A Melbourne gay man has shared an emotional letter he wrote to his parents in an unsuccessful bid to convince them to vote “yes” in the same-sex postal survey.
Actor Barnaby Reiter posted the letter to his Instagram explaining to his parents that they wouldn’t be invited to his future wedding if they voted “no”.
“You can’t have it both ways. Don’t get me wrong, I want you there. No child hopes their parents won’t come to the happiest day of their life,” he wrote.
“But if you don’t support my decision to marry a man that I love and want to spend the rest of my life with then I refuse to feel unsafe and unsupported on my big day.
“I refuse to constantly look over my shoulder to see if you’re okay and above all else I refuse to flinch when I’m asked to ‘now kiss my husband’ for fear of making you uncomfortable.”
He continued: “When everyone in our family and friend circle are buzzing and excited, you will have to explain to them why you’re not invited.
“When the photos come out, when people talk about it for the rest of your lives, when your grandkids from your straight children ask ‘Why weren’t you at Barney and Brad Pitt’s wedding?’ you will have to tell them that you made a choice in 2017 and had to live with that.
“When the big day comes and you two are left home alone I want you to stop and notice the feeling you have – do you feel left out? Do you feel lonely and unloved?
“I want you to realise that that is EXACTLY how I feel right now and that is EXACTLY what you’re supporting.”
Reiter wrote on Instagram the postal survey had been hard for his family and he hesitated to share the letter he’d written, but he thought “it might help anyone else feeling similar in what has become a truly dark time in Australian history.”
Voting in the postal survey officially closed on Tuesday, with the final result to be announced next Wednesday morning (November 15).
An open letter to my “No” voting parents ✉️ • It hasn’t been an easy time here in the Reiter family but this is a letter I gave to my parents in the hopes they would change their minds – to no success. I hesitated sharing this but thought it might help anyone else feeling similar in what has become a truly dark time in Australian history. I know I have the love and support of my extended family and friends. Always here if anyone needs to talk ❤️💛💚💙💜