To an outsider looking in, it would seem that I have a pretty blessed existence: I have a good career; a strong, loving relationship; I manage to get along financially; and I have two little puggies (Peggy-Sue and Chino) to complete this picture perfect postcard.
But, as they say, life is the sum of all its parts and scratch the surface and there are scars – the battle wounds from life, which has gone before.
And, while I know that each of us carry our own scars – at the moment I feel the wounds of my past are once again being exposed as a sense of vulnerability creeps back in.
See, my wounds all stem from the fact that I am gay – something that has taken me about 35 years to accept.
And now, as I approach my 40th birthday, I find that I’m suddenly in the very uncomfortable position of finding out if my fellow 25 million Australians are also willing to accept me and the life that I lead.
The prospect of people voting on whether I should have equal rights to them, makes me question how this country I love so much, has managed to get so off track.
The fact is, being a democracy isn’t enough to be successful as a country – you only have to look at Russia and Zimbabwe to see how a “democracy” can fail its people.
Rather, it is the way a country treats its people, including its minorities, that is the real test of a country’s worth.
And for me, at the moment I feel like my life is on exhibition – about to be judged by my friends, my family, my work colleagues and even total strangers, who have been asked to decide if I’m worthy of sharing a right they have simply as a result of being born straight.
All this survey does for those in my position is dredge up the past – it exposes me and people like me to further torment and ridicule, while people like Tony Abbott are given a platform to travel the country, free to denigrate and spit bile at the gay community under the cover and protection of a religious belief and ‘freedom of speech’.
I feel as though I am again that young 14-year-old boy at Peel High School in Tamworth in 1992 that has a world of confusion in his head, plagued by the fact that he might prefer boys to girls.