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.
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
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
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.
The National LGBTI Health Alliance wants to hear from LGBTI elders (65+) about ways to assist LGBTI Elders and Older people to easily identify aged care service providers who deliver LGBTI inclusive services. The attached survey is confidential, has 5 questions and the recommendations will be considered within the context of the new Single Quality Framework Standards developed for aged care by the Department of Health.
The thing I love most about my life right now is getting to be my authentic self, day to day. I have really grown into myself, despite not having any sense of self or direction when I was younger. I feel a responsibility to do what I can in my time here to aid the progress of trans rights and acceptance, for every LGBTI kid yet to come who would benefit from community and representation.
Meeting a stranger, while having my appearance, is daunting. I have no idea from first glance what they will even know about transgender people or gender diversity, or how they feel about it. With kids, it’s different. Most kids, given the opportunity, are straightforward, and just ask about my appearance. I don’t have a problem with that, and I normally give an equally honest reply, that it makes me happy.
I had no expectations coming into the workshop apart from hopefully meeting and connecting with trans and gender diverse people out of my age group, the actual activity of preserving of fruit and vegetables in jars very much secondary, but enjoyable. We were paired, and my partner Brenda suggested granny smith apples and blueberries, both which I love, so we got to work. After the apples were peeled, we put them in boiling water to soften, to then be cut up for our jars. The apples made a snug fit in the pot, and as they floated and jostled in the water, I was reminded of a short conversation.
A few friends of mine, their brother and I had a wonderful day out at a waterpark, and when we tired of the rides, we sat on inflatable donuts and floated around the lazy river. A six-year-old was fueding with my friend’s little brother, but when they finished splashing and chasing each other, she came up to us. She asked why my nails were painted and I said they made me happy. She nodded and then asked if I was a girl. I said yes, she nodded again and then paddled away. I am always amazed at how quickly kids understand. Interactions like this comfort me, and fill me with hope for our future.