By Drew Sheldrick
Performer Natalie Bassingthwaighte has joined forces with the Wear it with Pride campaign to raise awareness about federal Government law reforms for same-sex couples. Her new single, Love Like This, and its video will be the centre of the campaign when it launches on February 2, with all profits from sales being donated to the gay and lesbian community.
“I’ve always had friends in the LGBT community, but I wasn’t familiar with these new laws,” Bassingthwaighte told Sydney Star Observer.
“The more I heard about them, the more passionate I became and angry that they hadn’t been in place prior.”
Love Like This was written, recorded and produced by the Grammy Award-winning team at Metrophonic, who have worked on tracks for Enrique Iglesias, Celine Dion, Britney Spears and Cher among others.
Up-and-coming director Jan Reichle helmed the video clip and invited gay and lesbian community members and their families to appear alongside fellow celebrity ambassadors such as The Morning Show’s Kylie Gillies, The Today Show’s Richard Reid and performer Courtney Act.
Reichle said working in support of the Wear it With Pride campaign was extremely rewarding and that his aim was to create symbolic celebratory imagery to act as a catalyst for people to find out more about the reforms.
“To experience how much this means to a large and integral part of our community was very special indeed,” he said.
Despite sweltering temperatures on filming day at the props warehouse in Marrickville, Bassingthwaighte said she had a great time putting the clip together.
“It was boiling in that warehouse but we all had an absolute ball. We had volunteers flying in from Newcastle, Melbourne and as far away as Darwin, so it was such a wonderful process,” she said.
Along with Bassingthwaighte and the host of other celebrity ambassadors, the campaign run by the AIDS Council of NSW and the National LGBT Health Alliance will produce 85 T-shirts custom-designed by Australian artists and fashion designers. Each T-shirt commemorates a different piece of reform and will also seek to promote the changes to the community.
ACON CEO Nicolas Parkhill said that despite the ongoing debate about unequal marriage laws and same-sex adoption rights, these 85 legislative amendments represent a huge step forward on the road to equality for the gay and lesbian community.
“The 2008 federal reforms were about removing discrimination in relation to de facto relationships. We encourage people to learn about these reforms so they get the most out of their new entitlements and responsibilities,” Parkhill said.
He added that while adoption is a state issue, the recent federal changes will recognise any adoption arrangements that Western Australia, the ACT and Tasmania have in place.
“It’s up to the other state governments to demonstrate leadership and take action in this important area for same-sex families,” he said.
National LGBT Health Alliance executive director Gabi Rosenstreich agreed that the changes represent one of the largest single steps forward on the road to equality.
“The changes provide, for the first time, recognition of many same-sex couples and their families in areas like your tax return, your workplace leave entitlements, immigration visas, superannuation entitlements, to just name a few,” she said.
Bassingthwaighte’s involvement in the campaign is the latest in a long list of engagements with the gay and lesbian community since the launch of her solo music career in 2008. Performances at Mardi Gras, lesbian shower scenes in movies and her new ambassadorship have done nothing to distract from those early reports of her sought-after gay icon status.
But recalling one of her first solo performances, held at the Oxford Arts Factory, she says it wasn’t initially a conscious effort to appeal to the community.
“That performance was so funny, I was really surprised that the audience was predominantly gay. Call me a dumb blonde, I just didn’t put two and two together that I was on Oxford St,” she said.
As well as her solo music career, the former Rogue Trader will return to hosting duties for the forthcoming season of Ten’s So You Think You Can Dance and will appear in this year’s third season of Underbelly: The Golden Mile.
info: Love Like This is available digitally on iTunes and all digital retailers from January 29. For more information on the Wear it with Pride campaign visit www.wearitwithpride.com.au
Photo gallery: Go behind the scenes of Natalie’s video shoot HERE