Street Artist Hebsarte
By Hebsarte in Villas Del Sol, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
Growing up in India, Nerissa was bullied for being gay.
It wasn't until she moved to Australia as an international student where she started to feel more comfortable with her sexuality, and met her wife at a support group.
But when Charlie suffered a devastating accident early in their relationship, both their lives were changed irrevocably.
"I was living in the hospital, so it became part of our life," Nerissa explains.
"Before that, I was like, 'okay, I can lead my gay life, and I can lead my straight life'. But [after the accident], it was very hard to separate the two.
"I think it helped push my coming out, with family in India and friends here as well … [there were] those that accepted it, and those that didn't fell by the wayside."
I went to an all-girls Catholic school [in India], run by Irish nuns. It was very much: this is a sin. If you're gay, you're going to hell.
I got bullied a lot for the way I looked and the way I dressed.
Even when that [bullying] got to the principal, even she told me: "You can't stand the way you stand. You can't walk the way you do."
She told me, "if you don't change the way you are, then I'm going to expel you."
I've always been a tomboy but I thought, well, if I change my physical appearance, then it will change how I feel.
So I did a full 360. I put on makeup, I wore heels, dresses, everything. I hated it. And no matter what I did, that feeling inside just didn't go away. And it would just eat me from the inside out.
I came to Australia as an international student and started to get exposed to more things. It took me a long time to finally come to terms with identifying as gay, and being okay with myself, before I could start to tell anyone.
I decided to come out to my sister in India. A week after my 30th birthday, I rang her and I just blurted out: I am gay. Her response was: I accept you.
It was the first time I was saying it to someone, and it was all I needed in that moment.
My sister was my first ally, but because she was in India, she said I should find some support in Australia. So I googled a coming-out group. And that's how I met Charlie.
We really clicked as friends straight away. Then she told me she liked me and I was like, "no I'm not ready for this, you're not my type". But Charlie was very persistent, and she did not give up.
She even told me, "You can play hard to get if you want, but we're gonna be together". She was obviously right because it's been 11 years since then.
Just holding Charlie's hand and walking down the street, or going to a restaurant and sitting down together, symbolises and signifies so much for me.
Growing up, I never could have imagined it. It's been absolutely incredible.
When I met Nerissa, there was an instant attraction.
I'd been out for about 10 years, but I went to this coming out group because I'd just moved to the city and wanted to find people to socialise with.
I think the first thing I spotted was her high back sneakers, which I really liked. And the cocky little attitude that went along with them. She was laying back, shoes kicked up, swinging on a chair. I thought, "oh yeah, I'd like to get to know her".
I think looking back, I probably could have given her a bit of a break and not jumped straight in there. For me, the chemistry came quite early on. But it was too soon for her.
We had only been together for eight weeks when I had a motorcycle accident.
I was a nurse back then, and I was on my way home from a night shift. A car that was coming from the other direction hit me. It didn't see me, cut in front of me and I T-boned this car and went flying.
I spent 11 weeks in hospital and had 22 surgeries.
Nerissa was amazing. I don't know how she did it. She just completely adapted to the role I needed her to be in. She was working throughout the whole thing, but she moved into the hospital with me, stayed in my room and was up in the middle of the night trying to help me.
We got married at the British Embassy in Australia, because I'm from the UK and at the time, it was legal over there. And then we got married at our local church as well.
Four months before the wedding, I had a below-knee amputation as a result of my accident. The goal was that I would walk down the aisle, and we didn't know whether I would reach that. It was a real focus for my rehab. And we achieved it.
I was there on the day walking down the aisle with Nerissa and that meant so much to both of us.
I feel really proud to be able to step out every day in my relationship with Nerissa, to call her my wife and for it to be okay and for no one to have any issues with it. I think we've come such a long way. And I appreciate it every day.
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Giant "googly eyes" have continued to appear around Adelaide, most recently this morning on a statue of city planner Colonel William Light as he looks over the city from a site aptly called Light's Vision.
The round black and white eyes, usually reserved for children's crafts, appeared on a Dan Murphy's sign in Welland last week, a picture of Colonel Sanders on a KFC restaurant bucket in Eastwood, and a Jim's handyman van.
Today, the googly eyes were spotted on Colonel Light, South Australia's first surveyor-general.
Instead of peering across to Adelaide's CBD from Montefiore Hill in North Adelaide, Colonel Light now appears to be looking at both the ground and the sky.
While mystery surrounds the identity of the so-called "googly eye bandits", ABC Radio Adelaide roving reporter Troy Sincock said the latest episode showed the same unmistakable "signature move".
"There he [Colonel Light] is with his scroll in his left hand pointing out with his arm raised to the right over the top of Adelaide Oval into the city centre, just looking at the beautiful site he created for the city of Adelaide and, lo and behold, he's got googly eyes," he said.
"This is like the crowning glory for these pranksters.
"Instead of having the eyes looking in the same direction, they are looking in completely different directions, as if to say the world has gone mad, what a peculiar and ridiculous situation we're currently dealing with."
Adelaide residents appear to be enjoying the googly-eyed phenomenon as the city endures a COVID-19 outbreak.
"In all of the madness happening right now, I'm glad they have found a way to bring a giggle to people," one person wrote on ABC Adelaide's Facebook page.
Another said she hoped Colonel Light would have seen the funny side.
"No damage done, no foul."
Another Facebook commenter admitted she laughed at the prank but said "it's disrespectful".
"I hope someone can restore his vision. A true pioneer. But oh it's funny," she said.
Others speculated the googly eyes could soon be appearing on election corflutes set to be put up on Stobie poles ahead of the March state election.
The statue of Colonel Light has previously been the subject of light-hearted disfigurement, including when a yo-yo was attached to his outstretched finger.
Colonel Light died in 1839 and is the only person officially buried within the square mile of Adelaide's CBD.
The statue was originally located in Light Square — where Light is buried — but was moved to North Adelaide in 1938.