I first heard about the shocking incident with Craig and Shane (SSO 899) during Christmas week.
As Craig and Shane’s story was told to me, I just sat in disbelief, not knowing what to say as a solution, or even what words I could utter to provide comfort.
With comments like give us your money, you fucking faggots and we have just beaten your faggot son to death, the attack was quite clearly one with a homophobic base, not just some robbery. And all because Craig and Shane were holding hands.
It also indicates that the boys’ attackers were trying to kill them, not just steal their wallets and phones. Now those gay boys could have been me or you -“ and they could have been murdered. Action needs to be taken -“ and fast.
I understand things take time and it’s easy to say, Clover, get off your arse and do something, but the solutions don’t come overnight and they don’t come from an individual.
I have stood on stages across Sydney for many years and told my fans never to travel by themselves, report everything to the local police station and try to be as safe as possible.
Well, the boys did all that, and still they were beaten to within an inch of their lives.
So, is there anything else we can do? I was speaking to the Lord Mayor on NYE and she reaffirmed numerous times her commitment to the gay and lesbian community. When I raised this specific case with her, the anguish on her face was real. She realises each beating affects us all -“ even her.
Remember, this was the result of two people holding hands, something I have told you all to do and something I do with my partners and even my grandfather to this day.
They weren’t fornicating in the street -“ they were just holding hands.
Then I started questioning the advice I give to others. Should I be telling boys and girls to hold hands? Is it safe?
My close friends hold hands all the time, and if anything happened to them I would be devastated. Should I warn them against it?
The more I thought about it, the more I understood that if we stop doing a small thing like holding someone’s hand, we really haven’t progressed at all.
I think, more and more, small things like holding someone’s hand helps to strengthen our community. Like others in the community, I am not frightened by this terrible incident and will keep doing so.
I would also suggest victims of homophobic violence start reporting it to Kings Cross police station where there are officers who want to help our community.
And remember we have a right to see a GLLO officer. If one is not present, you are allowed to ask for one.