Jenny and Tracey’s story
Back in 2017, while the same-sex marriage debate raged across Australia, Jenny and her partner Tracey were pregnant with their first child.
A marriage celebrant by trade, as well as a same-sex attracted woman, Jenny was affected by the debate on a deeply personal level. She noticed posters from both sides plastered across her regional town. By the time she and Tracey brought home their new baby, she could hear neighbours and community members loudly voicing their opinions – some supportive, some not.
Coupled with the exhaustion of having a newborn, the fear that the nation would soon be revealed as homophobic and unsupportive of her family made this a challenging and vulnerable time for Jenny.
“While Tracey was up in the evenings breastfeeding, the smallest sound would worry her. She thought perhaps one of those people with their opinions about what a family ‘ought to be’ might feel the need to share their thoughts using violence.”
However, there was light among the darkness. During Tracey’s pregnancy, Jenny had joined a Facebook group for new parents local to her area, which included many members in support of same-sex relationships.
“The moderators saw so many people in the community suffering just as we were, so they organised a ‘love bomb’ to be sent to anyone in the group who identified as any part of the LGBTIQA+ alphabet.”
Jenny and Tracey started receiving parcels in the post containing cards, chocolates, jewellery, tote bags, heartfelt letters, and poems about having courage in the face of adversity.
“We wept with relief and gratitude every time a package arrived,” Jenny says. “It galvanised us and helped us to know we weren’t alone – just like the rainbow flags at the local theatre and the cafe.”
Jenny is ever-grateful for the support she received during her family’s earliest months, and marvels at the impact of kind gestures from a thoughtful few.
“Since then I’ve had the great joy of telling the guests at weddings I’m conducting that this isn’t a ‘gay wedding’ or a ‘straight wedding’, it’s just a wedding.”