Michell é brant Celebrant

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*Voting with a single brushstroke*

on September 3, 2017

Personally, I don’t mind a bit of arty farty and I love to paint the town red.

Canvas too. But with people, well, I’m astonished as to how we paint each other with a broad brush… and how that paint stains.

You just can’t get that shit out of a cotton shirt.

With one single brushstroke, everything about an individual can be classed, categorised, segmented, compartmentalised and filed.

Then voted on.

At this particularly topical time in history, the brush is a broad, Bunnings style number with rainbow colours, red to blue. (Somewhat difficult to achieve using a hardware colour chart; the choices and time it would take!)

With a simple sweeping hand manoeuvre, our neighbour, workmate or mentor can have their otherwise beige complexion turned to a spritely my little pony tail on a yellow brick road; whether they like it or not.

“Hello! You’re gay, be loud, proud, rally, shout. Wear all the colours of Dulux and rejoice.”

“But I liked beige. It brings out my eyes,” some might say.

Too bad if they were accidentally splattered by the paint brush as it swung past faster than a disco ball on Mardi Gras opening night.

There are other colours (& sizes); loads of brushes, in fact, to go around in aisle 13.

The brush that slapped me in the face was not Havana or Toffee Fingers or Meerkat chocolate; but a dark, muddy brown like those smelly mangroves choose to grow in.

I was age 7 when the brush of aisle 13 tainted me for the first time. I remember walking into a new classroom, fresh from interstate. Everyone had the whitest of white skin. One kid pointed at me and said “hey she’s black!”. They all and laughed, fingers firing like darts.

(At this point i should point out that my father is of Sri Lankan heritage and my mother could not be whiter; I am therefore, the best of both worlds; tanned and adorable!)

I turned to the headmaster with confusion. I had never been confronted with this kind of reaction. He promptly said, “right, we’re moving you up a grade”. Apparently that class wasn’t mature enough for my alluring hue.

At the time, I didn’t understand why I felt uncomfortable.

Now I get it. I was colour blind. (I’m proud to say I still am.)

Without opening my mouth, cracking a smile or giving them my infamous rendition of Cindy Lauper, I was judged. Pure and simple.

On the colour of my skin.

Discrimination comes in many forms.

You, dear reader, probably have examples of your own discrimination. Have you been stereotyped for wearing glasses, being tall, liking chess, riding a unicycle? Did that classification work against, not for you?

And if you are black or white, with poor or excellent eye function, tall or short, immigrant or convict, pro or anti coriander… you have probably had to stand up for yourself, expressing your individuality for fear of being tainted with a brush.

Did the population vote on your unique difference? Did your quirky obsession with peppermint gum stop a nation? Perhaps cycling vs public transport has had you up in arms?

“Well Mr IGA grocer, I just don’t see how Helen can be allowed to shop here since she clearly refuses sweet treats and we are an all inclusive store!”

“Sir, savoury is for the mature palette and some of us prefer to spend our money on baby Jesus, I mean, blue cheeses.”

Stop!

Call me the answer queen (you’re welcome in advance)!

Let’s vote on it.

I say that if national voting is the way forward, we just get on with it and vote for everything.

Turn the plebiscite vote into a massive, federal senate size paper and we can end discrimination for good.

Not only will it increase the cost and workload of every single government department, it will put all of those BBQ debates to rest and there will no longer be brawls outside evening venues hosting quiz nights.

In fact, once it’s official and we write it up into the New Testament of Testimony written for and by the people (version 1.1), we can pretty much announce to the world that Australia has knocked this whole gay / terrorism / race thing on the head. We voted “no”, so no thank you.

“There won’t be any mixed race bisexual coriander loving trans criminal terrorists here!” cried the masses of 2017.

The best vote of all will be my favourite: should Australia turn back the clock to 1817?

Since that’s where we belong.

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