic logic. But, to be fair, we’ve already done that. Worst case scenario, we get this:

I fear the only thing we’ve done is reveal ourselves to danger; made our whereabouts and our desires known to those who hate us. I’m not talking about that unison feeling of pride we sail on, and I agree it’s time to be counted if you want to be counted, but that idea flies in a group, or at a rally, but it does nothing in the darkened, familiar streets of your suburb, when hostile minds and volcanic eyes spew hate battering the assumption that you’re valuable. They’d ruin your heart if they can’t do it to your face. But, those who have been victimised have approached a truth. We’re on our own among the crowd. When that person outpoured his violent fantasies on me, the rest of those present, who presumably voted “Yes”, quickened their pace, and returned to their phones.

The waves of articulated flashpoints elsewhere – especially in Melbourne, makes me believe we’re going to lose. We’ve proudly revealed ourselves only to be ambushed, slaughtered in the streets over the capital crime of being us. Hate is in, and while the postal survey has allowed these voices to walk freely, it didn’t stop them from possessing said views.

What I want to focus on is the day after the survey is tallied. Love may indeed win, but we need to be aware that it might not win change. Which is a hard fact to face. Our voices are so strong, the narrative so eloquent, and the answer simple. How could we fail? The wind is at our backs. We’re on the right side of history. Each day births more reasons why we should just allow it: Alexander Lau’s takedown of Liberal MP Michael Sukkar on QandA on Monday, or the reported spike in mental health trauma as a result of this clusterfuck. Choose your own misadventure.

And while we may total the amount of burns, and fan the flames of our own hot takes, he should know that it’ll be over when they say its over. We’re not going to force their hands. The assumption that what’s right is right in this country is a myth. We can carve rhetoric as much as we like in opposition, as we should, because we’re in the right. But we should be prepared the outcome that the other cheek may forever be turned.

The generally held theory is that we’re doing it, because we’ve got nothing else. I agree. But, I don’t want us to forget how watered down this vote is, and how many seconds our elected officials have to glance at it, before consigning it to the bin without second thought. I fear the hangover, the morning after the intoxication of the moment we supped on. Don’t be surprised when the day after becomes business as usual, and this great potential moment passes without comment.

The great white hope seems to be Bill Shorten and his cabal. And I do indeed hope that he’ll do as he says, implementing a vote within the first 100 days of parliament. But, there are two points that raises. A) How certain are we of winning that vote, and B) How certain are we of that vote even happening in the first place? We’ve been duped by similar promises.

I know I should be stronger, let the vast waves of positivity wash over me, and I know I should be brave enough to put my name to this piece, but I can’t. I’m, for the first time in my life, fearful. As for how to navigate the next month, I’ll probably detach myself from media, the Internet, retract my point, and let everyone else have their say on who I can marry.

For I know that while love is love, love is often heartbreak.


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