As the public face of the yes campaign she’ll be celebrating alongside millions of Australians, as the unions of our LGBTQI community are finally recognised under law.
But privately, she’ll also be grieving.
In September this year Szubanski’s mother, Margaret, passed away. Margaret was 93 years old and she never got to see her daughter achieve equal rights under Australian law.
Szubanski told Mamamia she hasn’t yet had time to truly grieve for her mum but when the grief comes, it comes in waves.
LISTEN: Mia Freedman chats to Magda Szubanski about her memoir. Post continues after audio…
“Everyone knows that they’re always the big emotional moments,” she says. “It just hits you, you know? To be honest, I’ve been so invested in this campaign that I haven’t had time to grieve.”
“Given in the scheme of things, mum was going to die, to have something like this beautiful vote; to have that happen, and then a ‘no’ vote would have been awful.
“It would have been like a gaping wound to not have marriage equality by Christmas.”
Szubanski said she was sitting next to Christine Forster (Tony Abbott’s sister) at a rally and it really brought home to her how important family is and how much pain the no campaign has caused for Australian families.
“Her [Forster] and Tony’s dad died very recently, but it makes you feel so vulnerable when a loved one dies, you feel your heart is really intensely vulnerable,” she explains.
“I don’t mind a fair debate on the issues, but having live polls about the LGBTQI community, on TV, in people’s lounge rooms, I think that’s unforgivable.”
The 56-year-old says many older people, like her mum, died before they could attend their kids’ and grandkids’ weddings or even marry the person they loved.
“Quite frankly, a lot of older LGBTQI people haven’t lived to see this.
“My mum, she wasn’t gay but she didn’t live to see this,” she explains. “I would have loved it had it been earlier, and she would have known I had the same rights, she would have loved that.”