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Return of the dream


Marry The Man (just not that one)



Words: Damien Woolnough


27th April 2019

Return of the dream

Marriage has always been a dream of mine. When I started having this dream in the nineties, that’s all it could be, because same sex marriage was illegal in Australia.

Then, for a while, that dream edged towards reality and Marry The Man was born. I had met someone that I was willing to take that leap of faith with and since we had already walked nearly 1000 kilometres for marriage equality in Australia, from Sydney to Brisbane, I thought we were on the same path.

Just when the dream seemed within reach it became a nightmare with the types of twists and turns scoffed at in movies. While I was ready to leap, the man I loved wasn’t and chose another path.

In the past six months I couldn’t look at Marry The Man without feeling the pain of rejection and hurt. It was the kind of break-up that makes you lose faith in yourself and your dreams.

On the road to recovery I have moved to the other side of the country, sought validation in the gym, from horoscopes, apps (you know the ones), on social media and on the shoulders of patient friends and family. There have been empty hopes, empty Pringles packets and a lingering empty feeling that no amount of vodka or kombucha could fill.

Even when I was putting on a brave, filtered face to the world, each time I saw Marry The Man, all that I could think of was my failure as a boyfriend and potential groom.

Not all of us make it to the altar. Ironically all of the couples that were used in the promotion of Marry The Man have broken up in the past 12 months. Some consciously uncoupled while others would have preferred to just be unconscious.

Through the grim darkness there have been glimmers of light. Also in 12 months many friends have found someone they’re willing to make a commitment to through marriage. It made me want to share their stories so I looked at Marry The Man again and felt the dream return.

Marry The Man shouldn’t die just because the ‘Man’ who it was created for chose a different path to happiness. It is a place for all men to dream and share in the wonderful realities so many men are making together.

I’m not buying rings for anyone yet but I am willing to believe that there are people who will hold your heart, hand and hopes with enough love and respect to make putting a ring on it worthwhile.

So Marry The Man is now for all men, including me, who continue to dream.

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