NOT FOR POSING

Normally I agree with, and even get a good laugh from, Doug Pollard’s ‘Grumpy Old’ column, but this time he has really irked me by insinuating that all us guys in our 40s, 50s and 60s who look after ourselves are basically ‘body fascists’ (implied, not stated).

You know something, Doug, it really does show when people take care of themselves. It isn’t always about six- (or eight) packs, waxing, botox and posing. Some of us do it to be fit and healthy.

At 56, I decided I didn’t like the way my body was going, with a spare-tyre waistline, sagging tits and bad posture. I made a decision that I wanted to go into my 60s looking fit and healthy, and with an absolute minimum of medical problems.

In the last 12 months, I have lost all the fat around my waist, tightened my pecs and abs, added muscle to my previously scrawny arms, feel absolutely fit and fabulous and have gone off my cholesterol meds — all from doing three hours a week in the gym.

Apart from that, I have only had to do some minor tweaking to make my diet more healthy. Not all of us do this to impress other people, or to go to dance parties and pose around, and it’s unfair of you to insinuate that we do.

At my gym there are a lot of guys as old or older then me (and certainly not all gay) who are working out to improve their quality and quantity of life. They should be encouraged and applauded, not be told just to sit back and let bad diet and obesity lead them into a rickety old age.

— Tim

TWO-FACED BARTELS?

Big, gorgeous, glossy, expensive full-page ads by Adrian Bartels can’t buy votes, even if voters do have to pay $8 for a coffee and cake conversation (‘Conversation Starter’, SSO 1063).

But gay voters are not penile: they are intelligent enough to vote on a wide range of social, amenity and financial issues affecting society at large, apart from matters affecting their inchoate rights to a healthy and productive gay life.

And they have perspicacity enough to query who ‘pays the piper’.

Mr Bartels’ Liberal Party received $1.6 million cash from 1990-2007 and $285,000 in 2009-10 from the Australian Hotels Association, whose members include mega-pubs and clubs in Kings Cross and Oxford St where alcohol-fuelled homophobic violence is endemic.

But Mr Bartels also doubles as chair of the Kings Cross Business Partnership, reckons it simultaneously “promotes Kings Cross a … great place to live”, surely a conflict of interest and anathema.

Is this the real reason he refuses to support a Newcastle-style 1am lock-out trial, which has reduced crime 33 percent, or Sydney Council’s request for annual Liquor Licence renewals to keep recidivist beer barns and lager louts under control?

— Andrew Woodhouse, President,
Potts Point & King Cross Heritage Conservation Society

POOR CHOICE

Considering Charlotte Dawson described homosexual men as “poofs” during her time as a panelist on Beauty and the Beast, I thought she was a particularly poor choice to host the coverage of this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

— Mitchell

IRRESPONSIBLE

Tonight I witnessed a violent assault by three intoxicated young people on two young staff at an Oxford St food venue.

Another person said the offenders had been causing trouble along the street earlier after drinking at a well known venue catering primarily to backpackers.

Further up the street, after noticing a high number of drunk, aggressive young people, I asked a bouncer at one of the gay clubs what was going on.

He told me “Tuesday night is always feral” because the bar in question has ‘happy hour’ that night. A quick web search confirms the bar provides ‘power hours’ three nights a week, where patrons drink as much as they can for one hour for free.

After all the ridiculousness of last year with 2am lock-outs at various venues, I find it extraordinary that the council and state permit a venue to operate this kind of irresponsible policy.

Sydney nightlife should be about fun, not violence and blood-covered faces. ‘Happy hours’ and freebies are not part of responsible fun. They have only one outcome: they motivate people to drink as much as possible in a short period of time, and, as a result, engender massive intoxication and its consequent potential for violence.

As the state election approaches, I ask the Premier and Opposition leader, local member (and Sydney city councillors) to state their policy positions with regard to bars that encourage rapid intoxication through techniques like this.

— Anthony

SUPPORT CLOVER

It’s almost certain the toxic Labor government will be thrown out on March 26.

To ensure Clover doesn’t get too much backlash from being an incumbent, the gay community should get behind her and do all we can to help her re-election.

The diverse electorate of Sydney is lucky to have someone representing them who is totally independent. She does so much for the elderly, the down-at-heel, families and many others, and she is such a supporter of the gay community.

I will be helping out at the electorate office and on election day at a polling booth.

Everyone who may have needed and may need her help, support her.

— Fred

BILL OF RIGHTS

One has to question how a law can be termed an anti-discrimination law when it allows religious schools and organisations to discriminate against gay people.

Gay people are required to pay taxes to the government. The government gives tax payers’ dollars to religious schools and organisations.

It was recently reported that Catholic schools receive more funding than public schools. Catholic schools are exempt from the anti-discrimination laws and refuse gay students an education and gay teachers employment. Once again the Australian government treats gay people as first-rate taxpayers and second-rate citizens.

As most intelligent people acknowledge, being gay is not a lifestyle choice but a birth condition as one is born heterosexual or homosexual.

Who is to protect the homosexual child and the homosexual youth? With most parents being heterosexual and having little knowledge of the homosexual they are embarrassed, ignorant and /or disappointed that the homosexual child has not met their expectations. These parents in the main are ill-equipped to understand and help the child deal with those of homophobic disposition.

Kevin Rudd hinted at a bill of rights but nothing happened. The Greens are currently looking at introducing a bill of rights.

As the anti-discrimination laws are not effective in the area of gay discrimination, we should encourage the discussion of a bill of rights with our local politicians. We need to protect our young people and we need to protect our careers.

We need a bill of rights that covers every Australian without exception to creed, age, race, colour, religion, gender or sexuality.

— Ron

NO TO TRAMS

The Liberals’ proposal to send trams up Oxford St seems to me to be a way for them to finally get what they have always wanted — the end of Mardi Gras.
Oxford St is only three lanes either side.

If you take out two lanes in the middle for the tracks, another two for the platforms for the trams — see the stop at Paddy’s Market for a comparable size www.youtube.com/watch?v=azccn0m6FtE — that leaves one lane for traffic — cars, buses, pushbikes and trucks.

Nowhere is mentioned the impact on local businesses. With this proposal there would be none existent on street parking along Oxford St.

This proposal is being touted by the soon-to-be NSW minister for transport Gladys Berejiklian. Ask her how she thinks the floats of Mardi Gras would fit up Oxford St, not to mention the 10 to 12-abreast marching groups squeezing between the station platforms.

—Jamieson

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