RITE OF PASSAGE?
To Christopher of Kirribilli (SSO 938) who wrote that he’s not necessarily proud of, just matter of fact about his sexuality, I think you should have written the letter to your pastor and congregation.
When gays in successive generations get up, demonstrate to the world about their pride in their identity and lifestyles, it’s because our parents, as we were growing up, kept trying to associate gay sexuality with guilt, shame and fear.
The whole born-again fundamentalist Christian movement of the ’80s and ’90s was about those decadent sexual perverts deliberately perversely choosing their sexual lifestyle.
This is despite the fact that fundamentalists were also chasing the existence of the gay gene which they wanted to eliminate. Hedging their ideological bets?
Christopher goes on to say: Should heterosexuals be proud of their sexual identity? Well, the ceremony of heterosexual marriage seems pretty triumphalist to me, full of pride and fulfilled aspirations.
That’s fine, gays and lesbians are quickly designing our own celebration of this significant moment.
Give us equality in society, keep fundamentalist religious fanatics from bleating their inane bigotry, Christopher, and I think you’ll find that gays, lesbians and transgendered folk will quite happily get on with their lives with modesty and seemliness, or alternatively with style and panache.
Perhaps finally, Christopher’s letter represents some rite of passage moment, where a person finally comes to terms with their sexuality as a bit everyday, god-given yes, and therefore a gift, a marvel. But having overcome the years of guilt and shame, perhaps we could see this realisation of sexual ordinariness as something to be proud of.
I’ll send my invoice for the above therapy shortly.
-” Anton, Tempe
SPEAK OUT NOW
The Senate Committee inquiring into same-sex law reform publishes letters that it has received on its website. There are unfriendly responses from all the usual suspects (church groups, family organisations, Christian lobbies, et al).
A surprising response from IFF, the body representing industry super funds, states: IFF does not support the changes proposed as IFF believes they will add unnecessary complexity and cost, as well as long delays; and the proposed change will result in increased complaints disputing the distribution of death benefits.
My understanding is that this law reform is aimed at removing discrimination including that which many surviving partners experience when their same-sex partner dies, be it from hostile family claims or recalcitrant fund trustees.
The full IFF response can be found with this link: www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/legcon_ctte/same_sex_entitlements/submissions/sub_42.pdf
As an Industry Fund Member who indirectly funds the IFF through fees deducted from my super contributions I am aggrieved by this response.
The executive officer of IFF concludes, Industry funds and their members are representative of average Australians.
The response thoughtfully includes the mobile and email address of the author. Medium enough for our decidedly above-average community to let our thoughts be known.
-” Rod, Potts Point
Christians are a fascinating bunch. I can say that with good authority since I grew up as the son of a Baptist pastor and witnessed firsthand both the wonderful warmth and love that can come from followers of Christ, and also the kneejerk morality that often has more to do with bristling self-righteousness than godliness.
Unfortunately with the move by Salt Shakers to challenge the NSW government’s funding of NMG, we are seeing the latter unattractive facet of the church play out once again, and no one ever wins from the sort of morality-by-agitation that this group is trying to engender.
Growing up I witnessed this self-righteous railing against the evildoers of the world time and again, and while it undoubtedly comes from a good place (at least in the eyes of its proponents), it always glaringly omits consideration of basic fundamental humanity.
The basic thesis always is -” you’re not a Christian; therefore your life must automatically be inferior to any Christian’s, twisted, unhappy and needing salvation.
When I was little, I accepted this without question. As a grown gay man, I find it insulting and darkly amusing in equal measure.
The church needs to learn that everyone’s lives, however expressed, have validity and worth, and there is nothing perverse or immoral about GLBT people celebrating their diverse, wonderful culture. It is not inferior to the church’s idea of what the world should be like, and indeed the GLBT community offers creativity, and a challenge to the established order that society needs to ensure it remains vibrant and progressive.
NMG celebrates this, and does it with a passion and joy that is wonderful to see, and if the NSW Government chooses to support this, then all the better.
The church, or parts thereof, need to stop meddling in other peoples’ lives, respect that who we are as GLBT people matters greatly (even to God I’m sure), and accept that we have just as much right to acceptance, and crucially in this instance, funding, as any other group in society.
-” Andrew, Erskineville
Thank you for your front page article about Lance Gowland, who was an inspiration to me and others in gay liberation in the very early 1970s.
It is good SSO noted he fought for social justice for everyone, not just gay men; he remained an active unionist and socialist, fighting for women’s liberation, for peace and against uranium mining, against racism and for refugee rights, and for international solidarity -” eg. with Vietnam, Latin America, South Africa, East Timor.
Unfortunately some of Lance’s history was a bit mangled in your story. Lance was active in CAMP and Gay Lib in the early 1970s, then in mid-1978 he helped set up Gay Solidarity which organised the first three Mardi Gras in 1978-80.
Lance argued to try holding a night-time celebration (not protest), and drove the sound truck in Oxford St on the night of 24 June 1978 which was attacked by police, sparking a subsequent riot at Kings Cross. Lance remained a leading organiser of the annual Mardi Gras parades when it moved to summer in 1981-84.
-” Ken Davis, Pride History Group
OUT OF BEAT
NMG says sold out. Best Sleaze ever, Fantastic night had by all! … Whatever.
DJ tunes all night was very hit and miss, up and down, and that was for the entire night (we left at 6am). When we were to return to the Hordern I saw a mass of people leaving, as if the night was over at 12.30am, but it was the Potbelleez that drove the patrons out. What a poor performance indeed.
For most of the night I had spoken to many of the partygoers and they too were experiencing a night of such letdown. There was pretty much only one venue to dance in. Outside under a tent would be nice on a summer’s day, but not on a cold Sleaze night.
The sound engineers needed a kick up the backside, so too the organiser and most DJs across the board. The only thing I could take away from the night, apart from being with such great mates, was seeing all the partygoers going to such great lengths in their villain costumes, so much creative time and imagination. Well done all, your costumes were just simply stunning and inspiring.
-” Craig, Newtown
On Sunday Team Sydney held their third Sports Day Out at the Sydney Boys High School Grounds and Centennial Parklands West. The weather was great and so were the enthusiastic supporters and club members who turned out on the day.
A wide variety of sports were showcased and those that couldn’t demonstrate their sports like sailing, complete with boat, were on hand to give details of their activities. The aim of the day was to show how people can Get Out and Play and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
We want to express our grateful thanks to our sponsors, City of Sydney, Sydney Star Observer, ACON and TriSkills This enabled us to put on a show worthy of our member clubs. The official opening was led by Councillor Phillip Black for the City of Sydney and Marc Orr, president of ACON.
-” Geoffrey Radford, President, Team Sydney