So, Yesterday was the Mackay Rally for Marriage Equality (MR4ME) and so many amazing and awesome things happened I am so thankful for!
Travel – my car tyres are shot – not a big issue, and getting resolved on Tuesday, but the timing was terrible. I certainly wasn’t going to get to Mackay in Suzi May (My Suzuki Swift) this weekend. My workmate Tony heard the Rally was on and offered to drive me! I was amazed, flabbergasted, and so very pleased that he would do that.
Accommodation – Courtesy of the aforementioned Tyres, and Real Estates not taking credit cards, I was an eency bit broke. I posted on the MR4ME Facebook page, and within about an hour I had a response from someone I’d never knowingly interacted with, saying “Come stay with us!” – I certainly couldn’t have afforded accommodation even if the rates were normal, and in Mackay they’re apparently ridiculous!
Weather – The weather on both days was absolutely incredible – a beautiful drive up and a fantastic drive back, with a great time in Mackay in-between.
Turn-out – There were between 190 and 250 people in the rally, it stretched for a city block, and we had to wait every time we crossed a road. We also had Senator Claire Moore (Who voted for marriage equality in the senate) address us and march with us, and the local Greens candidate Jonathon Dykyj as well!
Opposition – was invisible. We had talked about (been told) how to handle it, but didn’t need to implement the tactic of ignoring the opposition.
The Walk itself – a great way to seem Mackay’s CBD, My friend Tony and I headed the column. I’m very proud to be up-front on this issue. (That’s me with the Rainbow “=” sign)
The energy – it was fantastic to be with that many people all passionate, all supporting the one cause. I loved every second of it!
The people – We had a great after-march party at Mackay Metro Market – a funky cafe with great food and great atmosphere on River St. Check them out if you’re in the area! I met so many fantastic people! In the above photo we see Jen – self proclaimed fag hag who moved from Sydney to Mackay, just looking for a gay to call her own. I met Kris May, the organiser, who I’ve interacted with a bit on Facebook. I met Robin Lockman, a well-known Mackay Gay Rights activist, (and it was fantastic because *she* recognised *me* – I’m starting to feel like I’m a recognised activist! or at least a micro-celebrity…).
Probably for me, the people I really want to say thank you to in this post the most are Cheryl and Morrie. This amazing couple put Tony and me up for the night, sight unseen, and showed us around some of the beautiful places Mackay has to offer!
Cheryl’s the one in the middle, in case you needed some help with that
And her fantastic husband Morrie. These two wonderful people took us in, showed us amazing hospitality, and showed us around, asking for nothing in return! Cheryl and Morrie, you are the best! Get in touch with me any time!
What else am I thankful for… so so many things, far too many to list! The Mackay trip has left me euphoric and hopeful for the future! Thinking very hard about staging a Gladstone Rally in the near future! Oh! One thing I *am* thankful for that doesn’t centre around the rally so much, my new Real Estate agent. She showed my house yesterday after I left for Mackay, and called me about 3 today saying “I noticed your porch light was still on. Are you ok? Do you need me to feed the dog or anything?” I turned her down as Tony and I were just leaving Mackay to come home, but that’s a level of service I would never have expected! (For those of you who are looking for an agent, She’s Margie Richards from PRD Nationwide – Gladstone. If you’re selling your house, this is the woman you want! I only wish I’d listed with her sooner.)