On Sunday night I was awarded LGBTIQ Activist of the Year by Brisbane Pride Festival at the Queen's Birthday Ball Awards, held at Brisbane City Hall.
Thank you to everyone who supported me. I have been overwhelmed by kind comments and congratulations since.
I was one of nine nominated in the category. It was a singular honour and was greatly humbling. Other nominees included Australian Marriage Equality's Shelley Argent, Brisbane campaigner Phil Browne- who with Councillor Vicki Howard achieved the Story Bridge lit up in rainbow colours and the rainbow flag flown at City Hall on IDAHOT Day, and Dylan Carmichael, who organised a gay rights group DIGS, as well as previously taking the brave step in organising a gay rights rally in Gladstone.
The ceremony was opened by Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, with Councillor Vicki Howard. Those attending the Ball included Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. I was presented the award by Senator Larissa Waters.
I took my fiance Mitchell with me to the stage. I said that I hoped that by August our Federal politicians decide to allow same sex marriage in this country. Otherwise, we were going overseas later this year to get married. We want to get married in our own country- not have to travel overseas, and then come home and not have our relationship recognised.
I then said that over 200 years ago three words rang out symbolising human rights- liberty, equality, fraternity. I said that we were all able to meet- and were equals at the Ball- hence all three ideals were met. However, outside the building equality was not there. It is a fundamental of our democratic society that all are treated equally under law. The fact that there is not equal treatment shows that, over 200 years since the words were uttered, we still have a way to go to achieve equality.