SAY SOMETHING

Danny (SSO 1050), my aim for the creative concept of the Mardi Gras season is to provoke dialogue.  Therefore the words chosen for the parade speech bubble artwork are not designed to be the definitive criteria for the issues of the 2011 parade.  Though the words “I do” may well be a reference to same-sex marriage don’t you think? Equally the words “I don’t” could have been included to cover a myriad of topics.

The intent is to encourage participation through the forums of the parade and arts festival.  To give the community an opportunity, and lay down the challenge to stakeholders to Say Something.

You are correct.  It is not the 1970s in Sydney, but the issues addressed throughout Mardi Gras are not so Darlo-centric.   The word decriminalisation recognises our past and one of the many the battles we have won.

Homosexuality may have been decriminalised in Australia but there are still somewhat less than enlightened attitudes in countries where gays, lesbians and the different can be executed for being themselves.  The United Nations acquiesced to that on our behalf.  These injustices must be denounced.

So Danny, thank you for Saying Something. I’ve had my Say. Now who else would like to Say Something?  I look forward the contribution and the input of others as the Say Something campaign is further revealed.

– Ethel Yarwood (Kabi)

Harassment

Dear Ms Keneally, today, I had to walk past Parliament House on Macquarie St to get to work. You’re probably aware that a very vocal group of disgruntled miners were protesting on the street. I had to walk on the road, with some police direction, to get past. Another supervising official said I could get arrested if I was on the road for too long. Then, the miners  started to shout and jeer. One called me ‘A Poofta boy!’. Not that I am, nor that it is particularly relevant to their protest, I felt extremely violated and harassed by these men.  Am considering legal advice.

-David

penny, please

Nathan (SS0 1048), I am a gay man too — a big flouncy queen. You opine that Senator Penny Wong is reluctant to take a stand on ‘gay marriage’, well darl, she has. Ms Wong stands against it. Just because she is gay does not mean there is any requirement for her to support the issue.

Kind of like high profile people, who happen to be gay do not need to ‘come out’ for the benefit of the ‘gay community’, as some lunatics seem to believe.

-Peter

Editor’s note: Senator Wong expressed her support for marriage equality reform at the Sth Aust Labor conference.

FEMALE STIs

For four weeks now, SSO has run the ‘STI check’ column, focussing on chlamyia. I applaud the inclusion of this column as the more correct info that gets out about STIs the better – however I was alarmed at the complete lack of mention of women and chlamydia.

After digging back through my old editions for the earlier columns and checking out the websites provided, it became clear that the columns were specifically intended for men who have sex with men and people who didn’t research further could presume chlamydia was a men’s-only STI.

Women can get chlamydia and chlamydia can cause all sorts of complications such as pelvic infections and infertility. As with men, women with chlamydia may have no or vague symptons so it’s worth getting a check even if you are feeling fine.

More info can be found at www.girl2girl.info or  http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/sexualhealth/chlamydia.html

– Fiona

CAAH THANKS

Community Action Against Homophobia Sydney would like to say a big thank you to the LGBTIQ community for it’s support and involvement in the National Year of Action for Equal Marriage Rights.

Throughout the year we have a seen record numbers of people taking to the streets; an unprecedented level of media coverage and a host of celebrities and politicians become actively involved.

We also for the first time ever saw LGBTIQ marriage rights become a major issue in the 2010 election.

We have seen several concessions, including adoption rights and a relationship register for LGBTIQ people in NSW.

But we have also seen the determination of the community to continue to keep fighting for full equality.

We look forward to continuing this unstoppable and increasingly winnable campaign into 2011 and invite the community to come along to our first demonstration in 2011, on Saturday, March 19, at Town Hall from 1pm.

— Ben Cooper & Cat Rose

CAAH Sydney Co-conveners

Marriage equality

It was great to see so many people from across our diverse community come together in support of equality in the Marriage Equality march.

I was very moved to see so many young people marching for their rights. There has long been an argument that the younger generation do not recognise the struggle that has gone before them and that they are complacent about what is ahead.

I only witnessed passionate youths, from teenagers and above, shouting proudly for equality. For a more mature person such as myself, I found that encouraging that the young still get up and want to say something. There is still so much to fight for.

-Pete Urmson (co-chair, New Mardi Gras).

World AIDS day

This World AIDS Day we again remember our friends and all who have died over the last 25 years. We celebrate people Living with HIV and call on friends, colleagues and government to work with us to help people with HIV make their lives the best they can be. A life free from discrimination is an important part of that. Whether in hospital, at work or at home, discrimination harms us all and must be challenged. Positive Life particularly acknowledges the contribution of MX magazine for its promotion of a message of support about people with HIV to its readers during November.

-Rob Lake (CEO Positive Life NSW).

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