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LGBTQ rights Uncategorized

About allies

Rainbow Pride flag
Image: iStock

 

I thought what an ally was was common knowledge. Maybe it’s only within sections of the LGBTQ+ community.

Apparently, not everyone does, according to what I heard last night on 2GB.

According to Human Rights Campaign, an ally is:

… someone who is supportive of LGBT people. It encompasses non – LGBT allies as well as those within the LGBT community who support each other.

So, that’s it. An ally is someone who is supportive of LGBTQ+ people. Pretty simple. Allies are crucial to the LGBTQ+ community and it’d be great if we could all support each other: cis – gender people standing up for trans people, etc.

 

When you have a habit of catastrophising and always thinking the worse, having people I can be myself around is really important. It’s crucial really. I think we owe a debt to those who supported us during the same – sex marriage debate last year. We’re also going to need them to make sure rights of LGBTQ+, particularly anti – discrimination protections, are not watered down.

At least six out of the seven million who voted in favour of same – sex marriage last year would have been straight. That’s over six million people who think that LGBTQ+ people should be free to love and have that love recognised like straight couples under Australian law. This is huge.

There were media personalities who were great allies during the campaign. These included Mamamia founder, Mia Freedman and the panel on The Project. No, they aren’t perfect, (the Margaret Court “interview” was a train wreck, in my opinion and what Freedman said about Josh Manuatu on Twitter in 2016 was uncalled for). But they lent their voices to support members of the LGBTQ+ community who were calling for change to marriage laws to include LGBTQ+ people (now sex nor gender is a determining factor of who can get married in the law). Paul Murray from Sky’s Paul Murray Live was also a great ally. He consistently (more than others in the media, I’ve got to say), called out extremists in the “No” campaign, as well as calling out those on the “Yes” side.

These people, including some in my personal life, made the campaign a tiny bit more bearable.

Allies were also great before the same – sex marriage debate took full swing. Family and friends I’ve come out to have been awesome. One of them was really, really sweet. It was great to know that our relationship wouldn’t be affected negatively in any way. It’s great to know you’re unconditionally loved by them. It’s also great that most of these people are open about their support.

That’s what I’d say to allies. If you support the LGBTQ+ community, if you can, please be open about it. Let LGBTQ+ people in your life know that they are safe to be themselves around you. We’re not mind readers. For those who are, I love you.

What does ally mean to you? What do you want any allies to know? Leave your thoughts below in the comments. 

 

 

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Gender/ sexuality LGBTQ rights Uncategorized

A big call out to LGBTQ+ supporters

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In the eve of the same – sex marriage postal survey announcement, I want to give a shout out to all those who stood by and advocated on behalf of many LGBTQ+ Australians.

Thank you to those who have actively campaigned for LGBTQ+ rights: written to politicians; called them; and used your voice in the survey.

Thank you to the counsellors/ psychologists who dedicated much of the last few months listening to and supporting LGBTQ+ people who were distressed.

Thank you to those who comforted LGBTQ+ friends and family. It hasn’t been an easy process, (in fact, at times for many, it’s been downright hard!). Thank you to those who have offered a shoulder to cry on when needed.

Thank you to the religious leaders who have called for compassion toward the LGBTQ+ community and have aimed to build bridges between, what have been warring factions. Thank you to those who joined campaigns like Equal Voices, and called for healing and reconciliation between the Church and the LGBTQ+ community.

Thank you to older LGBTQ+ people. like Anthony. Venn – Brown and Magda Szubanski, who have offered their advice and advocacy to younger LGBTQ+ people. Also, thank you to other LGBTQ+ people who have been willing to be open about their own struggles, but pushing forward and fighting for what you want. You have been so brave and strong!

Finally, I’d like to thank media personalities for standing by us. Thanks to Mamamia founder Mia Freedman and other staff for being an endless advocate for LGBTQ+ people. Thank you for giving LGBTQ+ people and their families a voice. You don’t know how much that means to us.

Thank you to Sky News’ Paul Murray and Patricia Karvelas for also being outspoken supporters for same – sex marriage. Thank you also, for being, sadly the few, who have consistently called out and condemned abuses from both sides of the debate.

Who would you like to thank for supporting you or the LGBTQ+ community more broadly during this debate?

Categories
LGBTQ rights

We will rise: Episode of Gaycation offers LGBTQ+ people hope

Screen shot of image of Gaycation: United We Stand
Despite fear about the win of Trump last year, the LGBTQ+ people and their allies’ unity was touching and something Australian LGBTQ+ people can take strength from.

I won’t lie, the last few months haven’t been easy for many in the Australian LGBTQ+ community. That includes me. I’ve been quite strong and have offered my own support to LGBTQ+ family and friends but on and off for the past couple of weeks, it’s finally got me. Old insecurities and worries about how others viewed me came back. And I’m not even in a same – sex relationship. I feel for those who are.

On Wednesday, I saw the end of a repeat of Gaycation: United We stand  on SBS Viceland. It was about the immediate aftermath of Donald Trump’s 2016 election win. Many people were worried about the President’s Cabinet and their links with organisations and political parties that had been opposed to LGBTQ+ rights, including Vice President, Mike Pence, who was responsible for the Religion Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana, which permitted businesses to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people on the grounds of personal belief. (Apparently, he did backpedal in legalising discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, despite anger from conservatives). There was also worry about the rights of trans people and their ability to access medical care.

While the backdrop of the documentary was quite grim, the end of the documentary was surprisingly uplifting. It gave me hope for Australia in the postal vote process. I took strength from the fact that the LGBTQ+ community and allies were determined to stand together and not allow things to backslide to where they’d been in the past. They were not going to let those with homophobic or trans – phobic views win. Caucasian and people of colour were willing to stand together. They seemed to believe in the cause and their right to, not just exist, but live freely, love and express their gender that they saw fit.

It was heartening to see parents of LGBTQ+ people, including co – host Ian Daniel’s father, who were willing to stand by their children and fight for them. I truly think that these people don’t get enough credit. They are such a great source of love and strength. You have seen the same thing with the postal vote process. I’ve been heartened at the number of straight people; including parents and grandparents, who are willing to have their LGBTQ+ children’s and grandchildren’s back.  If you are a parent, friend, family member, educator, who’s been a shoulder for LGBTQ+ family or friends to cry on, on behalf of members of the LGBTQ+ community, can I just say, thank you. You’re love, support and contribution in our lives will never be forgotten. To LGBTQ+ people, please, give these people in your lives a massive hug! They deserve it.

Can I please implore Australian LGBTQ+ people to take heart. It will be OK. If we can stick together, we can get through this and more (if the US is anything to go by, this won’t be the last fight).

If we keep going, we will win this. We will gain the right to love, to be safe and express our gender authentically. To quote Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy: We Will Rise. To quote them again: “United we stand!”

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Uncategorized

To our allies, thank you

In this socio – political climate, it’s easy for LGBTQ+ people to get discouraged. It’s easy to get angry, tearful or maybe even hopeless. To have the lives and relationships of LGBTQ+ people debated 24/7 in the media and social media alike.

Through our stresses and tears, I believe we should say one thing: thank you.

Thank you for those who have been vocal about same – sex marriage and other rights on our behalf.

Thank you to counsellors who are dedicated to helping those in distress.

Thank you for all the teachers, counsellors and support staff who have and continue to help LGBTQ+ youth without judgement. To admit being LGBTQ+ or that your unsure as a young person can be scary. Thank you for sticking by us through the struggle

Thank you to the parents who’ve decided to stick by their LGBTQ+ children, even when the cost was great.

To peers and friends who have embraced the LGBTQ+ people among you. Thank you to those who have allowed us to come out when we wanted to. You’ll never know how much that means to us.

From a personal note, to all those who’ve stood by me when I’ve struggled and have given me a soft place to fall, thak you so very much. You’re in my heart always.

Another personal note: I’d like to thank those who have offered support on my blogs or on social media. It’s not always easy writing about this sort of stuff. In fact, at times, it’s terrifying. But you all make it worthwhile. So thank you. This includes peoole who supported my blog Asexuality in a Sexual World. 

Thank you in thought cloud
Image: Imgur
Categories
Media

Kudos to Mamamia for giving LGBTQ people a voice in the same – sex marriage debate

The debate on same – sex marriage has raged on, although going down recently just a bit. At times, I’ve wondered, where are the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and who’s listening? I’ve got to say I’ve gotten qannoyed when comedian Magda Szubanski and Senator Penny Wong were criticised for expressing their hurt, both as gay women, and how their lives are debated, and, at times denigrated.

That said, I truly believe that the LGBTQ+ community really owes appreciation to our allies and the platforms that do  give LGBTQ+ peop,ea voice. One platform that has been a repeat supporter of the LGBTQ+ community is the women and news site, Mamamia.

I’ve written before how they have helped the asexual community become more visible. I think I nearly cried when I read the entry from Jo Qualmann back in 2014.

Jo Qualmann had a story published in Mamamia on her experiences being asexual.

But, this time, it’s all about gays and lesbians and how they feel about the upcoming plebiscite (memo to Mia Freedman: how about homnoromantics as well, like the Huffington Post Australia did a few months ago. Just a thought.) Semantics aside, as I’ve written before, Freedman deserves a hug for her tireless advocacy and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people.

Some of the posts may seem a bit too passive aggressive, I think that overall, the staff at Mamamia should be applauded for allowing LGBTQ+ people to be raw and honest about their experiences and their views on same – sex marriage. In doing this, I believe they speak for, not just for themselves, but for those LGBTQ+ people who  do struggle, who do feel vulnerable, those, when they see the debate played out in the media, it does make them cry (before anyone jumps up and down, yes, there’s been vitriol on the other side and that needs to stop. Right now).

 

Same – sex marriage aside for a second, (again), I’ve loved the way that Freedman has supported LGBTQ+ people in her own life. The way Mia Freedman responded to Rosie Waterland when she came out as bisexual last year was so beautiful, it was almost a tear – jerker. In this uncertain and emotional climate, I think it’s important for LGBTQ+ people to know that there are people who care, who stand up for their rights and allow them to speak freely and be heard. It’s one thing to say that you’ll vote for same – sex marriage and to speak against anti – LGBTQ hate (and for those who do, I sincerely thank you).  But I think it’s another thing to allow LGBTQ+ people themselves to own their voice and to express how they feel about the nature of same – sex marriage debate and the upcoming postal vote/ plebiscite.

So, big hug for Mia Freedman and all the team at Mamamia. Please continue what you’re doing. Please keep giving a voice to members of the LGBTQ+ community about what’s going on right now. I don’t think you realise the impact it has. *Big hug*.