This dairy farmer had an emotional response to the announcement of marriage equality in Australia.
As Jason Smith milked his cow, he listened live to the marriage equality bill passing in Parliament on his headphones.
He was so overwhelmed with emotion about the results that he said he “couldn’t stop crying”.
Speaking to The Standard, a local newspaper in south-west Australia, he said: “I just got this feeling of being equal and being okay and having the rest of the country accept me.
“It’s just going to make life so much easier for rural LGBTI people to come out and be more accepted.”
The fifth-generation dairy farmer went viral earlier this year after he spoke to The Standard about advocating for marriage equality.
“When I first got a partner – we were together for eight years – when he first came to town there were people who wouldn’t shake his hand and stuff like that,” Smith said.
“It was just a matter of proving that there’s no difference and we were just farmers like everyone else.”
Since then, Smith has addressed a National Party meeting, had five radio interviews, a TV appearance, and two marriage proposals.
He politely turned down the marriage proposals, and said: “I just want to be a normal person.
“I don’t currently have a partner to rush off and get married, but I know now that when I find that special person, there’s going to be no barriers,” he said.
After advocating for marriage equality, Smith said that knowing he could get married was “brilliant”.
Smith was so overjoyed he thought he had dreamt the whole thing when he woke up the following morning.
“There’s still a lot of hate around, there’s still a lot of negativity, but this will go a long way to turning things around and just normalising things,” he said.
Smith urged “the loved ones of LGBTI people” to help their relatives, calling on these family members to “check in on their mental health and how they’re ticking along in the coming weeks and months.”
He said this just days after a survey suggested that the postal vote had a damaging effect on the mental health of LGBT+ people.
Smith thanked Liberal MP Warren Entsch for how far Australia has come in LGBT+ rights, labelling the campaigner a “hero”.
Entsch has argued for marriage equality throughout his entire parliamentary career, and was famously captured hugging Labour MP Linda Burney when the vote was announced.
“One day soon everyone will be comfortable in being themselves, and that’s what I want,” Smith said.
“The sooner you can realise who you are and just be yourself, the better.”