In Bed Project 133

#133 Tony, Manja and fur babies

Manja and Tony met in 2010 at a GLBTI Midsumma program launch in Melbourne when Manja was grieving the death of her wife to cancer, and Tony was the Deputy Mayor of the City of Hobsons Bay.

Manja is a teacher and became especially vocal about equality following the death of her wife because she experienced first hand the additional difficulties same sex couples endure because their marriages are not recognised by the state or indeed by many people in society.

Tony is a long term LGBTI activist and the first openly intersex person elected to public office in the world (having been elected as a Councillor in 2008 and 2012, Deputy Mayor in 2009 and 2010 and Mayor in 2011).

Many people assume Manja and Tony are able to be legally married, but Tony was born with a biological intersex variation and accepts their sex as being mostly female but also partially male.

Not being able to marry in Australia, Manja and Tony married in New Zealand in 2013 and had their wedding reception with family and friends when they returned home.

They like to entertain family and friends in their home which they share with their fur kids (two dogs and two cats). They believe they deserve the same rights as heteronormative couples and are both embarrassed and disappointed the Australian government refuses to recognise their marriage when it is recognised in so many other countries.

They both realise that legal marriage still won’t mean total equality for the LGBTI community but it’s an important step as it acknowledges their love and relationship is just as important and as valid as heteronormative relationships.”

Date

June 25, 2016