Same-sex marriage postal vote: Proud Illawarra mum of three gay men

Love: Kyle and Peree Eager want their three gay sons to have the same rights as their other children. Picture: Sylvia LIber
Love: Kyle and Peree Eager want their three gay sons to have the same rights as their other children. Picture: Sylvia LIber

Peree Eager found a letter under her pillow from her 18-year-old son telling her that he understood if she didn’t love him anymore. Because he was gay.

“It was the most heartbreaking letter,’’ the Bellambi mum recalled. “He said ‘I understand if you want me to move out’. That was horrible, for any child to think that was going to happen.

“I cried, sent him a text mesasage and said everything is fine I love you.”

A family united: Peree Eager's children, from left, Luke, Ashlyn, Michael and Chris. The siblings believe in marriage equality.

A family united: Peree Eager's children, from left, Luke, Ashlyn, Michael and Chris. The siblings believe in marriage equality.

Then life went on as normal. As it did when Peree’s other two sons “came out” in the years that followed.

“They are the same people, you love them just the same,” she said. “It’s so sad some kids don’t get that unconditional love when they tell their parents.”

Peree says her “gaydar” is terrible – and she had no idea her boys, Chris, 28, Luke, 26 and Michael, 24, were gay until they told her.

Proud: Kyle and Peree have been fighting for marriage equality for years. They took part in the 2015 Mardi Gras.

Proud: Kyle and Peree have been fighting for marriage equality for years. They took part in the 2015 Mardi Gras.

“I got the trifecta,” she said. “I know a lot of people who have two gay children, but none who have three.

‘’Our whole extended family is so supportive, including the boy’s great grandmother who lives in the country and is a strict Catholic … a lot of kids don’t have that and that’s really sad.”

As soon as the same-sex marriage survey was announced, Peree made it her business to reach as many people as possible.

“These are our children, our cousins, our aunties, our friends … people in the general community who want to get married to the person they love,” she said “There’s no other reason behind it.”

With her husband Kyle and countless friends, Peree delivered more than 3000 flyers and spent five hours a day on social media explaining what a Yes victory meant.

“My boys all have amazing jobs, all work all pay their taxes and still people are telling them they are not as equal as everyone else ….up until the vote,” she said. ”So this is great news and we’ve definitely come along way.”

But Peree was disheartened by some of the hate she saw on social media.

“All of the hate has brought back memories for people who’ve been bashed and copped abuse because of their sexuality.

”People say both sides were horrible but if you had your rights denied and had to put up with homophobic bullying all your life I think for some this was the last straw.

“I’m just saying, and now Australia is saying, that my boys are worthy of being equal. A big thankyou to all the people that voted yes.”