I looked over my shoulder. No bus. Good. I kept walking to the bus stop. It’s been three years since I’ve had to catch a bus to work. I’ve spent the last few years luxuriously walking to work from Potts Point.

I moved in over the Mardi Gras weeke

nd, so the high drama of the weekend escaped me somewhat. I was asleep by 1.30am.

At the parade, I stood with some mates and waved my rainbow flag happily, occasionally poking it gently into cute passers-by with a wink. Men, women, old, young — they all took it as a compliment.

That all came undone when I playfully poked a guy who lost his temper and snapped the flagstick in half. I saw red. It represented more than a broken stick with a flag attached. Rosanna told his wife he needed to celebrate the night and to reconsider attending if he couldn’t cope.

I immediately thought of my sons. I missed them. I missed the comfort of the mainstream and not having to deal with this crap. But for our future’s sake, we need to keep waving our flags. I went home tired.

The bus roared up the road and a few of us hailed it. I got into the lift at work and two colleagues ribbed me.

“Hey, John, how was the weekend, how was the parade?”

I smile. “It was great. Did you enjoy it too?”

Quickly, they looked at the floor numbers.

Sometimes I feel we are constantly starting over, whether it’s a house, a parade or people’s mindsets. It’s about balance, acceptance and at times good humour. But it’s never about breaking a flag, destroying a representative identity of someone or a group of people.

No matter how much we wave our flags, it’s society’s mindset that has to change. Like all mindsets, only the homo sapiens carrying it can alter it.

We just want tomorrow to be better than today.

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