I think I speak on behalf of any gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Australian who lives in the suburbs of our big cities: being able to express who you are freely and without fear of judgement - or worse yet, fear for your safety - just because you are different is still an issue.
The controversy surrounding Parramatta Council’s homophobic approach to the allegedly “offensive’’ banners at Twenty10’s stall during the Rediscover the River event, only serves to exacerbate that issue.
Although I’ve lived in the Parramatta Council area - the gateway to western Sydney - since I was 11, it wasn’t until I became a journalist with the Parramatta Advertiser a year ago that I really saw it as gay-friendly and progressive.
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Ubiquitous media commentary on same-sex marriage assumes the moral debate is won, it is inevitable and those opposing it are on the wrong side of history.
Proponents assume no harm can come of it and that mindless bigotry is all that is preventing it becoming law.
So why then is it likely to be resoundingly defeated on the floor of Parliament?
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Progressive Christianity is alive and well. It hasn’t yet got much of a toe-hold in the Australian imagination. But it will. Why? Because the old language of dogma doesn’t speak to people anymore.
Spiritual needs have changed, the church hasn’t, and people have voted with their feet.
I wrote Being Gay Being Christian to say that the Christian church’s traditional teachings on gay sexuality are wrong, harmful and unjust. I also wrote it to encourage gay people of faith that their sexuality does not preclude them from having a faith in God.
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Good on Christine Forster and her partner Virginia Edwards for coming out. The more the merrier. Most of us in the marriage equality movement have known about the relationship for a couple of years, so we have been viewing Tony Abbott’s comments on the issue of equality through the prism of knowing he had a sister who had left her marriage for another woman.
We had also been told the story was stitched up and kept out of the media for political reasons before the last election.
For goodness’ sake Mr Abbott - don’t you think your family is just like everyone else’s? We gay folk are everywhere.
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Monday after Mardi Gras is busy in the House of Priscilla costume hire store on Sydney’s Oxford Street.
Customers traipse in to drop off their outfits, many still bleary-eyed after 48 hours of partying. Word is, this year’s Mardi Gras was a good one, even if American drag queen RuPaul was a letdown. But there’s one thing every gay man on Oxford St agrees with: Kylie Minogue stole the show.
Kylie appeared at her third Mardi Gras this year, performing a half hour set at 2am at the post-parade party. The crowd loved her. She loved them. And why wouldn’t she? The 43 year old has pretty much built her entire career around pleasing her gay constituency.
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People think I’m gay all the time. It could be the soccer or the lack of feminine wiles. A colleague once assumed I was a lesbian because I always wear purple. It’s a Teletubbies thing, apparently.
Anyway, I’m not, and what happened at uni stays at uni.
But if I was, I’d be out. I’m lucky in that I don’t think anyone I care about would have any sort of problem if I was gay. Well, except Bloke. He’d probably be upset.
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I’m going to say it – gay people have it easy.
The homosexual community may not have many rights when it comes to matters of the heart but in terms of negotiating bedroom bureaucracy things are so much more… uncomplicated. At least in the social networking space.
The other day I joined Blendr, the “straight” version of gay hook-up app Grindr, in the hopes it would make a good story.
I wanted to see if the new incarnation of the reportedly invaluable GPS/social networking Grindr app - used to arrange trysts with nearby users - would work for us straighty-180s.
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Should we allow the depiction of homosexuals in the media?
Well of course we should, shouldn’t we? The answer is pretty self evident. But then I have to ask – are depictions of homosexuals “sexier” than straight sex? You may have seen the news.com.au report that the Adshel company has pulled the “Rip and Roll” advertisements for HIV awareness for same-sex couples.
UPDATE: The CEO has just reinstated the advertisements, saying the company had been targeted by the Australian Christian Lobby’s orchestrated campaign, rather than a series of individual complaints as first thought.
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In Victoria alone, almost 500 single women and lesbians have used IVF and other fertility treatments since a law change in January last year made it easier. Some see this rise in fatherless parenting as a violation of children’s rights. Others say kids can cope without dads - although they still need male role models. Susie O’Brien’s story is in the Herald Sun today and she will be blogging live.
Do we really need dads?
Absolutely. In an ideal world all children would grow up with both male and female adults to care for them.
But in the absence of a father, a father figure who might be a close male relative or family friend can do the job just as well. It just takes time, love and commitment.
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