A wink and a smile changes Nat Hurst's life forever

With a wink and a smile, Canberra Capitals captain Nat Hurst's life had changed forever.

Looking at her wife Tara and five-month-old son Nash just hours after same-sex marriage was legalised on Thursday, she felt Australia had finally recognised the beauty of diversity.

If you'd asked Hurst to open up about marriage equality and her sexuality a year ago, she would have said no.

After all, it has always been her tenacity on the court - not sexuality - that has moulded Hurst's public persona.

But the 34-year-old's priorities changed when her wife Tara gave birth to their son Nash on June 16, which also happened to be their first wedding anniversary.

The date is tattooed on Hurst's right arm under the word "Love", with a big 'L' and 'V' serving as a permanent reminder of the small Las Vegas ceremony at which they were married.

"We always saw ourselves as a family no matter what," Hurst said.

"Growing up I knew it was going to be tough for [Nash]. But with this happening, it just becomes a normality in the world and he doesn't have to go to school and be the odd kid out.

"It's recognised, we're married, he's got two loving parents - they just happen to be two women - and he's a happy baby. I think it's super important for him to know that we are a normal family.

"The love that we have overrides everything and you can see it with how happy he is. To see him smile and see how happy he is, whether he grows up with a mum and dad or two mums, it doesn't matter as long as he is happy."

Hurst was left speechless when Canberra voted overwhelmingly in favour of same-sex marriage, with 74 per cent the highest majority polled in any state or territory.

The Hurst family was there when Lonsdale Street was closed off on November 15 as Canberra celebrated a national vote in favour of marriage equality.

Never one for rallies or marches, Hurst stood in awe of the festivities and knew from that moment she would never have to challenge the traditional views of what a family should look like.

The city's WNBL club was an engine for change before many even realised.

The Capitals wore the colours of the rainbow on their jerseys during their 2015-16 campaign, becoming the first Australian sports team to make a bold season-long stance on the issue.

Hurst remembers scrolling through Facebook as she sat in her apartment overseas when the rainbow-laden uniforms popped up on her feed, taken aback by the club's "really big statement".

Fast forward two years and she would have been in the public gallery as same-sex marriage was legalised, if not for a basketball game she had to prepare for that night.

"Someone came up to me as we were walking out on the court and said 'I've been watching on the TV, and it's gone through.' They gave me a big hug, and then [Canberra teammate] Kate Gaze heard it and came up and gave me a big hug," Hurst said.

"We went out on the court and I went into the game knowing that what I already knew was my family, but now we're legally noticed.

"It was a really good feeling walking out on the court and just seeing Nash and Tara out in the crowd and just giving them a little wink. It was a nice moment for us."

With that, the next chapter of their lives had begun.

This story A wink and a smile changes Nat Hurst's life forever first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.