Alice’s Garage is a national project empowering LGBTI elders and promoting healthy LGBTI ageing in Australia. The project pays homage to Ms Alice Anderson (pictured), who set up a Motor Service in 1920s Melbourne. Miss Anderson’s Motor Service had all female employees and empowered women with information and opportunities to learn more about driving and using a motor vehicle (read more here). Drawing on Alice’s principles of empowerment and opportunity, Alice’s Garage includes a blog for LGBTI elders and a number of projects focusing on LGBTI Ageing and Elders. If you have suggestions for the blog please contact us by clicking here.
Pride means I get to be me. I get to live my life as a proud, out gay man. When I was younger I remember hearing the word “poof” like so many others around me. It prevented me from coming out when I was really young (15 or 16). But it didn’t take me much longer.
Pride means confidence, self-expression, community, acceptance, solidarity, camaraderie, joy of life, living, amazing creativity, growing graciousness and wisdom
My message to men who were unjustly convicted is claim your emancipation! Take back what is rightfully yours – your dignity, your self expression and your youthful searchings. The antiquated laws were a reaction to fear of the unknown, the different – so step up and make yourself known in your beauty and diversity boldly but graciously
What has changed is that many more people have experience and language around gay and bisexual people. There’s a greater degree of ‘naturalness’ around engaging with LGBTI people. I sense the community is a lot more supportive/vocal of LGBTI people – event spontaneously in situations of tension or discrimination. Also, many LGBTI people are becoming more articulate and courageous in challenging community attitudes
My mask is black and white – signifying the ambivalence I feel towards my gay self. The tri coloured tears on the white surface are the blood, sweat and tears of struggling with life and relationships of a gay man. The tears are necessary and worthwhile and are blended in together. The ambivalence I mentioned is both my own feelings and the feelings of people close to me who struggle with acceptance and understanding of other world views.
What does pride mean to me? I’m not sure I can give you an answer you may be looking for. I do not feel pride in being a gay man. Nor do I feel shame. I am just me, I don’t spend much time that I am aware of thinking about being gay. I am me, no more and no less. I guess I think being gay is just a part of me, like being short or having brown eyes, or dark hair. It’s just who I am.
What happened to these men was wrong and should never have happened. They now have the opportunity to have their records expunged. For some it will be a great relief to be able to have their names cleared. For others it means dragging up the past, and may be too much to bear. For all I would say, you have come this far in your life, you are stronger than you think. Clearing your name may give you closure, and peace to move on fully with your life.
The world has moved on from when I was young. From a time when being gay was to be ridiculed, made the butt of a joke, put down, or worse, mistreated in someway. While these things did not happen to me directly, I did see it happen around me. For the past 20 years or so I have lived as an openly gay man in a society that has changed and accepted gay people for who they are.
I watch same sex couples holding hands, kissing in public, shopping for the weekly groceries, and in general, getting on with life and no one cares, as they shouldn’t. It’s just two people in love with each other that happen to be of the same sex.
What Pride means to me is learning to be comfortable in yourself and loving you for who you are. You need to feel like you are able to love, date and care for whoever you want
My message to men who were unjustly convicted is don’t be afraid to be true to yourself as you only get one shot at life. Please love who you love without guilt or a feeling of uncomfortability. Because your true friends will admire and accept who you truly are.
Pride means to be able to walk in public with confidence and head held high. To be able to say ‘I’m a gay man’ in conversation with strangers. To listen to and acknowledge the journeys travelled by the elders who have paved the way for this life we lead
My message to men who were unjustly convicted is thank you for paving the way to allow for the lives we lead. Keep telling your stories even to those who don’t listen. Your stories are part of our history.
Pride means being proud of who I am despite my differences. That I am just as worthy as everyone else. That I have just as much positivity, life, and energy to contribute to the world as everyone else. That I want to leave the world a little bit better off for those I leave behind, especially LGBTIQ people, other minorities and the Planet
My message to men who were unjustly convicted is thankyou for being who you are, for having the incredible courage to be visible in an oppressive, homophobic world, for having the internal strength to pave the way for the next generation of LGBTIQ people and making our lives a lot easier. We are eternally grateful xx
What’s changed? Shit’s gotten way better in my life time but we’ve got a way to go. Get out of the way bitches! Who run da world? Homos
My mask, entitled Breaking Out, symbolises the gay struggle. The inner yellow is the egg yolk, the shells represent the barriers we face, which is slowly splitting and breaking apart. The outward eyes show that, despite out challenges, we are looking outwards and forwards.