I grew up the youngest of five kids born to two beautiful humans, and Pentecostal Christian pastors in Sydney.
From my first mission’s trip to India at the age of six months old with my parents, to my formative teen years of Friday night youth group – and of course writing music for the church – almost every night had a church activity of sorts.
My parents dedicated their time and lives to church work, we were constantly hosting people from every culture in our home, opening our doors to rehabilitate drug addicts and provide free counselling to some of society’s destitute. My teens were littered with colour, in a very different way to many of my schoolmates that grew up in the Sutherland Shire.
At the age of nineteen, a bombshell entered my life. One Sunday at church, I met another pastor’s daughter and the connection between the two of us was undeniable. It was the strangest feeling, our days and nights couldn’t be spent apart, and before I knew it we were inseparable.
The genuine feeling of love and wholeness when we were in each other’s company was confronting for both of us: we were two women who believed in God and yet we were in love. There was no choice. The next few years of life were full of amazing adventures, highs and lows, valleys and mountains, trying to navigate a path less travelled and unlearning the fear I’d held.
Confronted by the fact that just perhaps love could no know bounds, perhaps know no gender, and it didn’t discriminate. The feeling and depth of love was unlike anything I had ever experienced with anyone else before, and I was forced to face the reality that love was love.
When I proposed to my now wife Phoebe last April, in a helicopter over Sydney Harbour, I felt many emotions, and so did she. But for both of us, the most overwhelming feeling was the pure love we have for each other. For a while in my late twenties, following the end of my first real relationship, I never thought I’d be able to love like this again. But Phoebe was my breath of fresh air, my lifeline. She was raw, earthy, genuine and steadfast.
She’s not one for surprises - which made me more anxious than I usually am - but with the help of a few of my siblings, we made a banner that said “will you marry me” etched in black spray paint, on the tackiest pink sheet I could find for when the helicopter descended.
There’s nothing really crazy and different about our engagement story, apart from the fact we are two women. And living in Australia, have not yet been granted the right to marry, unfortunately.
I’ve stood by my sisters and brother as they’ve said their vows, my father marrying them all as they have pledged their love, some more than once. Yet regardless of the immense love and joy I've had for them in that moment, standing by their sides, I still felt their lesser equal.
When I asked my old best friend and sister in law why they were not attending our wedding last November, she said we all make choices in life, and that comparing their relationship and mine is not a valid comparison because one is legal and the other is not.
Telling someone their love doesn’t deserve the same recognition as yours, is, I believe, not loving. In fact, I believe, it's not really human and, dare I say, not really Christian or democratic. I was taught that we were all created equal, so why are we still not being recognised as such?
After all, I’m just a girl that so happens to love another girl. It’s not matter of religion. It’s not a matter of politics. It’s really quite plain and simple. It's just about love.
Check out the couple's beautiful wedding pictures in the gallery below.