Ever Wondered What It's Truly Like To Be Gay In Ireland? Here's One Eloquent And Heartwrenching Perspective
The campaigns have begun in earnest ahead of the same-sex marriage referendum on May 22nd, with posters going up and arguments heating up.
However, for many, this is not a hypothetical or ethical argument... it is something acutely personal and close to home.
This post was written by Cork woman Hannah Higgins earlier this week and we think it's definitely worth a read...
"Until you've soaked your pillow with tears. Until you've fought back words that want to explode from you. Until you've felt your knees shake and your stomach turn when the words finally do come out.
"Until someone calls you a pervert. Until you are told you are not fit to be a parent. Until you fight a civil war of your own conscience. Until you ask yourself "why me?".
"Until you are asked to hide it. Until you have to hide it. Until you hate yourself. Until you love yourself once more but hate others for what they've unknowingly put you through. Until you're rejected by someone you thought was your friend. Until you cross your fingers that your family will still love you the same. Until you live under the same roof as someone who doesn't think your love is equal.
"Until you look around before you kiss her. Until you drop her hand because you think you've just seen someone spot you. Until you hang your head in shame for doing just that. Until you have to explain yourself over and over again. Until you have to hurt for being just exactly who you bloody are.
'Until then, don't willingly play a part of inflicting this on anybody. For the love of God, don't vote no.
If this referendum passes, Ireland's gay children are still going to go through all of the above. But I'll tell you one thing, it'll mean the world to know that you and the love you have to give is valued and cherished by our state.
"Friends and family might not accept and protect you, but your country will.
Unequivocally. Irrevocably. Equally.
"Most of you will vote yes with me. But if you find yourself in a debate with someone, maybe ask them to walk in our shoes for a day. Ask them to take hypothetical children out of it because that argument is for another day. Ask them to think of us, the actual children of Ireland and the very real situation we find ourselves in.
"REGISTER TO VOTE. ASK EVERY PERSON YOU MEET TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE REGISTERED.