It was only a couple of years ago that I remember walking through Penrith Plaza being called a fag. I was quite taken aback by this. How did they know I had Britney as my ringtone and Kylie playing on my iPod?
Monday, May 17 was International Day Against Homophobia. You may remember last year’s popular campaign This is Oz that focused on getting people to write messages in support of diversity and speaking out against homophobia.
This year I decided to face my demons and take the campaign out west. Joining with UWS’s Ally network and five police GLLOs, we held an information booth letting people know about IDAHO and promoting the This is Oz campaign.
I was overwhelmed with the support and interest from shoppers asking questions about the day.
I was uplifted by a young couple I was chatting to when they asked about taking a picture for the campaign. They wanted to raise awareness of racism and homophobia and came up with the message, “Black? White? Straight or Gay? What’s the difference?”
Blue Mountains City Council, in an effort to raise awareness and in recognition of their residents, flew a rainbow flag during the day from the council chambers. While this was a simple act, it was good to see a local council making a stance of acceptance. If you haven’t already done so, take a snap of yourself holding a sign supporting diversity and post it online. If you don’t want to do it by yourself, get a group of friends to do it with you or even your pet.
For more information about This is Oz or to load your photo, visit www.thisisoz.com.au

info: For information about western Sydney, contact Matt  at ACON on 9206 2064 or mvaughan@acon.org.au.

Matt Vaughan is the Community Development and Liaison Officer for the ACON Western Sydney Community Development Team.

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