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Dear Mr Turnbull – Tell Me Your Coming Out Story

Dear Mr. Turnbull,

Can you tell me your coming out story? I know it’s a deeply personal question, but since you personally decided to incite wide spread public debate on the issue of same sex marriage, I’m assuming you won’t mind so much. We’re all friends here right? I mean that’s basically what you decided to do. Because instead of making a decision and leading from the front you metaphorically decided to phone (a very very expensive) friend and now you actually believe that this (non-binding) postal vote shebang is the way to go. You’re all about the quid pro quo type scenario aren’t you? You forced me out of the woodwork so it’s really only fair.

Can you tell me how long you knew for? That you were straight that is. Do you look back now and realise that you clearly knew for so long but just didn’t really know what the words meant? Who did you tell first? Did you find your best friend, take them aside and fear that you would lose this person after you told them? Maybe you took a more public approach and just did it all in one hit. Announcing to your closest friends, family and hell anyone else that would listen that you were straight and admit you were happy, for once! Proud to be this person you are. Or did you wait until you met your wife, before you told everyone, because it’s not really real until you have a wife or girlfriend right? All of those other flings and escapades were just experiments…

[x_pullquote type=”left”]I wonder in how many public forums you sat, as they debated your rights, and then suddenly being told “oh wait I forgot, you’re one of them”.[/x_pullquote]Did you sit in a café this morning and listen to the couple next to you debate your rights simply because it’s one of the“top 10 topics to discuss over coffee” for 2017. Do you cringe at “I’m not homophobic but…” as they agonise over the do’s and don’ts of marriage and the importance of ‘religious freedom’. But they don’t know you, which apparently is the way they prefer their lives to be. In 2017, it’s almost like don’t ask don’t tell all over again.

Mr. Turnbull, tell me about your coming out story. Was it awful? Did your parents piece together, the person you called a friend was really something more? Did they assume this because of the way your eyes lit up every single time they walked into a room? Did you manage to squeeze them into every single conversation you could think of? Because you loved this person, very, very much. With all of your heart. Did your parents sit you down and say to you; “we know what you’ve been doing. We know what’s going on, just spit it out”. Did you breakdown? Did you cry? Did you apologise? Did you feel so vulnerable, as if the weight of the world fell into your lap. Did your heart break when they asked “what did I do wrong?” Did you wish with all of your heart that you were different, and that the thing you cannot change about yourself is the one thing you wish you could.

[x_pullquote type=”right”]I know you’re scared. And worried. Probably terrified in fact, just like I am, about what it will be like after the (non-binding) votes are tallied. [/x_pullquote]I wonder in how many public forums you sat, as they debated your rights, and then suddenly being told “oh wait I forgot, you’re one of them”. Only to be told “but you’re not like the rest! You’re my straight best friend”. Were you met with some who said “I don’t care what you do, just don’t do it in front of me”. Did you kiss your wife only to feel eyes on the back of your neck as you leave your house to go to work? I’m asking you all of these questions because surely, you must know. Surely you must know what it feels like because why else would you allow such public debate or scrutiny? Arguments about religious freedom, blasted over the news as you sit with your family watching a former Prime Minister tell you his opinion about the way you wish to live your life. It sucks right? But in some ways, I admire your strength. No really I do. You brave brave man. Because it’s about team work isn’t it. Banding together, or as I like to call it, crumbling under the weight of your conservatives. This is something I can relate to I guess. Conforming to the norm because it’s easier. I do this every day. You’re pretty brave Malcolm, for coming out every single day. You don’t even stutter when your vocalise the word “wife” now.

So… Mr. Turnbull. Malcolm. Mal. Tell me your coming out story. Because you must have one. You must! In order to continue on with this charade and nationwide joke that is loosely defined as a postal vote and I’m here to listen. And I know you’re more than happy to say to the cameras that you will be voting yes when said letter arrives in your mailbox, but I kind of struggle to believe anything that comes out of your mouth any more. And I know you’re scared. And worried. Probably terrified in fact, just like I am, about what it will be like after the (non-binding) votes are tallied. You know that moment, when you’ll walk down the street, hand in hand with the person you love, wondering to yourself, “what box did they tick?”.

Tell me your coming out story Mr. Turnbull. Because until you do, you will never. Ever. Understand mine.

Written by Laura Kebby

I write words about talented people doing talented things, and translate chatter by putting pen to paper.

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