I wondered why Jason was in the studio that morning. It dawned on me that he was probably taking part in one of the infamous “Scare Geoff” segments. I was asked to go across to the main studio where I found Jason sitting on a chair next to a stern looking Jackie. That made me even more nervous. What were they up to?
Then after 3 minutes of silence while a song played, Kyle told me I was about to experience a life-changing moment. To be honest I was terrified, but then Jackie looked at me and told me Jason had something to say to me. With that Jason got down on one knee and said: “Geoff will you marry me?”
Wow! I was in shock. It was the last thing I expected. Of course I said yes!
The rest of the day remains blur, but my phone kept ringing all day with friends congratulating us. That night the enormity of what we were doing hit us. We were going to get married live on air. Would the gay community think it was a stunt to get ratings? Would our families attend? How could we do this, with same sex marriage not legal in Australia?
The next four weeks were a whirlwind, and if it wasn’t for promotion’s supremo Chrissie Maus I would have gone mad.
But everything came together. The gay community got right behind us, we decided to brand it Sydney’s first “illegal” gay wedding to highlight the ridiculous laws, our families wholeheartedly agreed to attend, and we were excited that listeners and supporters would attend the ceremony.
The big day was set for Friday 25 November 2005.
The day before was madness, racing around organising everything. That night we had a quite dinner by ourselves in a cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurant in Darlinghurst. We got back to our hotel and went off to sleep, totally exhausted.
At 3:00am the next morning the alarm blared. Within minutes radio station support staff were knocking at the door. A whirlwind hit us. We showered. We were styled. We were made up. There must have been 20 people in the room!
By 6:00am a car had arrived to take me to Parramatta from where I would ride back into the city with my mum in an open-top limo. It was a surreal experience. Mum and me waving to people cheering us on while helicopters hovered overhead.
Eventually we made it to Circular Quay where despite the rain, hundreds waited for us to arrive at a lavish marquee. My beautiful mum walked me down the aisle and when I looked up I could see Jason, beaming at me from the altar.
As everyone knows we did the ‘I dos’ live on radio and TV. It was a dignified ceremony carried out by Pastor Robert Clark from the Metropolitan Community Church. That was important to us. As we exchanged rings butterflies were released and then the entertainment started.
First Human Nature came out, then Ricki Lee, before the biggest surprise of all. 70’s and 80’s superstar Leo Sayer suddenly appeared and did a rendition of his worldwide number 1 hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”. Everyone was dancing that day!
After the amazing ceremony I remember looking at the crowd and seeing people like Osher Gunsberg, Daryl Somers, Carlotta and Kate Fisher! We were whisked off to a wedding brunch for family and close friends, before heading back to the hotel where we slept for a few hours before preparing for the evening reception.
Before heading off that night we switched on the news and couldn’t believe it when we were the lead story on Seven. I still remember the opening lines from the late Ian Ross “Two Sydney men have defied John Howard’s ban on gay marriage”! Little did we know the social movement we’d just kicked kicked off.
Part 3 of My Kyle & Jackie O story on Monday.