“I am an amateur street photographer from Brisbane and recently I started taking portraits of same-sex couples in the lead up to the marriage equality postal survey. However small an act, it at least made me feel like I was doing something positive to counter some of the hurtful misinformation I was seeing introduced into the debate.
“A few weeks ago I came across an article in the Guardian‘s Australian edition about two Brisbane fathers who hosted an equality barbecue for their whole neighbourhood. A short but heartwarming video of the barbecue showed Brad and Scott kindly and bravely speak to their neighbours about how the marriage equality debate has affected their children, family and the wider community.
“The fathers read out a letter to their guests that had been sent to them on a paper bag and signed “from two friendly neighbourhood gay kids”. The kids wanted to thank Brad and Scott for the strong outward display of support for marriage equality in their neighbourhood specifically referencing Brad and Scott’s Brisbane home which is festooned with bright and colourful pro-equality messages.
“I was so touched by this video that I decided to try to get in touch with Brad and Scott in the hope to take their photo. In the end fate intervened. Walking through the city a few weeks ago, I saw a striking couple embrace before walking out of a store. It turns out that Brad and Scott had just been to pick up their weddings rings when I introduced myself. While taking their picture, they filled me in on how events have unfolded since their barbecue and the subsequent media coverage. Ben and Katie – who had originally signed the letter anonymously as the “two friendly neighbourhood gay kids” – along with their families were prompted to get in touch with Brad and Scott after seeing the video and have since struck up a friendship.
“On Saturday Oct 21st we had what will hopefully be the last marriage equality rally across Australia. In a very wet Brisbane I had the opportunity to meet up again with Brad and Scott as we stood in the rain for equality. As we huddled under Scott’s big umbrella, a message arrived from Ben, Katie and their families looking to meet up with Brad and Scott. It is stories like this that fill me with hope that people all over Australia are coming together to understand and support each other. Love wins!”