For a second, just imagine what your life would be like growing up with a secret so big you go to bed at night crying. Imagine feeling like you were ill, like you didn’t belong and that you were an outcast.
Then imagine becoming an adult in a society that says you’re a freak. That you are "unnatural" and don’t belong. That you are an "abomination" or the ridiculous notion that you would burn in hell for the simple act of loving someone of the same gender.
Imagine finding the love of your life, the person who makes you smile more than you thought humanly possible, and then imagine being scared about the simple act of holding their hand in public.
Imagine looking over your shoulder in fear that someone is looking at you strangely or making comments under their breath. Imagine fearing for your safety because of the simple act of holding the love of your life’s hand in public.
Then imagine the prospect of getting married, not in your hometown because it’s illegal, but having to travel to the other side of the world where they believed you were of equal value as everyone else, and then getting married to your sweetheart in a commitment that solidifies everything you feel about the other person.
Imagine, then, having to come back home where it isn’t recognized. Where you can’t legally be called married. Where your marriage certificate is irrelevant because you are both of the same gender.
Imagine wanting to start a family and have a child of your own but being denied even the option to adopt because you are considered unnatural, even though all around you see teenage pregnancies and kids who go into foster homes because of abuse from their "natural" birth parents.
Imagine feeling like you were born in the wrong body but that it was impossible to voice that in fear of getting shunned or abused.
Imagine fearing for your job security and having to hide a simple part of yourself in case your boss felt "threatened" and decided to fire you.
Imagine losing your life to a brutal attack and then having your killer use a "gay panic defense" in court to get away with it.
These are just a few of the many injustices LGBTQ face on a daily basis.
If you can understand just a fragment of pain that the above causes, then you’ll understand why marriage equality in Australia is just the start of a long list of things that need to happen.
You should also understand why I refuse to keep quiet about it.
If you can understand how important this is, join the cause. Follow the Australian Equality Party and write to your local MP’s.
Marriage equality won’t "just happen." We need to stand up and fight for it.
Join the fight. Be on the right side of history.
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