It’s just gone six months since I hopped the ditch and moved to the Garden State, or if you read our numberplates, “the place to be”, and in recognition of this momentous occasion I thought it was time to look at the things I’ve come to love about Melbourne.
Before I go on, I want to make it absolutely, unequivocally clear that I never, ever thought that I would make the following statement.
Could people in New South Wales vote for Pauline Hanson please?
Or if you’re in Queensland, and are less keen on supporting someone with extreme right-wing views, vote for Greg Rudd?
I don’t think I’m the only gay man in recent weeks who has been watching developments in Russia with increasing levels of concern, particularly leading into next year’s Winter Olympics due to be held in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.
Like something out of a James Bond film, the supervillain Ernst Stavro Putin has passed laws making it illegal to “promote homosexuality”, lest it corrupt the poor, innocent Russian youth who must be protected from such depravity.
I was watching an interesting item on the telly last night and it got me thinking, as many things do if you’ve been reading this blog for a while.
It dealt with the legal battles between Norrie and the Australian Government over the right for Norrie to be legally recognised as neither male nor female.
And this highlighted a small issue that many people face who fit into the category of a “gender minority”. Well, maybe not so much of a small issue, as an issue over small words.
It’s a phrase that I have to admit that I’ve not quite understood up until now. After all, I lived in the same city for over 40 years, and in the same house for nearly half that time, and in that time you become very accustomed to the way things are.
Until you shake things up a bit, or in my case, quite a lot.
As the Auckland Pride Festival drew to a close last week, I came across this press release from counsellor Paul Letham.
While I broadly agree with what he has to say, there was one part that makes me go “hmmm…”
“The visibility of the GLBT community is sometimes a contentious issue” says Mind Your Head counsellor Paul Letham.
Fair enough. There are still people in our communities that think that being gay is something terrible or immoral.
Last Saturday saw a procession of homosexuals make their way along the axis of Auckland’s gay universe, or if you’re looking for it on the map, Ponsonby Rd.
To be honest, procession probably isn’t quite the right word.
As part of the Auckland Pride Festival, this year’s Pride Parade is the successor to the legendary Hero parades of the 1990′s, events that would attract crowds of up to 200,000 people to witness the sometimes X-rated celebration of Auckland’s gay culture, before the Hero Festival folded in 2001 due to ongoing financial difficulties.
So Saturday afternoon saw me toddling off to Ponsonby to watch a long-awaited public celebration of what it means to be gay in Auckland.
Sometimes when you hear that a public figure has passed away, you are left with a realisation that the deceased is someone who has had a significant impact on society in a way that is unlikely to ever be repeated.
That’s the feeling I got last week on hearing of the death of broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes.
Actually, I’m still having trouble with the Sir bit. He was only knighted a couple of weeks before he died, and I still have the image in my mind of a short-ish gentleman on his nightly current affairs show looking for an interview subject behind trees and bushes, before finding him and asking “are you a nutter or a loony?”
Over the Christmas break I was browsing the Internet and came across GayNZ.com’s Heroes and Villians of 2012 feature. And it all seemed reasonable, if somewhat emotive, until I came across this:
[Name withheld], [party withheld]
For hypocritically dumping on those who have the courage and honesty to be openly gay.