Film, TV

“The Simpsons” turns 30

It’s been thirty years since the hit animated sitcom, “The Simpsons” debuted in the U.S. I can’t believe it. What an achievement!

I grew up watching “The Simpsons”. Here in Australia, it’s been featured on “Channel Ten” (now on Eleven), for years and years. It used to be on weeknights at 6 pm for, I don’t know how many years. Plus, episodes use to get played on the weekend, too. That includes endlessly repeated episodes.

I’ve also seen “The Simpsons Movie”. It’s good. I’ve never been overly keen on the Halloween episodes. Not sure why, just like the regular ones.

Favourite episodes

Hmm, favourite episode… That’s a bit of a hard one. There are so many to choose from, but I do have a few favourites. One of my all – time favourites is where Homer realises his mother is still alive and is a fugitive. Here’s one of my favourite scenes from it:

Another one I liked I actually studied at school in Year 10. It’s where Homer gets paranoid about having gay local shop keeper and about Bart’s sexuality

When Homer tries to be a hippy… with disastrous consequences, of course.

Of course, Bart, even though he is (eternally) only ten, he has a mortal enemy, Side Show Bob. Yet, they become allies when Bob’s evil brother tries to kill them both. Even though Bob saves Bart, he still gets arrested. Life’s just not fair for some, eh?


“The Simpsons” still manages to make an impact on pop culture. What a legacy! I guess it still reflects Western society today, as it did back in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, and people can relate to the characters: a child who’s too smart and crying for recognition, a boy who has behavioural problems, the underappreciated housewife, etc.


It goes to show that, quite frankly, people are slow to learn – about prejudice, how reliving the “old days” tends to backfire and how, unfortunately, the education system is failing children that need help the most.

Apparently, there’s an episode about “safe spaces” online. I’ll have to check that out.


I don’t think “The Simpsons” is going anywhere anytime soon. It’ll remain a staple in pop culture both here in Australia and in the U.S. for years to come. With it’s biting humour and relevancy, how can it go wrong?


So, happy birthday, “The Simpsons”!


What are your favourite “The Simpsons” episode?

Gender/ sexuality Opinion/Commentary

Safe Schools being dumped in New South Wales – predictable and a lost opportunity

New South Wales Education Minister, Rob Stokes will cut off funding for the controversial Safe Schools Program after June 30. However, Mr. Stokes has also said that the program will be replaced by a holistic anti – bullying program, with input from teachers and principals of private and Catholic schools. This decision has recieved some praise on social media:


Personally, my feelings about Safe Schools have been mixed. When I first heard about the program, I was skeptical, then when I looked at the resources, including the ‘All of Us’ booklet online, I thought maybe it wasn’t a bad idea. What I liked about it was the fact it went beyond the gay/ straight dichotomy. I never understood the role playing exercises, though. Then, it all became a farce. The program’s founder Roz Ward said that the Safe Schools was deliberately about sexuality, gender and anti – Capitalism. Much of the information is arguable, to say the least and The Australian alleged that students were being interviewed about their sexuality without parents’ knowledge or consent.

There has also been concern about the content being taught in preschools and primary schools, with critics arguing that the it sexualises children. When the program was reviewed last year, the primary school curriculum was deemed inappropriate and was taken out all together. Despite concerns, some State premiers, like Victoria’s Daniel Andrews has hard – headedly latched on to the program, with plans to make it compulsory in all Victorian high schools by 2019.


I am so disappointed tbat this has gone down the way it has. I firmly believe that there is place for high schools to openly discuss issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community and offer support LGBTQ+ students and their families. I can say from personal experience that being bullied because of your sexuality is hard. To be honest, I think what makes it harder than other forms of bullying is the fear of rejection and self – loathing. With the inclusion of asexuality and other members of the LGBTQ+ community being recognised. To be honest, it may have made a few years in high school a little bit easier.

However, I don’t think the program was done correctly. Skewing data and turning such a sensitive issue into a political manifesto doesn’t help anyone. Also, I don’t think it should have been labelled an ‘anti – bullying’ program, when it was proved to be more. Also, I think parents and guardians should not have been left in the dark about content or activities, including any research activities that were to take place (surveys, interviews, etc).


Maybe a holistic anti – bullying program would be better than one that solely focuses on LGBTQ+ students. But I still say, correct information needs to be given to teachers and other staff to assist LGBTQ+ students. Students should know withiut a shadowvof a doubt that they’ll be supported and teachers and counsellors should be armed with correct information, including on asexuality (I know I keep bringing it up, but it’s something I do feel strongly about).


How do you feel about the Safe Schools program? If you’re against it, what do you think can replace it?


Yes, words do matter

Emotional pain is just as real as physical pain. Emotional/ verbal/ cyber abuse is just as devastating as physical abuse

Content warning: bullying, mentions Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”.

Hands up anyone who has heard that. I’m sure we all have, both as children and adults. Words are often described as “just words”. Nothing. Just water off a duck’s back.

But words do matter (I’ll get to an actual scientific explanation in a second). Victims of emotional abuse, either by peers, by a partner or family member knows this all too well. You feel vulnerable. The more it goes on, the more your self – esteem gets eroded. In the end, you end up believing the lies.

An area that people are starting to grapple with is online abuse, particularly on social media.While there are a number of laws in Australia that make things like stalking, harassment and defamation online an offence, in 2014, anti – bullying campaigners said that police were not trained enough to deal with these cases. Too many complaints were being dismissed.

According to Daily Mail Australia, Adelaide woman, Maxine Pratt, 31, has to face court after she abuse Adelaide Crow’s player Eddie Betts on Facebook. She could possibly be charged with using a carry service to menace, harass and offend. She has since denied that she was being racist and, as a part – Aboriginal (her words), she didn’t find ape references offensive.

Effects of emotional and cyber abuse

A few days ago, I watched a mini – series on Iview, “Cyberhate”, by former model, Tara Moss. On one of the episodes, she went to see a brain specialist to ask about the impact on the brain when being exposed to abuse online. The findings were shocking. Abusive messages affected a similar region of the brain that causes physical pain.  (If you are in Australia, I’d encourage you to look at the series through IView. It’s very informative, but also confronting. Be careful if you have any underlying issues or are triggered by discussions – and quite graphic and brutal incidence of verbal, cyber and homophobic abuse. The Orlando shooting last year is also referenced). confirms that bullying can have a major impact on brain development in childhood, even going as far as saying it has the same effects as child abuse. The short – term and long – term effects of bullying are well – known: depression, anxiety, drug and drug and alcohol abuse in adulthood. It also causes stress, which, if bad enough, can leave the immune system compromised. Bullying victims can also become perpetrators themselves, creating a cycle of victims and perpetrators.

So what is the solution?

From what I watched from Cyberhate, just being stricter on cyber – bullying legally may be easier said than done. What makes it complicated is that, according to the series, a number of self – confessed “trolls” often (not always) show signs of an anti – social personality  disorder, including psychopathy. They may exhibit Machiavellianism; one of the so – called “Dark Triad” along with psychopathy and narcissism.

 I think the law plays a part, but so does psychiatric therapies to help treat those suffering from anti – social personality traits. However, the Harley Therapy Counselling Blog does warn that those who have Machiavellianism are unlikely to go and get treatment on their own accord, so, the only solution I can think of is court appointment when an offence, including cyber offences occur. For offenders who do not suffer any form of psychiatric or personality disorder, there does need to be consequences, including, I believe legal repercussions. Fortunately, young people are more aware of cyber bullying now and its repercussions on both the perpetrators and the victims, since they are talking about it more in high schools. Are the warnings strong enough? I’m not sure.

I think the place we can start is get rid of the “sticks and stones” myth. Words do matter. Words do have an impact. Bullying of any sort should be condemned and treated seriously.

What do you think can or should be done to combat cyber – bullying? 

(For Australians): If this post has brought up any issues for you, contact Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636. For people of other countries, feel free to put any numbers of mental health services in your country, please comment below.

Gender stereotypes and the role of popular culture in portraying attitudes

Should Snow White be analysed for portrayal of gender stereotypes?

The Victorian State Government has come under fire for the “Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships” has come under fire again for allegedly encouraging children as young as three to see if fairy tales are sexist. According to writer and Mamamia Editor in Chief, Jamila Rizvi, the Andrews Government is not banning fairy tales, but is encouraging children to look at fairy tales critically and see whether they enforce gender stereotypes.

If Rizvi is right, that’s not a bad idea for older children, not three, four or five. Children this age should be able to read fairy tales or other stories for recreation, without having to think too much about sociological issues.

Hearing and reading about this debate has got me thinking about fairy tales, especially Disney’s adaptations and their impact on society. I grew up watching “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Cinderella”. I always wanted the videos like one of my cousins did (I did end up getting them). How did it affect me growing up? Apart from wishing magic wands and magic carpets (i.e. from Aladdin) were real, it never really had an impact on me.


In terms of attitudes about gender, we have to realise that the times in which they originally came out. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in February 1938, while Disney’s adaptation of Cinderella came out in 1950. Apart from women starting to work due to the Second World War, gender roles would have been traditional… or at least that’s what was expected. These films were made before the Civil Rights era in the U.S, so even having a mixed – racial marriage would in film would’ve caused a backlash. What I’m saying is I think before we condemn fairy tales for being “sexist” or even “hetero-normative”, it’s useful to keep in mind the period and, quite frankly, the pressure Walt Disney and other writers, cartoonists, etc at the time would have been under to tow a line to be deemed appropriate.

Disney’s Cinderella. Released in 1950

Disney tales and the 21st Century

Having said all that, growing up with Disney, I’ve also realised that the 1990’s and 2000’s have seen an expansion in story lines created by Disney cartoonists. Not all follow the prince/ princess narrative or portray gender stereotypes. The two I can think of immediately are Mulan (1998) and the four Toy Story movies (1995, 1999, 2010 and scheduled for 2019), and Frozen (2013).

For those who don’t know, Mulan is about a young Chinese woman who takes her father’s place in fighting the Hun army and save China. To do this,she dresses and pretends to be a man, (although, sometimes unconvincing, I must say). She fights with the men, along with sidekick dragon, Mushu, and becomes a hero, even after she is exposed for who she really is. She does fall in love with the captain, Shang, but only after she fights the Hun army and saves Shang’s life after he is wounded in battle.

Disney/ Pixar Toy Story series (which I’ve seen one and two), is largely about family, friendship and belonging. Apart from Bo – Peeps massive crush on Woody the cowboy doll, the first and second films are more based on the friendships between Woody, Buzz Light-year the spaceman figure and Jessie the cowgirl (in Toy Story 2). Toy Story Two deals with issues such as belonging, fears of abandonment and friendship – all issues that would be appropriate for educators, parents and teachers to talk about to their children.

While I haven’t seen it, I heard creator Chris Buck talk to One Plus One host Jane Hutcheon about the intent and the focus of the hit film. He said that the main focus of the film was about the relationship and love between the protagonist, Princess Elsa and her sister, Princess Anna and their reconciliation.

I can’t see why children couldn’t be exposed to both the traditional Disney fairy tales and the modern ones that break the fairy tale mould. At least it’ll give them more than one perspective if that’s what you’re worried about. Most importantly, let kids be kids. If a child expresses troubling behaviour, then address it, get Department of Community Services (DCS) involved if they are showing signs of abuse. Fairy tales are not to blame for that. And children’s entertainment shouldn’t be treated with such scrutiny from adults.

What are your thoughts? Did you grow up reading and watching Disney movies? What were your favourites? 

Gender/ sexuality

Magnum ad, LGBTQ+ visibility and a plea against dehumanising LGBTQ+ people

Reading about the controversy over a Magnum commercial  hit a nerve with me. They way both same – sex marriage opponents and supporters have conducted this “debate” on same – sex marriage has been pathetic.

The reaction Cooper’s beer being featured in ‘Keeping it Light’ same – sex marriage debate by both supporters and opponents was overall childish, especially the backlash after Cooper’s back – pedalled and expressed support for same – sex marriage.

The meltdown over Airbnb campaign where staff members were given an incomplete ring was also ridiculous. If there was any evidence that staff felt intimidated into wearing it, then that’d be wrong. But a quick Google search suggests that hasn’t happened.

Now, the Magnum ad. Two women who are in a relationship (could be lesbian, could be bi, or could be homo – romantic) was feathred sharing a magnum before getting married to another. This sparked a complaint to the Advertising Standards Board, with an accusation that it was ‘promoting lesbianism’ and shouldn’t be featured in children’s viewing timeslot. *Sigh*. These sort of complaints have been rightly condemned as a push to make the LGBTQ+ community invisible again.


People may have moral objections towards those in the LGBTQ+ community. But how about you change the channel when the Magnum ad comes on? If you want to drink Cooper’s then do, if not, don’t. It’s a beer, for crying out loud!

From same – sex marriage supporters, no one should have a (figurative) gun put to their head in a bid to get employees, etc to support same – sex marriage. This is not going to win supporters, in fact, it may do the opposite. Just take a chill pill and let people breathe.


On the Magnum ad, I think the controversy has sparked a long – worn and potentially harmful belief about the LGBTQ+ community. Make that two. First is the idea that the LGBTQ+ community should have no representation in the media – unless it’s to fulfil a male fantasy, I guess. The second, which I think is more harmful – is the idea that being LGBTQ+ is about genitals and sex rather than fully human. I believe this is what gets LGBTQ+ harassed, raped or murdered around the world. It’s these limiting ideas that have driven – and continue to drive – hostility in some religious communities.

LGBTQ+ people are people. They are more than their sex lives (or lack of). A kiss by a heterosexual/ hetero-romantic couple is just a kiss. So is a same – sex kiss. If either offends you, look away. But please do not reduce LGBTQ+ people to your stereotypes and caricatures. They are human – your brothers, sisters, siblings, friends, sons, daughters, etc. Well, they could be. This is what makes homophobia, bi – phobia, trans – phobia, etc so toxic – the way it leaves young people homeless, the way it breaks up families and even can lead to domestic violence. Regardless of your views on same – sex marriage, or even relationships, please look beyond the stereotypes. They are real human beings. It’s time they started to be treated as such.

YouTube in hot water after alleged censoring and demonetising channels


Freelance journalist and Herald Sun contributor, Alice Clarke accused YouTube of restricting videos from LGBTQ+ YoutTubers, while not censoring straight users even though their content can be explicit. Ironically, conservative YouTubers, such as Infowars’ Paul Joseph Watson has condemned YouTube for demonetising conservative bloggers and drowning independent users out as they can’t compete with organisations such as CNN and The Young Turks.


I have a Google account and comment on videos, but I’m not a YouTuber myself. I’m quite happy doing my blog at the moment, so I’m not 100% sure what’s been going on or exactly their policies, etc. I will say this though; if YouTube are restricting videos by LGBTQ+ YouTubers in a way that they don’t censor or restrict straight YouTubers talking about a similar thing, then that’s not OK. Likewise, if they are trying to make it harder, if not impossible for independent YouTubers to make a living from their content, regardless of their socio – political persuasions, then that’s not OK…. unless all users know from the get – go that the platform is a conservative/ liberal – free zone. I mean, they can do that. They are a privately owned company.


What annoys me is how social media platforms, and, by the looks of it, YouTube as well. Due to children accessing platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, it makes sense that some content would be off limits altogether or, as in YouTube’s case, placed in restricted mode.Things like graphic violence, (Slayer’s clip to their song “Pride in Prejudice – trust me that’s gory), sexually explicit content and other content that’s not suitable for those under the age of eighteen should be restricted. Videos that promote or legitimise illegal activity should be banned, period. Unless a social media or video sharing platform is advertised and known  to only accept content from people of a certain religious or political persuasion, the platform should allow (legal/ non – graphic) content from all users, not just some.

And, be consistent! In the past, Facebook have been accused of unfair censorship when they took down pictures of women breastfeeding, while allowing graphic violent and explicit images and videos to be published on the platform. In response to some violent content (I think it may have been  ISIS related), they tried to argue that it was allowed because it stirred up debate. However,  after a public backlash, Facebook eventually took the offending content down. That’s not the only time that their “algorithms” have been scrutinised. I personally have reported memes that I thought promoted anti – LGBTQ+ violence, only to be told that the memes/ comments didn’t breach their standards. (Before anyone accuses me of censorship or being a “snowflake”, these memes I’m talking about actually advocated that men should use physical violence if trans – women use the female bathroom… only they had gross caricatures of them, rather than real ones, but you get my drift).


As debate over 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 has raged, I’ve become more and more in favour of as little restriction as possible. We should be able to debate ideas and laws shouldn’t be implemented to destroy people’s livelihoods unjustly. I’m starting to think that censorship maybe the thing that stops people from supporting groups such as the LGBTQ+ community, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or other ethnic – minority communities. Unless specified, social media, blogging and video – sharing platforms should be places where there is as little restriction as possible and also everyone should be treated the same and be placed under the same restrictions.


It is now easier than ever for people to have their say… or at least theoretically it is. If social media platforms start having consistent policies, it can continue in the future.

Have you had any issues in regard to how a social media platform or YouTube censor or ignore certain content? Let me know your experiences.

Gay marriage and fluid sexuality

South Australian Senator, Eric Abetz caused an uproar when he suggested that gay people can form straight relationships on Sky News when talking about the push for same – sex marriage. This has caused outrage among members of the LGBTQ+ community with accusations of Abetz using the harmful rhetoric that was used to make LGBTQ+ people believe they could become straight; a practice that has been condemned by mainstream health bodies. Former pastor, Anthony Venn – Brown has dismissed Abetz’s claims, saying that gays and lesbians don’t change their orientation when married to someone of the opposite sex. He said it was a case of ‘situational heterosexuality. I want to play the devil’s advocate here. Researchers have suggested that sexuality can be fluid for some people. That’s been explored in the media quite a lot the past few years. Some people are bisexual (sometimes on varying degrees), so theoretically, they’ll be able to fall for a man or woman (or other gender). There must be a distinction here, though:

Some people are, always have been and always will be gay. 

Also, fluid sexuality is said to have environmental factors, whether it’s to do with epigenetics ,  (a theory that is rejected by some in the LGBTQ+ community), or not I don’t think anyone has determined… yet(?). However, that’s not to say that LGBTQ+’s sexuality is definitely going to change due to environment. 


To be honest, I think the theory is quite pointless in the same – sex marriage debate (which I think that’s what they were debating on Sky). So some people experience fluidity in their sexuality and/ or fall in love with someone that doesn’t fall in line with what their orientation. So? That doesn’t mean that there aren’t gays, lesbians, people who are homo-romantic, etc, that want to get married. Some in the LGBTQ+ community, along with their allies, feel that marriage is a crucial step forward towards LGBTQ+ acceptance (I still argue that’s still an overly simplistic argument, but that’s another post for another day and it won’t be a magic bullet, but that’s another post for the future).


While I think Senator Abetz wasn’t entirely wrong in his statement, I think it was pointless and was bound to be taken negatively by members of the LGBTQ+ community, especially given his clashes with members of the LGBTQ+ community over same – sex marriage over the past two years. And I think it’s important to reinstate – I believe that some people may experience fluid sexuality or degrees of bisexuality. But there are people who are, always have been and always will be gay. Let’s not use the fluidity theory or bisexuality to bully and shame LGBTQ+ all over again.



Yes! Prog rock pioneers to be inducted into the Rock’n’roll Hall of Fame

English progressive rock pioneers, Yes are going to be inducted in the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame on April 7, (Yes, We’re in the Hall, Kim Wilson, Sunday Herald Sun, April 2, p. 13). They have sold over 50 million albums since the release of their self – titled album in 1969. Despite their success, they only had one U.S. No. 1 in 1983 with their pop song, ‘Owner of a lonely heart’.

Almost fifty years later, the band has kept a loyal fan base, while attracting new ones. Lead singer, Jon Anderson, puts their success down to the ability to grow as musicians:

Music shouldn’t just be a commodity. It’s about evolving as a musicianand a group of musicians. And that’s what Yes did.

I’ve personally only heard ‘owner of a lonely heart’… at least that’s the only one I know of (I might have heard others sometimes without recognising who they were). I’m familiar with other progressive rock bands at the time, especially Pink Floyd and Eletric Lighting Orchestra.

It’s amazing how many singers/ bands from the ’60’s, ’70’s and ’80’s have made such an impact. Unfortunately, we’ve lost a few recently: Prince, David Bowie, Glen Frey (Eagles), George Michael, and one of my favourites, guiatarist, Rick Parfitt from Status Quo. Others have kept going. Rock legend Suzi Quatro came out of ‘retirement’ this year and performed in Australia earlier this year. I saw her for the fifth time, (yep, you read that right – four times in Melbourne, once in Mulwala). Fleetwood Mac performed in Australia earlier this year, despite a health scare that rocked the band.

Do you like the band Yes? What’s your favourite song?

Extending 18C the Racial Discrimination Act is a bad idea

 In the midst of debate on changing 18C of Australia’s Racial Discrimination Act 1975, the Labor Party have said they wanted the law extended. They want the LGBTQ+ community, people with a disability as well as racial minorities to be protected. So, it would be an offence to offend, insult, humiliate people on basis of race, ethnic background, disability and sexual orientation.

As someone with a disability and someone who isn’t straight, I have one thing to say on the proposal – GOD PLEASE NO!!!!

No, no, no, no, no. i can’t say this enough! The way 18C has been used already has proven to be disastrous: the students from Queensland University of Technology and the case against the late The Australian cartoonist Bill Leak suggest, while defendants were not prosecuted, the law does more to destroy people’s reputations rather than actually making Australia a safe country for racial minorities – the original intent of the law.


One of the fears is that if 18C was extended, it will silence opponents of same – sex marriage. I get that this is an emotional issue to many in the LGBTQ+ community. But this isn’t the right way to go about it. This extension will not stop homophobes or racists. In fact, I fear it will only aggravate people, not win support for the people that are meant to be protected. Anti – discrimination measures brought into law by the Obama Administration in the U.S. has already backfired with anti – trans laws (e.g. HB in North Carolina), being put forward by hard-line Republicans across the country.

Meanwhile, in Australia, I fear that the Left and so – called LGBTQ+ allies should embrace for a similar pushback. The latest events, such as the Cooper’s Brewery/ Bible society backlash, I believe that would have only confirmed to opponents exactly why LGBTQ+ people SHOULDN’T get legal rights. They won’t be won over if they feel their rights to freedom of speech, conscience, etc are being threatened. Also, there will be an increase – not decrease – support for policies such as multiculturalism.


Personally, I say scrap 18C altogether and replace it with an anti – hate crimes Act. This can be used to combat things like Antisemitism, which seems to be at alarming levels around the world now. There is likely going to be a case in Canada real soon where an Imam is going to be charged when he preached that Jews should be killed, (by the way, the controversial Imam has  also received condemnation from other Muslims). Along with anti – defamation and possibly anti – discrimination laws in regarding services, (well, that’s another can of worms for another day), that’s all minorities should need. I think the majority of liberals and conservatives can agree with anti – hate crime measures. Nobody has a right to physically harm or threaten another person.


While safety does need to be considered, stifling thought and speech has proven to do more harm than good. Too often, laws like 18C have left people feeling silenced and frustrated, rather than help people its allegedly supposed to protect. Maybe it’s time for a rethink.

Do you support a change to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act? Do you think such laws should be scrapped or extended to protect other groups? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.







Cooper’s Brewery receive backlash over gay marriage debate


QANTAS boss, Alan Joyce has been a vocal supporter of same – sex marriage, despite public criticism.

Coopers Brewery have copped a whopping from same – sex marriage supporters after they agreed to have their product featured in Bible Society’s “Keeping it Light”, which was a debate on same – sex marriage. When they withdrew their support and reinstated their support for same – sex marriage, they got a backlash from conservatives.  The debate was between Goldstein Liberal MP Tim Wilson and former SAS officer and Liberal MP for Canning, Andrew Hastie.

I saw a segment of the debate on same – sex marriage on YouTube between Hastie, a conservative Christian and Wilson, who is openly gay and who describes himself as agnostic and on a “journey” to find the truth about god. Wilson supports a change in the Marriage Act to allow same – sex couples, while Hastie firmly believes in maintaining the Marriage Act as it is. After a backlash from same – sex marriage supporters, Managing Director Dr. Tim Cooper offered a public apology to same – sex marriage supporters and reinforced the company’s support for same – sex marriage. After their apology, Cooper’s Brewery was slammed by conservatives by backing down.


I saw the debate on YouTube and I think both Wilson and Hastie should be applauded for their conduct. They were both very respectful, while both articulating their views. Neither lead personal attacks and Hastie never demeaned Wilson because of his sexuality and spoke respectfully of his long-term partner. Both sides of the marriage debate could learn from this. For same – sex marriage supporters, not all opponents are the enemy. You can still prefer maintaining the Marriage Act without attacking the LGBTQ+ community. That’s how a debate should be. Two people putting their points across, while no one feels threatened or demeaned.


I get whey people are concerned. I get the pain of having your lives constantly debated, sometimes unfairly. I never once thought that if the plebiscite was going ahead last year that the process would be a walk in the park for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Therefore I think one of the biggest failures of the Coalition government – with not a lot of help from Labor, mind you – was to ensure that supports were in place to help LGBTQ+ community and families in distress when things got too much. I also didn’t like the way that some tried to back pedal anti – discrimination laws while the debate was going on.

On the other hand, I genuinely believed that not having a debate, especially on issues like free speech and the impact on same – sex marriage opponents would only backfire on the LGBTQ+ community in the long term, as it has in Brazil  and the U.S. My fears have lessened in the past couple of weeks, especially after “Married at First Sight” controversy which saw two Jehovah Witness parents rejecting their gay son’s wedding. I remember the explosion on Facebook in support for the couple who married in Florida. I thought that was so touching. Some of these comments were made by people I know personally, as well as on news articles. I take this as a good sign – that people are willing to call out homophobia when they see or hear it.

Since the spat over Cooper’s, I’ve also been thinking of whether major companies should be involved in politics. It’s not just Cooper’s that have copped criticism. Alan Joyce from Qantas, a long-time supporter of same – sex marriage,  has copped criticism from conservatives for making their support for same – sex marriage known and linking it to their brand.