January 30, 2014
Queenstown, New Zealand
I ask everyone here today to witness that I Michael Nathan Barnett choose you Gregory Paul Storer to be my legal husband.
Gregory. If I were asked to describe in one word what you mean to me it would simply be: “Everything”. You mean the world to me – in *so* many ways…
Setting out to climb Mt Amos in Tasmania, a 15 year goal of mine. Reaching the top, together, amazed at our efforts and the breathtaking views surrounding us.
Stopping by the roadside as we return from Mt Gambier to watch a koala bound up it’s tree.
Sitting in a forest at dusk, just us and some tiny bats getting their dinner.
Walking through a Croajingolong coastal heathland filled with the prettiest wild flowers.
Dining on Bala’s curries while enjoying a St Kilda beach sunset, then journeying to see the fairy penguins and the mischievous water rats.
Returning from our first equality rally in Albury to find a magnificent echidna, roadside, digging and snuffling for ants.
Drinks at the Laird enjoying the best of what it means to be a man.
Sharing a dinner of poached salmon and ginger while watching Q&A.
Standing on a 380 million year old mountain range in the Grampians, free from every care in the world.
Coffee and cakes at Grecos with Caitlin & Tomas.
Protesting for our rights at every Equal Love rally.
Brunches at La Cafe and walks along Carlisle Street.
Our kiss, in front of wildly fanatical protestors at the 2012 Global Atheist Convention that starts a worldwide viral sensation.
Standing by your side as you buried your sister and your parents.
Having a fight… and learning from our mistakes.
Your face nuzzled in *my* furry chest. Your arms around me. Your warm kiss on my lips.
Star gazing together into infinity at Mt Baimbridge and Bastion Point. Trying to comprehend the sheer insignificance of our presence in *this* universe. Realizing the meaninglessness of our existence. Marvelling at the scale of just *what* is out there.
He’ll have a long black, make mine a long macchiato… with Equal.
Smoked salmon on Vita Weat.
Despairing together over the plight of those who don’t have a meal, those who don’t have a home, those who don’t have a country, those who have less than us and those who don’t know what they don’t have. Crying, and trying to feel *their* pain.
You finding a tiny orchid on the forest floor, so delicate and pretty, for *me* to photograph.
Transforming our bodies from beyond obese – to amazingly healthy and fit.
Watching skillful New Holland Honeyeaters at Gypsy Point, them – plucking bugs from the air and us – sharing a freshly baked blueberry muffin.
Warming our frozen bodies with a delicious brewed coffee and hot toast and honey at the Sundial carpark.
Gado gado and Bali Coffee at Wong’s Cafe.
Becoming a truly loved son-in-law, brother-in-law and uncle to *my* most immediate family members.
A warm embrace after a long day as we fall asleep – together – in bed.
Interrupting my Cointreau chocolate mousse at Bridges last September in Ubud, to sweep me off my feet with the most unexpected and truly wonderful marriage proposal.
Gregory, YOU are the person who has brought so much into *my* life – every one of these amazing experiences – and *so* much more. Each one different from the other and all equally wondrous.
The first five years of our relationship have been a fantastic journey. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to completing this journey with you – in whatever form it takes.
Life is unpredictable – and *forever* is hard to comprehend, but I want to do it with you, by your side, for however long we can be together – as your friend… your companion… your adventurer… your activist… your lover… your man… your Mikey Bear…… and your husband.
You can read the vows Gregory said to me here.