For the last couple of weeks every second article I read includes a reference to -˜role models’. Do they make a good role model? Do they represent my view of community?

Of course, it got me thinking as to whether or not we still need role models and if I have any myself.

The definition of a role model is a person whose behaviour, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially younger people.

Once upon a time you would see young folk referring to their parents as their role models, drawing on their life experience to make their owns lives better.

But with television and the broad range of media around these days things are different and role models can be drawn from many areas.

Like it or not, society has changed. Today we increasingly hear about people who look up to Paris or Britney. Harldy surprising given how often celebrities are rammed down our throats.

A role model can have both a positive and negative effect on you. that is why in the gay community it is important to seek out a positive role model.

I don’t really go in for the celebrity thing myself – I am a tad too old for that one. the most important role model in my life is my grandmother, Shirl.

I loved how she was always laughing, seeing the funny side of situations. But then she also knew when yto put on her serious face. She was never scared to roll up her sleeves, tuck her shirt into her trousers and do some hard work. She was a strong woman who got things done – regardless of what other people thought.

In the gay community I draw from many people who have attributes that stand out and appeal to me. It may be their work ethic, their personal morals or thair attitude to life I am drawn to.

Many years ago I used to sit in awe and watch Portia Turbo for hours, wanting to be just like her as she chatted to a crowd, holding them in her hand and making them laugh with gay abandon. she was a big drag star to that little boy in a dress.

Recently there’s been a lot of talk about the Sydney Convicts and their status as role models in our community.

Having worked and travelled with the team, I have to say those boys are amazing role models. They come in all shapes and sizes, from a variety of backgrounds, are happy to support, listen or lend a hand and never leave anyone out.

They may not be to everyone’s taste, but isn’t that what our community is all about? Acceptance of diversity?

So choose your role models wisely, but remember, it is your choice, no one else can decide but you.

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