22 years ago, my identity was decriminalised, I was born into a country where I could no longer be sent to jail for being who I am.
21 years ago I was born, May 26th, I wouldn’t know I was different until I was 11 but the difference would be obvious.
9 years ago, I kept eating painkillers because the pain of being who I was wouldn’t go away, I thought no one would love or accept me.
5 years ago, I finally accepted I was different and couldn’t change, I dated my first boyfriend after continuously only accepting to date girls. The support from my friends was what kept me going.
4 years ago, I met a boy who made me feel that I really could love and be happy. It was my first strong experience of knowing it was possible for me to be happy with someone just like me.
4 years ago, I came out to my family. Everyday was a constant battle of religious views and ignorant comments made about my person. I didn’t feel like it was home anymore when there was no way to pretend I was normal.
2 years ago, I lost my relationship, I lost another close friend to death and the pressure of college exams destroyed me. I became an alcoholic and spiralled back into depression. I thought I would never see the end of a bottle and if I could somehow reach it I would be happy. There was rarely a day where I wasn’t drunk, crying or begging myself to eat. I dropped from 11 stone to 9 stone in 3 weeks. I lost a lot of my friends as a result. I started counselling and was diagnosed with depression, ptsd and anxiety. I still made some of the best friends I have ever known and they pulled me through every step of the way.
1 year ago, I met a boy who has made my happiness, double, triple, grow an indefinite number of times. I know my love is real, I know everyone’s love is real when I feel this way. I feel like I can only grow from here and know it will be amazing.
1 year ago, the debate had started to begin whether or not I really am a person in my country. It had been 23 years since my identity was decriminalised but it felt like we were all back on the stand to debate whether we are truly a human and deserved human rights or not.
Today is the day my country votes on whether the love I have for my partner is legitimate or not. Whether the love in families across the country is worthy of recognition and their children should be protected. Whether the love of all the children being brought up, being born or still unable to vote is worthy to be recognised by the state and our constitution.
I voted to recognise my love, I voted for all of these people to have a chance to marry their partners in love and truly be recognised by our country. I voted for a better and more equal Ireland.
I hope everyone votes with the call of the Fianna!
“Glaine inár gcroí,
Neart inár ngéag,
Agus beirt de réir ár mbriathar”
Tiocfaidh ár lá ach is inniú an lá atá ann. Roighnaigh bhur gcinniúint!