With the news that Different Light bookshop is closing its shop in the Castro, I urge everyone to go out and support their local queer bookshop.
Bookshops have always been an integral part of queer life and community. For people coming out, the queer bookshop is often the first step into a world that feels right. Where being queer isn’t just normal but the norm.
Aside from nightclubs or sex clubs there are very few queer spaces, and none that are as open and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds as a bookshop.
Queer bookshops are hubs of the various subsets of the queer communities, where you find the queer newspapers, ads for queer business, tickets to queer events or people looking for housemates, or notices about the latest support group.
And the books. Books of all sorts about people’s experiences, books to inform, novels to amuse, porn to entertain. Most queer books are published by small presses, ones that don’t have the resources to put their back catalogue into e-books.
There are still so few queer books, that books published 20 – 30 years ago are still sought after.
I urge you — support your local queer bookshop. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.
I am a gay man in his 50s and I seem to remember fighting for the right not to be beaten to death. Lesbians my age were fighting for the right not to have their own children taken from them.
The ignorance and blind fear at the heart of those social realities exist to this day because gay and lesbian communities have not finished making their first point yet.
After stating our case in languages all around the world and in almost every culture over the last 50 years, the logic of our position is still not being acknowledged by our own government. Here’s why not.
The pro-gay argument has been growing stronger throughout the 20th and 21st centuries with impartial science repeatedly proving us right. The anti-gay argument has been the same for 1000 years and you can be sure that anti-gay campaigners within our government still think they are being asked to tolerate perversion.
You can’t legislate against being, you can only legislate against doing. If gay and lesbian activists think the government’s argument is about anything other than ‘what gay men do’, that will remain at the heart of all government rhetoric as it has done thus far.
The day that anti-gay lobbyists, mysteriously tolerated as they are, learn what being gay or lesbian means, all talk of the morality of doing will become redundant.
LAND OF A FAIR GO
The racist and homophobic comments by the Australian Christian Lobby have alienated millions of Australians and caused outrage within the Christian churches and the Defence Force including the RSL.
In one small tweet, the brand of the Australian Christian Lobby has been killed. They were so destructive, they simply imploded taking out other fundamentalist.
Those who support them are further alienating people with highly offensive remarks about Muslims and us good people. The wider community has demonstrated across Australia they are just as outraged as we are. The vast majority of media has been armed and is giving the self-proclaimed lobby the death of a thousand small cuts. It is amazing to see the reaction in forums, on television interviews, and on talkback radio.
The vast majority of the Australian community has been polarised against the Christian Lobby. People are standing with us as they see our suffering, and make it their suffering. The outrage is palpable.
For we have all had our fair share of triumphs and failures, but we have never stopped our deep resolve to make Australia the land of a fair go.
In the next 10 years we will see all the areas of discrimination disappear as we continue down the yellow brick road that leads to full equality. We will continue to grow and prosper, will continue our pride in who we are and what we have achieved.