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What I Learnt On 'Australian Survivor' Applies To The Same-Sex Marriage Debate

Every vote is crucial.

03/10/2017 3:39 PM AEDT | Updated 03/10/2017 3:39 PM AEDT
Channel TEN/Peter Conte
"Your vote is your voice and your chance to influence the outcome."

The campaign has begun. Postal vote ballots are flying into your letterboxes (like in 'Harry Potter'... only not quite) and, strangely, every Australian is able to weigh in on whether same-sex marriage will finally be passed.

I'm forced to accept this is all coming down to a postal vote. It is what it is. But if there's one thing that I've learnt from being a contestant on 'Australian Survivor' this year it's just how important one vote can be, just how quickly the tide can turn against you and just how crucial it is not to be complacent.

Channel 10

'Survivor' lesson one: If you're feeling too confident -- there's a good chance you're the next to go.

Your circle of friends, family and workplace might all support gay marriage. And while this is great, it might make you complacent. If you think marriage equality is a sure thing simply because the people around you are in favour, you're wrong. There are a lot of people out there voting 'no'.

Every vote is crucial. The worst thing you can do is consider your vote irrelevant.

'Survivor' lesson two: Tribal Council doesn't always go exactly as planned.

Let's learn from the shock results that have come before us. Take a look at Brexit and U.S. President Donald Trump. Spread your voice to those around you -- same-sex marriage is important. Don't let the tables turn from under your nose. Australia needs to move forward.

Expecting an outcome and achieving an outcome are not the same thing. Trust me. I know

'Survivor' lesson three: Sometimes you have to be flexible to make a move.

For older generations who've grown up constantly being told that 'being gay is wrong', I understand it's difficult to snap out of that mind frame. It would be like if someone tried to tell me watching 'The Bold and The Beautiful' isn't cool, only this is a lot more serious.

At the end of the day same-sex marriage comes down to love and basic human rights, something I think everyone can get behind.

A 'yes' vote, and what it helps achieve, means the world to so many people in the LGBTQ community. For many of us, the option to officially get married to someone we love is a dream that we've been holding out for.

Your personal circumstances definitely influence how you perceive same-sex marriage but that influence isn't always right. And if you're just voting 'no' because others have pushed their beliefs on you, please take a step back and think about this for yourself.

'Survivor' lesson four: Don't believe everything people tell you.

The 'no' campaign often takes the argument beyond same-sex marriage -- to education, freedom of speech, same-sex parenting -- it goes on.

And while we could spend all day picking apart each of these arguments, we shouldn't lose sight of what we are really voting on here -- marriage. Letting men and women, regardless of their sexual orientation, get married and spend their life with someone that they love.

I can promise you, same-sex couples getting married won't unhinge life as you know it. If anything you might get invited to a few more weddings, many of them heavily featuring Kylie Minogue's greatest hits.

So as you tear open your letter, wondering why they never open neatly (okay maybe that's just me), really know what you're voting for. Think about just how much happiness a 'yes' vote will bring to many.

Final 'Survivor' teaching: Your vote is your voice and your chance to influence the outcome.

It's an easy vote.

Yes!

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Tune into Australian Survivor tonight at 7:30pm on Ten. Peter Conte is an Australian Survivor S2 contestant. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

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