As the owners of the most incredible florist store I’ve ever seen, BOTANICS Melbourne, we’d crossed paths numerous times at wedding events – where I would later document their gorgeous floral arrangements.
I first met the The Shane’s in 2012.
So it was an absolute pleasure to do a Loved Up session with these guys and get to know more about them.
We started our Loved Up session at their pride and joy – their store.
Starting from the ground up 5 years ago Botanics Melbourne now boasts a never-ending abundance of flawless flowers, boutique handmade items and stunning terrariums.
We then headed to The Shanes’ nearby home where funky artwork, fresh flowers and vinyl records adorn their cosy apartment.
And after using their wooden takeaway chopsticks as kindling, a warm crackling fire created the perfect setting for a glass of wine. And the opportunity to talk about their past and plans for the future.
The Shanes have been together for 10 years. On their recent trip to Cuba Shane S proposed to Shane R.
They’re waiting to see what the results of our government’s marriage equality survey reveals before they make plans for their wedding. Either way they will most likely be wed in New Zealand. I recommended a good photographer ; )
This survey has deeply affected the LGBTQI community – and not in a good way. People have started telling their stories in the hope that it will help others understand the importance of a YES vote and what it means to them. Shane S being one of them. He shared his past on social media on, “R U Ok?” day in the hope that it would help the community understand.
And it’s why I love documenting LGBTQI couples….Because it further highlights that at the end of the day we may have different skin colour, belief systems, interests, hobbies and stories but our dreams are the same – to be accepted, loved and treated equal.
“I grew up religious & in rural Australia, from the age of 6 I was bullied at school for being gay, as the years passed the bullying got worse to the point where I was getting beaten up everyday in high school. My parents pulled me out of school & I finished my later high school years home schooling. All through my childhood, teens & right up till 28 years of age, when I came out, I struggled with thoughts & even attempts of suicide. I thought it was my only way out. All I wanted to do was live for my family, not disappoint them & the people around me, along with being cut off from them all because of who I am. For people to tell me it’s a choice means they simply don’t understand, a day in someone else’s shoes & all that. My mental & emotional state was not good & it doesn’t have to be that way. I had friends along the way that were struggling in the same world & are no longer here. My life now couldn’t be anymore different! I run a couple of successful businesses in Inner city Melbourne, have an amazing partner who I’ve been with for 10 years, I am surrounded by incredibly loving, supportive friends & community, that I didn’t think existed beforehand. I know I’m not evil because of who I am & I want every other young person to know the same thing. If we get a “Yes” through this will send such a powerful message to our vulnerable young, that they are accepted, supported & loved even if their current environment is saying something different. This debate has been mentally & emotionally exhausting for many in our LGBTQI community, I’m so grateful to see so many straight allies go into battle for us. “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are” – Benjamin Franklin. Please keep your eye out for your postal vote, please make the effort to post it & please vote “Yes”. This does & will continue to effect people’s lives. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety or thoughts of suicide please know there is help.”
Love is love!
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