Gay Marriage...my BABY Brother...
Gay marriage is a hot topic at the moment, but it has been a hot topic in my house for some time now.
Nicholas my brother (known to us as “Pickle”) is the youngest in our family, with three older sisters. We used to dress him up in tutus, headbands and all things girl like, he was our real life doll.
I was like another mother to him. I loved and adored him like he was my own. From a young age and as he grew older he never really was interested in boy like toys or doing boy things, except for helping dad on the farm.
It was never discussed or spoken about, but we all knew he was different in his own way. Unlike our dad who was obsessed with football and cricket Nicholas preferred to play soccer, watch tennis and cook with mum.
Going through the teenage years was hard for him. He was extremely frustrated and as time went on confused with who he was.
After leaving school he left home and came to Sydney to live with me. He started work as an apprentice chef in hotels.
This was when I was confronted with his sexuality and unfortunately I didn’t handle it very well. He wanted to tell me but was too young to know how. He decided just to spring it on me one morning and I went into “freak out” mode.
After we both calmed down I realised that my poor little brother had been living a double life and was so confused and unhappy. He..... to this day has never forgiven me for the way I dealt with his “coming out to me”. I know he knows that I am terribly sorry for that morning and if I could change it I would.
Nicholas decided Sydney wasn’t for him so he moved to London. Soon after Frankie and I went to visit him. We spent time travelling together and Pickle and I were able to bond and discuss where his future was going and who he really wanted to be. It was an amazing holiday and one I will cherish and never forget.
Finally after two years of being in London, some very dark days and years, Nicholas decided it was time to “come out” to the world, family and friends. I got the phone call from London and knew that my gorgeous brother couldn’t live this double life anymore.
I told him not to leave the phone, I would call mum and dad. The time had come for him to be who he really was and to stand up and be proud.
Mum and dad of course cried with him but they handled it so well. Nicholas just apologised to my dad for not being the son he always wanted. They both replied to Nicholas “we love you just the way you are, you are our son, we made you and love you”. Dad also said "it’s no excuse or a disease boy, you just need to get on with your life".
Nicholas soon moved back home to mum and dad. He worked on the farm for the next 6 months with dad which was a very special time for both of them. One morning when they were out feeding 2000 head of sheep, Dad and Nicholas talked about his future and sexuality. Dad was quick to assure Nicholas that if people could not accept him for who he was, they would no longer be a part of our family or welcome in our home.
From that Christmas on when Nicholas was 23 I had my gorgeous brother back. Our family and friends loved him just as much as before and nothing changed in our lives. We had the biggest family and friends Christmas ever, it was such a celebration.
Nicholas' next move was to Melbourne and this is where he met Doug. My parents went to visit him and were staying at the Lyall where Doug was working. They introduced them and the rest is history!
They have now been together for 14 years and are getting “married” well..... having a commitment ceremony at our farm in November this year. There will be 250 guests celebrating this special occasion and I could not ask for a better brother in-law. Our family and friends are so excited.
Nicholas even though he is the baby has always been the other man of the house besides dad. Whenever dad’s leukaemia came back Nicholas would leave work for a period of time and run the farm. Dad would be in Sydney having treatment and Nicholas would look after the farm until dad was well enough to return home. Doug was always very supportive of this and our family.
When dad died Nicholas and Doug were living in Hong Kong. Nicholas decided to move home and has been helping mum for the past 18 months. He has been sorting things with the farm and staying with mum until she feels safe being on her own. I feel very blessed to have such a special brother to look after not only mum but also my sisters and I.
My kids love their uncle “Pickle” so much and also uncle “Dougie” and for them having two uncles get married is normal – no questions asked which I love.
Well.....Sienna did have one question “who was going to wear the white dress”? In response to her Nicholas said why doesn’t she wear the white dress and be the flower girl, she was happy with that.
For my family gay marriage is normal. We are a modern family and very proud of it.
So the celebration of Nicholas and Doug is going to happen on Saturday 11th November 2017 at 5pm, in our small country town of Canowindra. In our eyes they are getting married. They will have a big marquee just like us girls did, at home on the family farm and will commit to each other for the rest of their lives. I am a bridesmaid with my sisters and could not be more excited.