Untitled – Deborah Singerman

Political will and negotiations surged through Parade intentions
1989
No definite immigration route for gays and lesbians
Leaflets only
Explaining the needs of couples, one Australian the other not,
Hope in our steps from Domain start past St Mary’s Cathedral to familiar Oxford Street
Cheers and jeers
Neither truck nor float came for us
Stranded
Our globe to everywhere became globe to nowhere
We failed to show our outreach
But partner and I persisted
Marching in shorts and tee-shirts, modest, a bit boring
Our immigration advisor, less so,
A volunteer and caring and successful applicant to stay with his partner
Face revealed, body shrouded in white sheet and petals abundant
“I am frangipani”, he said, smiling, happy, uninhibited
Unlike our buttoned-down selves
Still no float, a booking mix-up, disappointing
We kept distributing leaflets
Stayed together, drank beer, rushed to pub toilet
Packed even in pre-celebrity Mardi Gras
Filtering back into the Street by Taylor Square
Strewn beer bottles, stares but no attacks, survival not joy
Yet, we knew, deep down, these were memorable steps,
A future ready to live
Hope by default entwined through patterns of beautiful, sweet, sculpted frangipani