BIRTHDAY WISHES
Congrats to the Sydney Star Observer for 30 years. Also, thank you for remembering our Case against NIB that we fought in 1994,1995 and 1996.
Our youngest son (Bill has two older kids from his first Marriage) is now 16 and is very proud of his gay dads.
By the way, he is not adopted he is our natural son (another story another time).
We celebrate our 20th anniversary together next year and were married in Canada in 2007. We are still with NIB Health funds and still have family cover and have had the same surname for over a decade now.
­-” Andrew and Bill Whitbread-Brown
BIRTHDAY WISHES #2
Congrats on the 30th edition of SSO. Wonderfully designed and gives us all an insight into the last three decades which we MAGs can really identify with.
I particularly want to thank you and SSO on embracing the entire LGBTI community -” young and old regardless of body image.
As the founder of MAG I have found both you and SSO extremely supportive of the over 40 segment of our population and as I tell all the younger among us, -˜Remember, if you are lucky you will one day all become MAGs’.
­-” Steve Ostrow Founder MAG, Mature Age Gay Men’s Group
BIRTHDAY WISHES #3
Congratulations on the 30th birthday issue. I remember quite a number of those events and people, and it’s important to be reminded. I’ll keep it as a souvenir.
­-” Graham
BIRTHDAY WISHES #4
My congratulations on 30 years. I have really enjoyed reading the potted history of the gay community during those 30 years. The articles are well laid out and very informative. It shows how far we have come, but also how far we still have to go for equality in so many areas of life.
-” Fireyred
GOOD BOUNCERS
Michael needs to lighten up about being refused entry into Phoenix Rising (SSO #977) on a cold winter morning.  Bouncers have a difficult job trying to uphold door policy and ensure those who enter a club are not going to cause trouble.
I have found the security staff at Phoenix to be among the best in Sydney. If you are refused entry into a club then stay calm and politely ask to speak to management. Getting angry and writing letters to a newspaper talking about the shamefulness of bouncer bias will not assist you in gaining entry to a club.
A courteous, rational and respectful word with management usually works.
-” David
PLEASE LISTEN
I listened with interest on Saturday 4 July as Clover Moore, the Lord Mayor of Sydney, spoke on Sydney radio, imploring the NSW State Government to listen to Pyrmont residents and their objections to the threatened resumption and demolition of buildings in Union St Pyrmont for a proposed Metro station.
Her concern for residents’ rights and respect for their opinions is why she continues to be re-elected as MP for the seat of Sydney and one of the reasons she was also returned as Lord Mayor.
Why is it then the City of Sydney continues to ignore residents of Bourke St, Surry Hills and their objections to the proposed separated cycleway? Council is hell-bent on building in that street?
There already is a long established and functioning cycleway in Bourke St which can be part of council’s plan for a city-wide network of cycleways. Bourke St residents do not want, nor do cyclists need, bi-directional dedicated lanes separated from vehicle traffic.
Council’s plan represents increased risks to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike by reducing the width of parking and traffic lanes, reducing vision and room to move to avoid collisions. The risk of cyclists being -˜car doored’ will increase.
Passengers alighting from parked cars will have to choose between alighting into the narrowed traffic lane on the driver side or stepping into the cycleway on the passenger side.
The proposed cycleway lanes will be so dangerously narrow at only 1.2m that the majority of cyclists will continue to use the vehicle traffic lanes anyhow. To accommodate the proposed separated cycleway, 64 car parking spaces will be lost in Bourke St between Woolloomooloo and Waterloo, 49 of them between Taylor Square and Cleveland St.
This parking loss to residents, which council blames on the RTA, is not necessary. Bourke St works well as it currently is for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
The Lord Mayor is listening to the residents of Union St, Pyrmont. She also needs to listen to the residents of Bourke St, Surry Hills.
-” Chris
LOSS OF FAITH
Recently I contacted ACON regarding its discussion/therapy group for GLBT members suffering from depression.
After a phone interview in which I openly discussed my problems, I was told this would be a suitable group for my problems and would be contacted by a course convener. To my surprise, a few days later, they contacted me and advised me that as I had some alcohol and drug problems, they felt it would be inappropriate for me to join the group as a major consideration for the other members would be my sobriety.
I was advised to give up drinking and call them in a month.
I now notice ACON is running a therapy group for GLBT members with drug and alcohol issues. If I was to contact them would they suggest I give up being depressed and called them in a month?
I have lost faith in this organisation. Surely one problem can lead to another, and to so easily dismiss someone asking for help is shameful. I would suggest a visit to your GP would be far more beneficial.
Come on ACON you can, and should do better.
-” David
PLEASE EXPLAIN
In the Star (SSO #977), the GLRL urges people to return their census, ignoring a 2007 ruling by the Federal District Court that the census is no longer compulsory as it discriminates on the basis of same-sex marriage.
The lobby’s position is puzzling and it needs to explain why it requires our continuing participation in a survey that is now redundant.
-” Stuart
WAKE-UP CALL
If ever the gay community needed a wake up call or some home truths, this is it.
The Daily Telegraph’s Piers Akerman is so right in his article on Mardi Gras and the film Bruno and the comparisons it makes.
If the gay community wants respect, equality and acceptance from mainstream society, then it has to grow up, and fast.
The gay community must unite, show boldness and courage and announce that next year’s Mardi Gras will be the last and finally bring an end to an era of the past.
The gay community is never going to evolve or grow by hanging onto past events, like Mardi Gras.
-” John
Changing position
In reading of the 12 month moratorium on the issuing of liquor licenses on or around Oxford St (SSO #977), I wonder if I am alone in comparing this to another recent article where an officer of the City of Sydney was hailing the virtues the precinct would enjoy from a potential raft of small bars.
The small bars idea was meant to benefit from across the board rent relief brought on by the global economic crisis.
Of course this article failed to mention that the City of Sydney, who is the largest single commercial landlord in this precinct, has outright refused any relief for their tenants.
The City demands above market rents while seeking to increase the amount paid by existing tenants where leases are renewed.
The small bars initiative was one of the five questionable strategies espoused by our Lord Major that would allegedly help restore economic activity to our depressed and derelict precinct.
So what is Lord Mayor Moore’s position this week? Are small bars good or bad for Oxford Street? I am having trouble keeping up with the City’s vision for the future of Oxford St and surrounds.
To my mind the arguments that easing the liquor licensing requirements for small bars would promote wide scale public drunkenness have well and truly been dispelled through the real life experiences of Melbourne during the Kennett years.
Would it be too much to hope for a concrete and achievable integrated strategy for the revitalisation of the precinct with actual time frames and milestones?
This hollow and endless stream of reactive propaganda is a poor substitute for elected officials with an actual vision and the will to drive change through the blockade of local government bureaucracy.
­-” Wayne Nicol, Sax Fetish, Tenant of The City of Sydney

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