Friday, 22 May 2015

Dear Ireland, Just Say Yes!

May 22nd is finally here, that hashtag I've been using on everything Marriage Referendum related. First off I want to apologise to all my friends and family who I have neglected over the past few weeks. I know I've been a crappy friend, a neglectful brother, an absent partner - I've missed many cups of tea, many phone calls. I'm sorry if I didn't call you back or didnt text you when I really should have. 


My life has been turned completely upside down by the YesEquality campaign and while I'm looking forward to everything settling back down, I know the person I have become through this campaign is a stronger, more confident individual who knows how much love, support and sense of community is out there within the LGBT community. I have made more friends in the past few months than I had over the past five years and for that I'll always be grateful.

At Caher Castle in Craughwell with Daniel and Maria

It hasn't all been fun and laughs - over the past few months I've also seen a much more grim part of the world we live in. If you shine a torch on anything, you'll see the blemishes and cracks and Irish society is one of those things that appears pretty from a distance but look closely and you'll see how really horrible it can be.

Canvassing, street and going door to door has presented us face to face with what seems like other peoples latent issues which have been sitting just under the surface but have now reared their ugly head. I've had people sneer or laugh in the most condescending way when I've asked if I could count on their support in the voting booth. I've had a man shoo me away from his door like you would a stray dirty dog. I've been called a paedo and disgusting. One woman (last night) came up to me and said 'No no no... that's three no's for the three people in my house who think you are disgusting'.

These are only my experiences - I've had friends reduced to tears at a strangers doorstep, I've had friends who have had to stop canvassing as the strain was affecting their mental health. Everyone you ask will have different stories of different ways they've been hurt by strangers while going around basically asking if they can acknowledge the love they have for someone else. That's all.


The next 36 hours are going to be torture, while we wait to see if Ireland has said yes - yes to love and equality (that's all). This is my last attempt to encourage you (yes you reading this) to go out and vote. This isn't plain sailing or a guaranteed victory. If you had spent one night out canvassing you'd see why your vote is important. There are so many No's out there that we need each and every one of the Yes's to turn up and vote today.

The thing is, if this referendum passes EVERYTHING changes for every LGBT person and children of LGBT couples around the country. We become equal. For the No side, nothing changes only the definition of what constitutes a family. This does not affect them in any other way. If this referendum doesn't pass, nothing changes for the No side while every LGBT person and the children of LGBT couples remain unequal.

The polls open at 7am - make the effort to go out and vote today, do you bit for the future of this country. Lets help heal the cracks in Irish society, for me, for you, for future generations. 

With some of the 48 amazing canvassers in Ennis on Wednesday night

With the Runners for YesEquality

6 comments:

  1. Back in Galway to get my vote on. Fingers crossed....I'm so nervous about this weekend but also hopeful. Well done to you for canvassing. So brave!

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  2. I'm sorry you had to endure such horrible, negative, vulgar encounters. Fair play to you for canvassing......now get yourself a cuppa, catch up with your loved ones and keep everything crossed that this country does the right thing today
    #VoteYes
    Nicola

    Nicola

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  3. Well done John you always put 100% into everything you do...2 yes votes in my house

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  4. people all over the world are anxiously waiting with you, hoping that vote is a yes :) thankyou for doing the hard work canvassing,

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  5. Your video did the trick byes 😉 💪 👭 👬 💓 🎉 🎉

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  6. Your video did the trick byes 😉 💪 👭 👬 💓 🎉 🎉

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