relationships

'Dear Margaret Court, you have let us down.'

Dear Margaret,

You and I have more in common than you would probably like to think. You are an Australian icon, I am the daughter of one.

My mother Julie Anthony sang the National Anthem at the Sydney 2000 Olympic games, the largest gathering of athletes from all nationalities, races, sexualities, shapes and sizes in the world. She sang the anthem for them and for everyone, regardless of what flag they marched under or what suburb they drove from to get there that night.

Tamara Natt and her mum Julie. (Image supplied.)

Like you, she has carried the hopes and admirations of this country on her shoulders throughout her career.

Unlike you, she doesn't care that I am gay.

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In fact, she looks forward to meeting her grandchildren in the very near future.

My mother, Mrs Court, made a choice. When I told her that I was in love with a woman, she told me that it was wonderful and suggested we go and watch Hedwig and the Angry Inch, a show about a transgender cabaret singer from the Eastern Bloc. She loved the music.

This November 18th, she will be standing proudly by my side as I marry the love of my life. Also by my side will be my sister, who happens to be straight and marrying a man on the same day. That’s right, a double wedding with my heteronormative sister, with whom I am splitting the costs of the event equally because, well, we are.

LISTEN: Penny Wong talks about same sex marriage. (Post continues after audio.)

My life has been charmed in many ways, but mostly because my mother has never let me, or anybody else in this country who looks up to her, down. She has always made it very clear that the responsibility of an icon is to attend to the quality of being an icon, not to comment on the quality of the people you represent. You, Margaret, have let us down.

The other night, as I was laying on my fiancé’s chest watching your performance of The Persecuted Christian Woman on The Project, it occurred to me to write this letter to make something perfectly clear: Reminding you of your privilege is not the same as persecution. And in this instance, people have only had to remind you of their privilege because you persecuted us first.

And let’s not muddy the facts, Margaret.

Tamara is marrying the love of her life in November. (Image supplied.)

You may claim not to have anything against Casey Dellacqua, or Anthony Callea, or myself, but when you use your icon status to publicly refute our ability to raise families of our own, you are against us. When you throw the first two chapters of The Bible in our faces as grounds for shame, you are against us.

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And make no mistake. You will not stop us from having loving relationships that bear loving children. All you will succeed in doing is to be seen to be trying to make our sons or daughters feel uncomfortable about themselves. To question their home environment which has been so hard won by their dads and mums. To feel like there are already people out there who are against them, when they themselves have not yet been able to make a single choice in the direction of who they want to be.

Unfortunately for you, the Australian public are not as stupid as you have counted on them being.

"Start looking up to the real icons, like Mum." (Image supplied.)

You have consciously abused your platform purely to rain inequality on the parade of support and inclusivity that is sweeping through the streets and homes of ordinary Australians.

Maybe it's time you had a chat with some ordinary Australians like my mum. Give her a call, I’m sure she’d love to have you around for a cuppa.

Tamara Natt describes herself as a writer, lesbian and occasional tennis fan. You can read her original post here.

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