Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here’s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.


 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate

Subscribe!
Subscribe





On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.
___________

Syndicate
RSS/XML


RSS 2.0

Meet the family

By Stuart Horrex - posted Thursday, 1 September 2016


Laws criminalising who I was didn't change till I was a teen. But by then the damage was done. I'd already learned about what it meant to be who I was. Like many (most?) I suppressed my nature and hid within myself. That's what society taught me to do. That was what was expected from me. Don't ask. Don't tell. Keep your head down and your mouth shut or we'll ruin you.

While I never had the courage as a young person to ACT UP or speak out, others did.

Before the internet I vividly recall reading about the radical actions of Queer Nation, and learning about Australia's Gay Rights Movement by sneaking looks at gay magazines in newsagents, and hiding in the corners of public libraries.

Advertisement

With gratitude and respect to all those who came before us and upon whose shoulders we now stand, we can tell our young people today – It does get better…

I've seen the changes in attitudes and responses as society shifts.

We're moving from tolerance to acceptance. For the most part My fiancé and I recently traveled back to my hometown for my father's 80th birthday. Family converged from around Australia. Most over the age of 70 showed us tolerance. Sometimes awkward and strained, but for a long time tolerance is what we queers craved. Don't hurt us. Don't reject us. We'll keep our curtains firmly drawn.

As social research shows, the younger generations are far more accepting.

Normalising the deviants. That's the claim now.

We see queer representation on our television screens growing. Causing a little stir recently the US family drama The Fosters gave us a chaste little kiss between two actors playing young gay teens even though much raunchier encounters between the straight teen characters on the show don't seem to raise much of an eyebrow. Modern Family works to normalise same-sex marriage and relationships but still, as comedy must, tends towards caricature and stereotype. On Australian screens reality TV shows now include openly gay couples and contestants. And Please Like Me from Josh Thomas stands out well above the fray.

Advertisement

We've come so far, but still have so far to go.

That's why the debate a plebiscite on marriage equality will be so hurtful and harmful. And never mind, even by it's "same-sex" focus the very nature of the draft question excludes transgender, intersex, and people without a binary gender identity. The current Turnbull Government proposal seeks to create a segregated system of parallel marriages, one for the straights, and one for everyone else it seems. So much for marriage equality, let's just further entrench difference in law.

Meanwhile it's politics as usual for the ALP, the Liberals, and The Greens.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. Page 2
  4. 3
  5. All


Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

37 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with del.icio.us Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

Stuart is a Deputy National President of the Australian Democrats, and currently serves as the party National Secretary.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by Stuart Horrex

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 37 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend
Advertisement

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy