James Conlan – Never A Crime

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James Conlan: 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 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.

 

David Morrison – Never A Crime

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David Morrison: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 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.

Max Primmer – Never A Crime

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Max Primmer: 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.

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.

Matthew Wade – Never A Crime

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Matthew Wade: Growing up in country Victoria, I often felt I couldn’t express my true self. I couldn’t express my love of singing Mariah Carey ballads at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t express my affinity for late night re-runs of the trashy gay soap Dante’s Cove. And, most importantly, I couldn’t express my same-sex attraction (despite harbouring an intense crush on Will Smith circa Fresh Prince of Bel Air). This mask represents the person I wanted to see free in my country town.

To me, pride means celebrating my differences rather than hiding from them. I remind myself on a daily basis that I’m lucky to be gay, because I’ve been able to grow up with a firm sense of social justice and important understanding of oppression and marginalisation. I wouldn’t be the man I am today if I weren’t gay, and I’ll never stop being proud of that.

My message to men who were justly convicted is that while your convictions were unjust and the product of a homophobic society you never should have been subjected to, I’ll forever be grateful to you for paving the way for my teenage self, who felt confident enough to come out to friends and family in his country town. If it wasn’t for you, I might not be here today.

Growing up in country Victoria, I often felt I couldn’t express my true self. I couldn’t express my love of singing Mariah Carey ballads at the top of my lungs. I couldn’t express my affinity for late night re-runs of the trashy gay soap Dante’s Cove. And, most importantly, I couldn’t express my same-sex attraction (despite harbouring an intense crush on Will Smith circa Fresh Prince of Bel Air). This mask represents the person I wanted to see free in my country town.

 

 

Jack Dow – Never A Crime

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Jack Dow: I was born with a disability, so I questioned my validity at a very early age. I had parents that instilled a strong sense of self, that I could do whatever I wanted to do and be whoever I wanted to be. A few years later when I realised I was gay, I took it in my stride as I’d questioned myself once before and didn’t need to do it again. I used a strong blue against the white as I associate it with the disabled parking signs. I’ve also added my finger prints as we are all unique

Pride means to comfortably be who you are without fear or compromise (eg: not adjusting your personality, language, attire to suit others).

My message to men who were unjustly convicted is Thank you. As a young gay man I am only partially aware of the experiences that you had to go through. It is a part of our history that I happily seek out, for it is the strength of our elders that guide us in the present and fortify us for the future. Thank you

I used to sneak out of bed to watch ‘Queer as Folk’ as I was starved for any idea of what a gay man was meant to be (I was 15 at the time). Through media alone, LGBTIQ+ characters have evolved from the tragic tale of warning or the sassy sidekick with minimal lines into characters with depth, history and conviction. For me, I’ve felt that these stories, especially when incorporated into ‘mainstream/prim time’ media play a role in allowing people to be exposed to the everyday of the LGBTIQ+ community.

I was born with a disability, so I questioned my validity at a very early age. I had parents that instilled a strong sense of self, that I could do whatever I wanted to do and be whoever I wanted to be. A few years later when I realised I was gay, I took it in my stride as I’d questioned myself once before and didn’t need to do it again. I used a strong blue against the white as I associate it with the disabled parking signs. I’ve also added my finger prints as we are all unique

 

Fernando Estrada – Never A Crime

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Fernando Estrada: Through my mask I wanted to provide a glimpse of who I am. A man proud and about of being a gay man.

Pride means to me to be able to stand up for myself and my LGBTIQ+ community by openly expressing my beliefs about what it is to be gay.

My message to men who were unjustly convicted is I am so sorry that you lived bullying, harassment, exclusion and discrimination as a result of being gay or bisexual. My heart goes out to you with respect and admiration.

Through my mask I wanted to provide a glimpse of who I am. A man proud and about of being a gay man

 

 

Mohsin Ali – Never A Crime

 

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Mohsin Ali: My mask shows my pride in my ethnicity, my sexuality, what I stand for and what I believe.

Pride is an intrinsic part of myself. Pride in my sexuality, ethnicity. What I stand for and what I believe. It breaks my heart that the laws were unjust. I cannot imagine how harrowing that must have been. I hope expungement goes some way to healing the pain. We all wear many masks during our lives; at work, at home and amongst friends and lovers.  Tying our various masks together as much as we can helps us be more authentic.