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Mrs & Mrs Sherriff

How old were you when you realised you were gay? Yasmine: it was a slow progression for me.... nothing really cemented it until my early 20’s. I mean what can I say..... all the ‘stereotypical’ signs as they say were there. All girls school. School sports captain. State javelin champion. State champion tennis player. Now even I’m laughing.

Melissa: I guess you can say things evolved in my early 20’s. All of a sudden girls were on my radar. No one including me really expected it. And still to this day it’s funny in an annoying kind of way to hear people reactions. Have I been in love with boys? Yes. Have I been in love with girls? Yes. For me it’s about being attracted to someone’s mind, soul, personality. The face of love is variable as is life.

Was it long after that before you ‘came out’ to your friends and family? What kind of support was offered? Yasmine: About 2 years later I started to realise this was me and told my friends and family. My friends were not in the slightest shocked and were the first to say they knew it before I did. My beautiful family just put it clearly, they love me no matter what. I am so great full that I had such a positive experience as i know it’s not like that for all.

Melissa: I delivered the news to my nearest and dearest quite early on. And oh my did the tears flow. Happy tears over the love from my family and friends. It was truly shown that they loved me no matter what. I am welcomed into yasmines family with open arms and my mum calls Yasmine “her favourite”.

Why Marriage? Isn’t Civil Union enough? Yasmine: The limitation that a civil union can offer is a joke. It is still so odd to me that millions of people who I don’t know, and will never know, will give a vote and decide my future on what I can and can’t do in my relationship legally. Surely there are bigger things to worry about in the world than stopping love.

Melissa: Marriage is more than love, commitment, finding the perfect wedding dress or making sure the wedding speeches aren’t cringe worthy. Marriage is a legal status, recognised by every state and every world nation. It gives rights and protection at both state and federal level. At this stage the alternative for same-sex couples, being civil unions, do not offer the same legal benefits as marriage. Simply because they are not widely understood or even respected. Not to mention civil unions are not recognised by all states and for those states that do it is not recognised at federal level. I want to live my life where all people are valued, accepted and loved. Just like the rules in kindergarten, whereas now it’s in the adult domain and its life changing. The marriage act defines marriage as “the union of a man and a woman, to the exclusion of all others...”. Why can’t it read “the union of lovers, to the exclusion of all others...”- and it even rhymes! But seriously. Can everyone just get a grip and realise that same sex marriage won’t end the the world. You’ll still be able to get your morning coffee, you’ll still have your gym membership and you’ll still argue with your lover over what to watch on Netflix. The only difference is that there will be a whole lot more love.

Tell us about this beautiful day pictured, what it means for you and your relationship? Yasmine: What a beautiful day it was! All of our nearest and dearest there to support our love and commitment. In our minds we are 100% married. I have a wife and I am her wife. I guess I’m illegal in a sense, but I’m a rebel like that.

Melissa: This day to me was everything. As I walked down the aisle to Yasmine I knew this was exactly where I needed to be. And here I will stay. I am happily married..... and ain’t no closed minded, opinionated bigot will take that away from me. I am Mrs Sherriff.

Do you see children in your future? Yasmine: Yes 100%.

Melissa: Of course! Yasmine and I are very excited for that to be our next chapter in life. But first....... honeymoon....... YIPPIE!!!!

If there is one message you could pass onto Australian’s on marriage equality it would be… Yasmine: Vote yes!!! Melissa: VOTE YES!!!!!!! I totally want to wear my wedding dress again. Love Mrs & Mrs Sherriff xx

Brides: Melissa and Yasmine Sherriff

Photographer: Geminem

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