NUDE EQUALITY

Why do leaders in the gay community shun nudity?

Homophobia won’t go away through education, because people don’t want to be educated. Nor will greater rights gain us acceptance. South Africa legalised gay marriage, yet violence against gay people there is at unprecedented levels.

For most people, the acceptance of homosexuality is a choice, and as most people are straight, they can remain indifferent to it.

The only thing which will grant us equality, not on paper, but in hearts and minds, is nudity. Nudity breaks down all the barriers, be they gender, race, economic, religious, sexuality and so on.

In a nude world, homophobia couldn’t possibly exist, because homosexuality would no longer be something you could hide.

— Stuart

SUPPORT BOOKSHOPS

With the news that Different Light bookshop is closing its shop in the Castro, I urge everyone to go out and support their local queer bookshop like Hares and Hyenas in Melbourne.

Bookshops have always been an integral part of queer life and community. For people coming out, the queer bookshop is often the first step into a world that feels right. Where being queer isn’t just normal but the norm.
Aside from nightclubs or sex clubs there are very few queer spaces, and none that are as open and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds as a bookshop.

Queer bookshops are hubs of the various subsets of the queer communities, where you find the queer newspapers, ads for queer business, tickets to queer events or people looking for housemates, or notices about the latest support group.

Hares and Hyenas for nearly 20 years has been a centre of performance as well, nurturing queer voices, especially those with disabilities, trans and Indigenous queer artists and in doing so transformed the broader queer community into something better for everyone.

And the books. Books of all sorts about people’s experiences, books to inform, novels to amuse, porn to entertain. Most queer books are published by small presses, ones that don’t have the resources to put their back catalogue into e-books. There are still so few queer books, that books published 20 – 30 years ago are still sought after.

I urge you — support your local queer bookshop. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.

— Jules

IGNORANC

I am a gay man in his 50s and I seem to remember fighting for the right not to be beaten to death. Lesbians my age were fighting for the right not to have their own children taken from them.

The ignorance and blind fear at the heart of those social realities exist to this day because gay and lesbian communities have not finished making their first point yet.

After stating our case in languages all around the world and in almost every culture over the last 50 years, the logic of our position is still not being acknowledged by our own government. Here’s why not.

The pro-gay argument has been growing stronger throughout the 20th and 21st centuries with impartial science repeatedly proving us right. The anti-gay argument has been the same for 1000 years and you can be sure that anti-gay campaigners within our government still think they are being asked to tolerate perversion.

You can’t legislate against being, you can only legislate against doing. If gay and lesbian activists think the government’s argument is about anything other than ‘what gay men do’, that will remain at the heart of all government rhetoric as it has done thus far.

The day that anti-gay lobbyists, mysteriously tolerated as they are, learn what being gay or lesbian means, all talk of the morality of doing will become redundant.

— Geoff

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