News travels fast and when the boat arrived in France there was a brass band out to greet us. Well not us specifically but as we lapped up the news from Ireland that the Marriage Equality Referendum had passed it felt like the whole town of Roscoff had some how gotten wind of it. From very early on Saturday morning it was clear that there was going to be landslide.
Those nights when we tramped the roads canvassing we were never ever sure of that. As we knocked on a door there was often a moment of trepidation just before it opened. Who might live there, how would they respond to us, would we get a thumbs up? Over and over again the thumbs up brigade would be friendly, happy, smiley people. Then we would get an extra pep in our step and be off to the next door.
Sometimes there would be a longer conversation, a discussion or even an argument. Very rarely there was shouting and once or twice we had to back away and move quickly on. The cold shoulders and hostility impacted on the younger LGBT campaigners. How could it not? But I watched each of them grow in confidence and visibility as time went on. That has been the miracle really, their leadership, positivity and presence. It was such a privilege to be a part of it and for a short while to walk in their shoes.
Myself and himself missed the parties and all those hugs! But we had a previous engagement with a road trip though France and after voting we made a dash for the ferry. Right now I am logged on to a dubious internet connection somewhere in the south of Brittany and proud to say I had my first cold swim today.
What’s next? We look forward to a few wedding invitations…….
For some memories of the campaign see the Yes Equality Gallery here