K is for:

Kirby, Michael With just a few words in his 1998 Who’s Who‘s entry, Michael Kirby became the first High Court judge to go public about a gay relationship. Kirby’s listing of his long-time partner, Johan van Vloten, was a win for gay visibility, but far from his first community contribution.

As a past chair of the Australian Law Reform Commission and an esteemed international jurist, Justice Kirby’s reputation as a human and gay rights icon is well established.

But some of his greatest plaudits came during a darker part of his career, when Liberal senator Bill Heffernan accused Kirby in 2002 of using a Commonwealth car to pick up Darlinghurst rent boys.

When Heffernan backed down from the unsubstantiated claims, Kirby won praise for his graceful response: I accept Senator Heffernan’s apology and reach out my hand in a spirit of reconciliation. I hope my ordeal will show the wrongs that hate of homosexuals can lead to.

It’s this sort of integrity that saw Kirby nominated as Australian of the Year this year.

Despite the high-level accolades, the High Court judge manages regular appearances at community events, like a Sydney anti-discrimination seminar last week and ACON’s 21st birthday celebration on Tuesday night.

Kermit His wrists are limp and flappy, especially when excited. He hardly wears any clothes and is completely devoid of body hair.

He’s sensitive, caring and the person his friends always turn to for advice -“ friends who are so close they’re practically family. We could be describing half the gay men in Sydney, but we’re talking about Kermit The Frog.

Queer, or just metrosexual? He spends a lot of time avoiding his on-again, off-again girlfriend Miss Piggy. While she’s madly in love with him, he seems pretty indifferent to her. When they are together one can’t help but wonder if she’s merely Kermit’s beard.

He’d much rather spend time with his male friends, especially Fozzie Bear, a big, portly, hairy fellow who loves a hug and doesn’t go anywhere without his jaunty little hat and pink polka dot cravat.

Kermit has performed on TV with Kylie Minogue (Especially For You), and his latest Muppet movie is based on The Wizard Of Oz.

Most telling of all, perhaps, are his heartfelt songs It’s Not Easy Being Green, about being different from everyone else, and Rainbow Connection -¦ need we say more?

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