STRUGGLE CONTINUES
Two gay headlines say it all: -˜Gay Christian banned from preaching’ and Pinkalicious granted -˜Right of refusal to men at their dances’. Basically, the two issues are identical. The right to reject and eject people who deviate from an accepted norm either by philosophy or morphology.
No wonder Graeme Innes, the departing Human Rights Commissioner, states that the work is never done. A not-so-subtle application of equality and discrimination is the heavy-handed application of equality by Centrelink and the avoidance of equality at the ALP National Conference on Gay Marriage. (Pssst: Don’t mention gay adoption, internet filters, trans people or lesbian sex workers.)
At least -˜breeders’ is no longer a pejorative term for gays and lesbians who opt out of the scene for domesticity and genetic immortality!
I was saddened and inspired by John Meyer’s article, -˜To thine own self be true’. There is so much in life we must struggle to change to promote equity and end discrimination. However, the greatest struggle for equality and ending discrimination addresses what lies within.
-” John

DIVA  R.I.P.
Every August for the past 17 years, drag queens across Australia have busied themselves in preparation for the annual Drag Industry Variety Awards.
DIVA is part of Sydney’s GLBTQ cultural calendar and now forms a piece of our social history. It was the biggest night of the year for our drag performers, social drag queens, party punters and venue staff alike.
Sadly, earlier this year, the event passed away. 2008 was the final year for the Drag Industry Variety Awards.
DIVA, the company, is being wound up, the board is dismantled, and the longstanding traditions lost, all without the due respect and historic acknowledgement it deserves.
The history of DIVA traces the rise of Sydney’s drag entertainment culture and has catapulted many of our homegrown stars into the larger commercial spotlight. It has created generations of well-known performers and cemented its position in the cultural identity of Oxford St, with its annual all-night drag fest. (A party that took days to complete by many of its devotees.)
Founded in 1991, many have served on the DIVA board over the past 17 years. Those people are saddened by its silent demise and we would like to thank all those who supported us.
A new company has begun called Diva Awards Australia (with no affiliation to the Drag Industry Variety Awards) and a new event will launch later this year, headed by two energetic and dedicated drag identities.
This event will ensure some of the spirit of the original Drag Industry Variety Awards continues, however, the end of DIVA means a colourful piece of gay Sydney has been lost forever.
-” Past DIVA board members Penny Clifford, Stuart Doherty, Fab Gibson, Kevin Golding, Glenn Horder, Ian Jopson, Andrew Mercado, Anthony Russell, Aygun Sana, Phillip Suitor, Colleen Windsor and David Wilkins
HEAVY POLICE
I was disgusted by the bad performance and presence of police at Inquisition 17 on Saturday night.
I can’t understand why so much police resources were wasted on targeting one party so heavily and yet the party at Club Kooky several blocks away did not have any police harassment.
I watched in horror as the aerial performer was jumped on by police and sniffer dogs within a minute of finishing his act because he was in a crouched position de-rigging his equipment.
On the other hand, I thought the party, DJs, shows and aerial performance were outstanding. Well done to SLPA and the venue was a great choice.
-” Greg
KODAK MOMENTS
Surely the Outgames would have provided a few Kodak moments? Likewise the 20,000 strong crowd in Israel earlier in the month.
Is the lack of photos of gay-interest international events due to a lack of photojournalists at those locations?
-” Craig
CYCLE #1
I agree with Kate (SSO 980) that we need to emulate Europe, and make Bourke St safer for cyclists.
We can start by putting some European facts on the table. European cities that tried bi-directional cycleways on urban streets found they are in fact more dangerous than cycling on the road. Studies in Finland, Sweden, Germany, and the UK found a three to fourfold increase in intersection accidents on the type of cycleway proposed for Bourke St, and these accidents more than offset any cycleway benefits between intersections.
Much greater risk was found for the cyclist in the unexpected direction, with drivers, cyclists and pedestrians unable to adequately scan the conflicting traffic.
The safer solution for Bourke St is to slow the speed limit to 30kph, blend the traffic away from car doors and strongly identify its status as a key cycling route.
The final word might go to Dr Eero Pasanen of the Helsinki City Planning Department. In Helsinki, using a road-side cycle path is nearly 2.5 times likely to result in injury than cycling on the carriageway with traffic. At junctions the relative risk rises to more than three times. In those countries and cities which are just beginning to build cycling facilities, two-way cycle paths in particular should be avoided in an urban street network.
-” Ian
CYCLE #2
Kate (SSO 980) may be disappointed to know that not only do I have a bike, I ride it, weather permitting, to and from my office in the CBD via Bourke St and Oxford St. Similarly, my partner rides a bike to and from work in Randwick.
We are not alone, as many cyclists ride Bourke St every day of the week without incident or mishap. Bourke St is not broken and doesn’t need fixing. Council’s proposed bi-directional separated cycleway will be an expensive, unneccesary and contentious white elephant at huge cost to safety and amenity.
Yes Kate, the loss of 64 car parking spaces in Bourke St, which this proposal entails, is a very big concern for residents of our community, but one which Council refuses to acknowledge. It will impact not only on those residents who need to and have a car, but no off-street parking, but also on their visiting friends and relatives, community health providers, social workers, utility representatives, tradespeople, local business people and even Council rangers and officers.
We are fortunate to live in a City of Villages and it is incumbent upon residents of our village and visitors or those passing through to exercise due care and have respect for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike.
Kate, you and your friends are more than welcome to continue riding your bikes through our neighbourhood on Bourke St, but if you’re so precious and timid that you’re not prepared to share the road with other users and exercise a bit of care for your own safety’s sake, than I’d suggest you had better ride your bike elsewhere and not demand preferential treatment over rate-paying residents.
-” Chris
SMALL-MINDED
The reason, Pratt [SSO 983], that children find themselves put in that position to be defensive about their parents is because of bigots like you implying their parents are abnormal.
She wasn’t saying -˜not normal’ in a statistical sense. Nor did she merely mean -˜uncommon’. She made a distinction between something she approves of (heterosexual parents) and something she doesn’t (same-sex parents) then denigrated the latter on that basis by arguing that gays make inferior parents.
Very small-minded. Shame, lady, shame.
-” Brendan
HAPPY CAMPERS
Happy Campers has now come to an end. Many of you may ask why, but John and I know these things run their course. Due to our expanding family and personal commitments we have decided to end the social group.
It has run for successfully for over four years, with great support from you all and we thank you for that.
If you have any further questions or after further information needed on groups on the coast please do not hesitate to contact us.
John and I won’t be disappearing altogether. We will still be on the committee for Gold Coast Gay Day as per previous years.
Thank you once again. I’m sure we will see each other again soon.
-” Nathan and John
BREATHE IN
In a world of mind-numbing mediocrity, baseless banality and trite turgid tribulation, let us stop for one moment to review the situation.
Now let’s all take a big deep breath and remember where we come from.
Do we really need outmoded, conformist, slightly silly heterosexual stereotypes to feel needed, or can we follow the road less travelled while still ensuring that just and equitable laws are in place, to make our journey a pleasant one?  You can breathe out now.
-” Brent

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