Do you accept others as your equal?

Chances are, you don’t. It seems to be an ugly part of the human condition to denigrate those further down the food chain.

The handicapped, the crazy guy at the bus stop, the feral bogans. But with Mardi Gras just around the corner, we come together as a community.

Or do we?

Internalised homophobia is one of those tired idioms, but we do stick to our own. Twinks, lesbians, the gym set, the Bear and leather crowd.

As I mentioned last week, I’m carrying a few extra kilos at the moment. My winter coat. I’m fitter, but it hasn’t entirely gone to plan, and I’ve started falling off the grid since moving from the city. But why should it matter?

Shouldn’t I be able to wave my fat hands in the air at the Harbour Party too?

What happened to ‘We are Family’?

Judgemental, exclusionary attitudes make it that much harder for GLBT youth to come out. I’m just as guilty.

I like to think I walk the talk, yet when it comes to the morbidly obese, I can’t help but wonder if they should be on a treadmill somewhere.

And why do the worst offenders seem to congregate at the gym? Wouldn’t you think they’d be pleased to see you there? Yes, the stench of ostracism is rank among the pectoral elite.

Am I jaded, or have our gay ghettos become barren and soulless? The stomping grounds of the millennial A-Gay; cliquey hubs where the right look and circle of ‘friends’ take precedence.  Anyone who doesn’t fit in is shunned or derided.

Remind you of anything?

Evidently, we’ve become Mean Girls. Like snippy teenagers embroiled in a popularity mêlée reminiscent of the schoolyard. The pre-op trans woman attracts cruel laughter on her way to the Taxi Club.

We snicker at the dyke with the bad haircut, at the overweight, the balding, the ‘mainstream’ — mocking anyone who doesn’t cut our pink mustard.

With teens dropping like flies from homophobic bullying, you might forgive me for expecting a little more. I’m losing the weight. But others will always be targets.

What if we instead harnessed that sense of inclusion and acceptance we seek? Let’s put on a gangbuster festival and party for the world. One where everyone — and every colour of the rainbow flag — is welcome.

We are family … warts and all.

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