OMISSION
The Sydney Morning Herald named local out gay man Andrew Heslop as one of Sydney’s 100 Most Influential People among luminaries including Cate Blanchett, Carla Zampatti, Richard Tognetti and Anthony Albanese.
The annual SameSame list of 25 national GLTBI community members was released yet Andrew was not among them. The SMH listed him for his promotion and development of Neighbour Day, a national event he has also funded for eight years. He gave an inspiring keynote speech to launch Mardi Gras and addressed the United Nations in 2008. But mysteriously he was not included in the 25.
It pains me to ask but is his omission from the GLTBI list a question of celebrity over substance?
— Simon
AGELESS ESCORTS
I’d like to congratulate SSO on the amazing achievement of 1000 issues. What a fantastic effort for a gay and lesbian publication to show such continuity for our community.
Further congratulations to the loyal escorts who have advertised with you over that time, even more amazing how over such a long period of 1000 issues some have managed to age only but a year or two. Simply marvellous.
— Dean
PARTY TICKETS
Has anyone else noticed on the Ticketek website for the New Mardi Gras party tickets that members are now restricted to one ticket and there is a threat that NMG membership may be cancelled if found to be obtaining more than one ticket?
I contacted NMG to ask when and why the policy changed. The response was a brush-off… “This change came about when the tickets were released last week. I understand that you are upset and do apologise. However, the change will remain for this season.”
When did we, the membership vote on this?
Well NMG, I am going to try and buy my two tickets and encourage others to do the same. Cancel my membership but face the backlash from us all. It may be a small saving for us ($15) but a further indication of the loss of loyalty NMG shows to our community.
— Rick
TASERS KILL
NSW Police shooting a citizen in the back with a taser gun proves they do not need these weapons for their protection.
They already have handcuffs, batons, capsicum spray, tear gas, riot shields, a $700,000 water cannon that can blow you away at 50 paces (never used), and their Glock 22 semi-automatic gun, a NATO force-approved killer firing 15 snub-nosed .40 calibre bullets.
Tasers kill. They are directly linked to 350 deaths, say Amnesty International, electrocuting muscles and neurons. No known study proves that those with high blood pressure or mental illness are safe, so for those shot more than once, death is imminent.
This kill-first-think-later policy means innocent victims can’t give any evidence, a convenient truth.
— Andrew

beyondblue

I write to congratulate the 71 representatives from the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex (GLBTI) and mental health agencies who took part in a roundtable discussion recently held in Melbourne.
This forum, the first of its kind in Australia, was designed to bring together leaders in the field of GLBTI health to discuss ways to work together to improve the mental health of people within these communities.
Over the next 12 months and beyond, beyondblue will work closely with others to create awareness campaigns, develop new information materials, strengthen alliances, share information and improve accessibility to services.
We will prioritise GLBTI issues in the 2010 research funding round and work to target those who are most at risk of anxiety and depression — young Australians living in the country and older GLBTI people.
In the last half of 2009, beyondblue has had criticisms around what we’re doing — or not doing — for the GLBTI community. We hope the outcome from the roundtable discussion confirms that we are serious about tackling depression and anxiety in association with the GLBTI community to improve mental health, regardless of sexuality or gender.
I invite those interested in the issues to visit our website www.beyondblue.org.au where the five-point action plan is posted, as well as the full results of our scoping study Feeling Queer and Blue, fact sheets specific to the GLBTI community and a collection of research reports.
Together, we are opening eyes to depression and anxiety in Australia.
— Leonie Young, CEO, beyondblue

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