One random night in 2004, Michael Burge’s long-term partner, choreographer Jonathan Rosten, died suddenly while rehearsing a show. In the midst of the ensuing grief, Jono’s relatives started the secret and devastating process of disenfranchising Michael from his position as Jono’s next of kin.
With his name removed from Jono’s death certificate, Michael found himself unable to wrap-up his de-facto partner’s affairs; in a legal, ethical and financial ‘David and Goliath’ battle that was none of his making.
Exiled from his own life, facing grief, depression and suicidal thoughts, Michael eventually found the courage to fight back.
Along the way he came face-to-face with his own demons, and those of the generation that faced HIV/AIDS and the ensuing legislative no-man’s land which saw many de-facto couples disenfranchised by homophobic families.
Through asserting his right to grieve the loss of his partner, not only personally, but on a public and legislative level, Michael’s story offers a rarely heard, surprising and honest voice for all Australians dealing with loss.
Set against a country coming to terms with the human rights and responsibilities of same-sex equality, Questionable Deeds offers one man’s argument for marriage equality and why it’s a no-brainer for any 21st century nation.