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.
Pride means I can be the person I really am, quite independent of the societal commentators on how one should think concerning one’s sexuality. To be relaxed as to how I conduct myself as a gay man in everyday activities. To feel at home with the human race in the uniqueness of each life.
My message to gay and bisexual men who were unjustly charged is to simply move on with your life and don’t try to seek approval for the person you are. Experience shows that those who don’t seek approval are the very ones who receive most approval. Seek friends, acquaintances and groups which accept and love you for the person you are. In conversations, always look people in the eye to assert your own approval because there is nothing to be ashamed of.
From us being looked upon as deviant and immoral by society, government, the churches and police, to tolerance and acceptance, gay and bisexual men have been involved with television programs, movies, education and politics. They’ve had a big influence on fashion design and for men the introduction of smart slim fit clothing and body jewellery which has caught on in a big way in the straight world. These changes came as Australia has moved towards being a secular society where the influence of religious traditions has been greatly diminished and many people make their assessments from other sources. Its only in recent times that the presence of gay and bisexual men has made impact on the powers of government and authorities. The LGBTI’s Pride March has been participated in by federal and state parliamentarians, the armed services and the police force. These changes of attitudes are not ubiquitous, there are still many people who cannot come to be open to new ideas in a progressive society
My mask has a group of soldiers ready to obey orders but as individuals they have minds of their own. Some will be gay and have infatuations of love and desire for each other. They would love to embrace in the bushes but they know being gay is forbidden and such feelings are supressed. The letters FRS+P represent my fears of my sexual feelings (F). (R) represents the risks I have taken in the process. (S) represents the guilt and shame I’ve experienced due to my religious teachings and the attitudes towards homosexuality. (P) represents the pride I now feel having broken down these barriers. I’ve shown a smiling mouth.
Pride means to me being able to live my life true to myself, having true friends around me, gay, bi, straight. Being able to feel comfortable with all my friends as a gay man and Drag Queen. The total acceptance of family and friends of who I am. Doing my best to pass on advice of my life and give as many hugs as possible. Help younger and older LGBTIQ family
My message to Stay Strong. As hard as it is, try to come to terms with this issue. There is help out there for you all. And remember – you are loved. We will always pay tribute to everyone who suffered these injustices
The mask I made today encompasses me as a gay man, having come out at the age of 15 I have seen a lot of changes – some good and some not. But we are family. We are loved. Hugs to the World.