When Ashleigh Brazill wed her long-term girlfriend Brooke Grieves, it was the best day of her life.
The couple were married in the scenic Margaret River region of Western Australia, and invited 110 of their family and friends to share in their special day.
Ashleigh, who has represented Australia in netball, told Daily Mail Australia she never expected their wedding to make news headlines, but hopes by sharing her story she can give people the courage to talk about their sexuality.
No boundaries: Ashleigh, who is a pro netballer, said while she wished marriage was legal for everyone, to them their ‘civil union’ was still a wedding.
“I would obviously love it to be legal for everyone to get married,” Ashleigh, 26, said.
“But there is no law that can stop me from being with Brooke.
“For me the only people it matters to are Brooke and I, friends and family.”
While the term ‘civil ceremony’ is often used to describe a same-sex union, Ashleigh said her and Brooke’s wedding was no different to the norm and she ‘expressed my love to my wife like everybody else would’.
“It’s never been an issue in netball,” she said and her sexuality has never been a problem as an elite sportswoman.
In a time when a person’s sexuality can be subject for scrutiny, Ashleigh has found nothing but support.
“The hardest thing for me was more accepting who I was when I was young,” Ashleigh said.
“To be honest when I first came out it wasn’t the easiest road, it was so hard on me and it took me a good two years to even accept it.
“It was so tough on my parents, but now my parents are more supportive than you could ever imagine.
“When I was younger I felt like I was living a lie, and the only time I felt truly me was on the netball court.
“For an hour or so no one would judge me, they would judge me on my sport.”
After the wedding Brooke legally changed her last name from Grieves to Brazill.
“I don’t think I’m a role model,’”Ashleigh said.
“All I have to give is my experience and my story and hope that it will help make someone feel like they can talk about however they are.”