All posts filed under: Current Affairs

Finding Hope in the Aftermath of the Trump Election

Since Trump was elected, I have not been in mourning, I have just been numb. I’ve cried, but even the terror and the sadness just doesn’t feel real. I just feel empty. Trigger Warning: sexual assault You can try to make this situation look better and claim that people supported Trump for various reasons that were not xenophobic, racist, homophobic, misogynist, but ultimately many people decided that he was the best candidate DESPITE these things which tells me that my existence as a queer womyn does not matter to them. It tells me that they disagree with my right to breathe and do not think that their actions and words cause me pain. And my mental defense is to just not feel. To be honest, I have not felt much since my sexual assault in September. It happened when I was black out drunk at a conference. I only vaguely remember vomiting in my hotel room, have no idea what happened before that except some memories from the hotel bar. I woke up naked the …

VIDEO: The Powerful New Ad Pushing for Marriage Equality in Australia

Australian Marriage Equality has just released an ad as part of the Equality Campaign. The campaign aims to achieve marriage equality together as a nation, through a free vote in parliament, not a plebiscite. The ad, shows families, couples, friends, young and old, from all corners of the country coming together to paint a rainbow Australia on a blank wall, writing things like ‘for my mums’, ‘for fairness’, ‘for commitment’ and ‘for love’ in the process. “The Equality Campaign is about building on the momentum and energy generated across the nation for marriage equality and continuing to campaign for a straightforward change to be achieved by a vote in the parliament,” co-chair of Australians for Equality, Anna Brown told Huffington Post. “This campaign is about putting the human face of the issue back in the centre of the discussion. It is based on the importance of human stories and the message to LGBTI people, their families and friends that collectively we can be the agent of change.” Many have already tweeted their support for the …

VIDEO: Rallying for Marriage Equality in Australia Continues

On Saturday October 15, Perth hosted one of the first marriage equality rallies in Australia since it was officially confirmed the Labor Party will block  the plebiscite once it reaches the senate. Equal Love’s Sam Cavallaro, Greens member Lynn MacLaren, activist Caleb Holmes, activist Jacqueline Blackburn and Clare Francis from the National Union of Students all spoke at the rally, demanding the government hold a free vote in parliament. Despite the lack of support for a plebiscite from Labor and Greens politicians as well as the vast majority of the Australian population, various politicians are still determined for it to go ahead. Special Minister of State Scott Ryan has dismissed calls for a free vote in parliament while Nationals MP Andrew Broad has stated he will walk away from the government should the prime minister change his current approach to marriage equality. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has yet to state what his next move will be once the plebiscite is blocked; he supports marriage equality, though the plebiscite was a major component of the coalition …

VIDEO: LGBTI+ People Talk About the Plebiscite on Marriage Equality

Talk of marriage equality in Australia has taken centre stage over the past 12 months, even more so since a date for the upcoming plebiscite was announced for February 2017. The plebiscite as it stands, will essentially be a $160 million + popular vote on whether Australians want marriage equality or not. This, despite the many opinion polls that have already taken place and consistently show support for marriage equality, has been labeled by many as a waste of time, money and effort, especially seeing as the result is non-binding. This is a small price to pay though, compared to what the negativity from the plebiscite will do to the mental health and well-being of LGBTI+ Australians. It is therefore time for politicians and the media to take a seat, and for LGBTI+ people to have their voices heard, as it is their lives that will be directly and negatively affected should the plebiscite go ahead. We talked to six LGBTI+ people about how the plebiscite will affect the community, what they have to say …

Rally for Marriage Equality in Perth, June 2016

Hundreds of Perth people gathered for one final rally for LGBTI rights on June 25 before the upcoming election on July 2. The Rally for Marriage Equality, hosted by Equal Love WA, was one of many happening across Australia on Saturday. The crowd and speakers were particularly angry over the proposed plebiscite from the Liberals which would cost tax payers $160 million despite current public support for marriage equality. With the election less than a week away, opposition leader Bill Shorten has committed to making marriage equality his first act as Prime Minister should Labor win. “The first piece of legislation I introduce into the 45th Parliament will be a bill to amend the marriage act, a simple change,” he said. The words “a man and a woman” are replaced with “two people”, no $160 million plebiscite, no hurtful, hateful government-sponsored advertising campaign for us.” Should this be the case, this will not only be a win for same gender couples, but also trans, non-binary and intersex people. The Greens support for marriage equality hasn’t …

Perth Holds Candlelight Vigil for Orlando

On Wednesday night, June 15, a vigil for those lost in the Pulse Orlando shooting was held at Perth Cultural Centre in Northbridge. Though it had only been days since news of the horrific attack had hit, hundreds of people were present to stand in solidarity with the victims, friends and families affected. Speakers at the event included Freedom Centre‘s Stephen Boccaletti, Lynn MacLaren, Louise Pratt, and many other passionate community members and professionals. Gay and Lesbian Singers of WA also made an appearance performing a chilling rendition of “Seasons of Love” from the Broadway musical Rent. In being at this event, seeing people coming together and hearing people speak so emotionally about their experiences of being LGBTIQ+, I’m reminded of how resilient this community I’m a part of really is. The lives lost in this tragedy will never be forgotten, though the voices of the Perth community, and of voices from people at events like this all around the world give me hope for a better future. Because I know, when faced with tragedies …

Safe Schools Rally, April 23 2016 [PHOTOS]

On April 23 2016, community members, organisers and activists gathered at Murray Street Mall in Perth for the second time, to rally for Safe Schools in Australia. The event saw protesters from Equal Love and  the Socialist Alternative in attendance, and counter-protesters from Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots Front.  For more details about what happened at the rally, click here. For photos from the event, see below! The next Safe Schools rally will be held at Murray Street Mall on June 4. For more information head to the event page here.

Perth’s Stand Up for Safe Schools! Snap Rally [PHOTOS]

On Monday night, March 21, Murray Street Mall was filled with people ready to show their support for the Safe Schools Coalition at the Stand Up for Safe Schools! Snap Rally. The rally was organised after the Liberal government announced plans to change, and eventually stop funding the program after 2017. Here are some photos of the rally, and of the people speaking up for Safe Schools in WA. To stay updated on issues relating to the LGBTIQ+ community in Australia,  join the LGBTIQ+ Community Action Group on Facebook here. To show your support for Safe Schools and to let the government know what you think of their recent decisions visit ineedsafeschools.org.au. Lastly, remember to look after yourself! You can seek support at Lifeline and/or QLife! .

How Can I Help Safe Schools Coalition Australia?

As news today hit of the changes to be made to the Safe Schools anti-bullying program, people were enraged, and rightly so. Today is National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence, ironic really, considering the Australian government just hit LGBTI youth with a major form of bullying themselves. Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham announced changes to the program which include amending some lesson plans, restricting all program produced resources to secondary students, and resources such as “OMG I’m Queer”, “OMG My Friend’s Queer” and “Stand Out” to one-on-one counselling sessions between students and  “qualified staff” (Buzzfeed). It was also indicated that Safe Schools would not continue to receive funding after 2017. In light of this information, a lot of people are probably asking themselves, “What can I do?” I know I found myself asking the same question. To put it simply, the best form of support in this kind of situation is being vocal! Talk to your communities, educate yourself on LGBTI issues, participate in rallies and protests, and most importantly, let the government …

Gayby Baby Review: Families Leading Lives of Diversity and Acceptance

I’m not sure what I expected as the lights came down at Cinema Paradiso on Sunday night for Perth’s Q&A screening of Gayby Baby. A documentary of course, but what kind of documentary? It seems anyone with a camera and something to say can make one these days, but it takes talent, determination and a lot of hard work to make something that has the ability to really inspire and make a difference in peoples lives. So, what kind of documentary is Gayby Baby? Gayby Baby follows the lives of four kids being raised by same sex parents; Gus, Ebony, Matt and Graham. Produced by Charlotte Mars and directed by Maya Newell, someone who also grew up with same sex parents, the film goes into great depth about the struggles, triumphs and day to day experiences of these kids, who’s parents just happen to be gay. Sounds great doesn’t it! The New South Wales government doesn’t think so. Just last week they banned the screening of Gayby Baby during school hours where it was scheduled …