When Christopher Entwistle attended Sydney's Marriage Equality rally on Sunday, he looked around and realised that he was in a bit of a bubble.
This prompted Chris to take matters into his own hands. So he typed up a message, printed out flyers, and travelled to the town he grew up in, Panania, in Sydney's south-west. Where it just so happens that I also live.
I was running late for the train this morning and stressed because I left my Opal card at work so I needed to buy a ticket. As I rushed towards the ticket machine, a man in a marriage equality T-shirt handed me a piece of paper. The edge was uneven, he'd clearly printed them out and cut them up himself. I contemplated just missing the train so I could talk to him, but decided against it. When I finally sat down in the carriage with just minutes to spare, I took a look at what he had written.
Very soon you will receive a postal survey asking for your opinion on equal marriage rights. I am reaching out to you as a person who is affected deeply by the decision you make.
I grew up on a quiet street in Panania, attended school, church and played soccer and hockey in this area from a young age. My experience is that people who call this area home believe in standing up for a "fair go" for all.
This vote, more than anything, is about giving people like me that chance for a "fair go" to enjoy equal rights — people like me who may have grown up alongside you, attended school with you, may work now in your office, nurse you at a local hospital, serve you in a restaurant - but come home to partners who we love and want to be able to marry.
If you view is contrary to mine, then I politely respect our differences. If you are yet to decide your position can I implore you to lean towards extending a "fair go" to us and expand rather than curtail our freedoms and happiness. If you are a supporter then I urge you to make that voice heard — we are all counting on you!
I was moved. I really wanted to offer my support to Chris, so I tweeted a photo of the flyer and asked if anyone knew Chris. Within two hours, a friend of his had seen it and offered to connect us.
When I reached Chris on the phone this afternoon, he explained how he came up with the idea of visiting Sydney's south west suburbs with his message.
"I had this thought at the end of the marriage equality rally on Sunday, about how much of what we were doing at that rally was really preaching to our own crowd," he told me.
"It's great to energise one another to be part of a movement like that, but is that really getting through to people who are sitting at home, watching TV and don't really interact too often with people in our community? That's the kind of community that I grew up in, that my family live in, so I really wanted to go back to those roots and put a bit of a face to the issue for people I grew up with."
And the suburbs have embraced him and his message.
"It's been really surprising. A few people have asked me what it was like and saying, 'I was thinking of doing something myself.' I keep on telling them it was intimidating and nerve-wracking for about a minute, and then people's natural curiosity takes over," he continued.
"They want to know what's going on, who you are and what's your connection to the issue. Some people would stop and have a chat with you, most people were happy to just take the leaflet. That's why I did make it a more personal message.
"I think everyone has seen literature on same sex marriage at some point, but if it's a story of someone who is from your area and isn't trying to earbash you with one message but humbly tell their story and let you know how it affects them, then I think it's a little more difficult to ignore that."
Though he was prepared for negative responses, he's been pleasantly surprised.
"There have been a few old ladies who kind of look at you uncertainly, and then you say hello and break the ice. Then it turns into a wide-brim smile and they say, 'I'm with you mate.' But there's been no negativity. I haven't had anyone heckle me or try to come against me . . . I was expecting it. Nobody does this without bracing themselves for the worst scenario, but there's been no haters."
Today was Chris' second morning handing out flyers. He intends to keep going all week, travelling to other stations in the area.