G is for:

Gym And lift, puff, pant, grunt, and drop it. And lift, puff, pant, grunt, and drop it. Now preen, preen, preen and make sure you’re being seen!

This could easily be the mantra of gym bods in fitness centres across the city, lifting endless rounds of weights, day after day, to create the perfect body.

While big, buff and easy on the eye works for many, there are others who have concerns about how the perfected gym body has become a universally recognised icon in contemporary gay male society.

New York psychotherapist Michael Chernoff claims this body image has had a widespread impact upon many gay men. I often hear clients talk about -¦ how their image of their own body affects their self-esteem, their sense of well-being and of fitting in to the gay scene.

For all the physical and psychological advantages of keeping fit, the pressure to have a -˜gym body’ can cause psychic distress for many men. Working out can become an unhealthy obsession that’s facilitated by a distorted body image, regardless of any initially healthy reason behind the interest in fitness.

But Chernoff’s words of wisdom are easily drowned out by the rush of wind created as flocks of gay men speed past and into their local gym. With Sleaze Ball now only 10 weeks away, there is not a moment to waste. And lift, puff, pant -¦

The Greens Thank goodness for The Greens. From the federal arena -“ represented by politicians such as Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle -“ to local government,

The Greens’ commitment to the queer cause is refreshing in these severely conservative times.

As the Howard government raised barely a whisper at the arrest of an Australian tourist for gay sex in Fiji last year, Nettle joined a Sydney rally protesting the decision.

When NSW premier Morris Iemma said during the Tempe childcare centre drama in May that children shouldn’t be taught about gay families, Marrickville Greens mayor Sam Byrne defended diversity.

And as right-wing elements influence NSW state politics, Greens MP Lee Rhiannon is trying to push an anti-discrimination bill through parliament.

Are The Greens beyond critique? Not at all. When Kerry Nettle proposed including a question about sexuality in the national census, some said she risked strengthening divisions between straight and gay.

But for the most part, when The Greens say they’re committed to our community, they are.

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