Archive for February 29, 2012

Staying Negative – Darren’s Story

Check out Daren’s Story at Staying Negative.

Peninsula Bi Chat

We take great pleasure in announcing the inaugural meeting of the Peninsula Bi Chat group on Thursday 8th March 2012 at a venue located on the Mornington Peninsula.

The group is open to all bisexual people, their friends, loved ones and supporters. Those questioning their sexuality are also welcome and may benefit from this opportunity for fellowship with like-minded individuals where all things bisexual are discussed openly and frankly.

The group meets monthly on every second Thursday. The group is run by a facilitator, and has a simple set of rules to make sure everyone feels safe. We start at 7:30, have a short break around 8:30, and then continue through to finish around 9:30. We talk about whatever is important to the attendees that night; sometimes people have questions, or they want to talk about the things going on in their lives, or listen to the stories of others.

The Peninsula Bi Chat group is an offshoot of the Melbourne Bi Chat group which has been running successfully now for several years, currently out of Carlton. The facilitator for the Peninsula Bi Chat group, Rowan, is also a regular attendee of the Melbourne group, and has long recognised the need to make this type of support available at a regional level, hence the formation of Peninsula Bi Chat.

Rowan is also a committee member of Bi Alliance Victoria, a non-profit volunteer-run organisation dedicated to promoting the acceptance of bisexuals in GLBTI and mainstream society, providing a fun, safe space where bisexuals can meet, make friends, and talk about their experiences, and informing the bisexual community about relevant news and opportunities for activism.

If you are interested in attending the Peninsula Bi Chat group, are perhaps a little nervous about coming along, or just have a question please contact the group facilitator Rowan on 0437 199 271 or rdax@netspace.net.au. Anyone planning to attend is requested to make contact in advance for venue details.

Anyone wishing to attend the Melbourne Bi Chat please click on the following link for details: http://www.bi-alliance.org/?page_id=37

The Wedding Dance by Elliot London

I received an email the other to share a short film (THE WEDDING DANCE), here is the story……..

My name is Elliot London…  My passion is making gay cinema…

I have been working on a beautiful short film (THE WEDDING DANCE) about Equality in a different perspective. I would be so ever grateful if you would take a look at this 3 minute film and consider posting it when the time is so right to educate one another.

The objective with this project is to raise money for our feature film FRIEND. A film about coming out in 2012. A time now when things are so different with social networking. A time now that a child might not have the correct tools to coupe with humiliation in an instant world. FRIEND is about giving back. Its a movie about accepting and loving oneself but most of all it is about educating. With the proceeds from this film I am going to be donating the profits to groups that help educate at risk youth… If we can raise $10,000 to make our last film with social networking. Than $250,000 can be done. Please take a look at the campaign we have started. Please share this film…

Thank You

Elliot London

http://www.facebook.com/TheWeddingDance

http://www.facebook.com/theelliotlondon

www.indiegogo.com/myfriend 

Magda thought of suicide, struggled with sexuality

I read Magda’s story below from The Age and watched The Project clip also below. I cannot fault Magda for the courage she shown in the interview and the comments about the struggles of coming out. I myself came out at a later age of 33, whilst struggle with with my own sexuality, like Madga, it is up to us to choose when we “Come Out” as we only have one go at it, and it can only go 2 ways bad or good and you need to set up a support network to help soften the experience if is does turn out badly.

Again, Magda, you are a legend and you have shown true spirit in showing the world who you truly are and to be proud of it.

Here is the article from The Age:

Magda Szubanski has admitted to having suicidal thoughts while struggling with her homosexuality as a teen and has rejected claims by tennis great Margaret Court that sexual preference was a choice for people.

The day after the comic actor announced publicly she was gay, Szubanski called for greater respect to be shown to homosexuals, although she said Australia was overwhelmingly a tolerant society on the issue.

Court, a former world No.1 tennis player and now a pastor with the Perth-based evangelical Victory Life Centre, last month claimed people chose to be gay. She later claimed homosexuality was often the result of sexual abuse.

Magda Szubanski announces that she is gay. 14 February 2012.Magda Szubanski announces that she is gay on national television. Photo: Channel Ten

Szubanski today said while she respected Court’s sporting achievements, she did not hold the same view on Court’s opinions on homosexuality.

“All this notion of choice, the notion you can terrorise or frighten – they used to give people electric shock therapy,” she told radio station 3AW.

“I think all you can do is respect what people are and [show] the most compassion and empathy that you can bring to the situation, trying to foster in people who they really are and help them be their best self.”

Szubanski said she was relieved at coming out publicly, although she had previously done so “thousands of times” to family, friends and colleagues.

She said she had struggled with her feelings when she first realised she was gay, and while she wouldn’t elaborate, admitted she had felt suicidal.

“Oh yes, yeah, absolutely … people will say ‘Why did I take a while to do this [come out]?’ I needed to be as solid as I could be so I could do this in the strongest possible way and be really clear about myself,” she said.

“I didn’t want to come out and botch coming out as it were, I wanted to be effective and useful for other people and to get on really solid ground yourself can really take a while. It can really take a while – it can be a journey – so that’s why I think it’s really important to respect people’s journey, whatever that is.”

Szubanski said gay people often struggled to come to terms with who they were or be accepted by their families, and pointed to high rates of substance abuse, depression and youth suicide as associated factors.

She said she was lucky she had a supportive family, but still endured her emotional struggles as a teen.

“Oh my god. I know how those kids feel. Believe me, I know how those kids feel,” she said.

“I was in my teens when I started to kind of realise and we’re talking the 1970s, and we’re talking living in Croydon in the Sharpie era [of suburban youth gangs].

“I have a Scottish-Irish mother and a Polish father and there is a certain wisdom in keeping your head down sometimes. Those cultural influences also have an impact, no doubt about it.”

Szubanski said she had been “absolutely overwhelmed and so moved by the beautiful response” by the Australian public since she came out publicly and discussed her sexuality on Channel Ten’s The Project last night.

Here is the clip shown on Ten’s The Project

Jeff Kennett on Gay AFL footballers

I guess it comes to no surprise that Jeff Kennett is on the gay bandwagon again?? He says he believes up to 5% of the AFL Players are gay, but live in secrecy…

I mean “DOH” as if most of us cannot work that one out for ourselves… I cannot understand why the chairman of Beyond Blue, who in past has made bad comments about the GLBTIQ community, thinks he is qualified to make this kind of assessment…

I am sure that there are gay AFL Players, and it is up to them to make the choice of “coming out”, Even they do not come out, I do not think that they would be in a high risk of suffering depression, as they would have the support of their families, close friends, and of course their football club if their sexuality is known….

Eddie Mcguire has made comment that he aware of gay AFL players, but as he stated, they are being looked after and it is up to them to make the choice of coming out…..

So, is this another bandwagon backhanded comment by Jeff Kennett to lift his profile at Beyond Blue???

Here is an article on the Foxsport website:

Jeff Kennett believes up to five per cent of AFL players are gay but are living in secrecy for fear of being ridiculed.

The former Victorian premier and Hawthorn Football Club president said players who concealed their sexuality from teammates were at risk of depression and, in this area, the sport had “a long way to go”.

“Not only am I not surprised at the number of players in the AFL who are suffering from stress, anxiety and depression – many of whom haven’t sought help for fear of being ridiculed or not selected – I’m also quite sure within the AFL there are a number of young men who are gay, who keep that fact to themselves, worried about how they’re going to be treated by their colleagues,” Kennett told Adelaide radio station 5AA.

Kennett said out of a playing group of 800, he would be “very surprised” if 40 or less weren’t gay.

Kennett recalled a conversation with a young player in recent years who said he was fearful of revealing his sexuality to his teammates because of locker room banter.

But he said attitudes had changed and peers would be accepting of their teammate’s sexuality.

“If he were to do so, I’m quite sure the players would embrace him, I’m quite sure the sort of comments that you could imagine being said in locker rooms, would not be said if, in fact, the playing group knew that one of their own was gay or was suffering a depressive illness,” Kennett said.

The comments come after rugby league referee Matt Cecchin recently revealed he was gay.

 

Magda to come out for gay marriage

Magda Szubanski, star of Kath and Kim, Fast Forward and the film Babe, will join other celebrities, including Hugh Jackman and Jimmy Barnes, in their support for Australians for Marriage Equality’s campaign to legalise same-sex marriage.

She will also make a ”personal statement”, anticipated to be about her own sexuality.

She hinted at being a lesbian in a statement that said: ”I am 1000 per cent in favour of gay marriage. We pay taxes, fight wars for this country, nurse you when you are sick, make you laugh, sing and dance for you, play netball for you, star in your movies.

”The law as it stands is unfair and it needs to be changed to reflect the wonderful, tolerant, live-and-let-live society Australians have created.”

A Galaxy poll released yesterday showed support for same-sex marriage in Australia was steady at 62 per cent, with support strongest among young voters; 81 per cent of people aged 18 to 24 said they supported allowing homosexual couples to marry and a slight majority, 51 per cent, of voters aged 50 to 64 felt the same.

The Labor MP behind a private member’s bill to legalise same-sex marriage says Prime Minister Julia Gillard encouraged him to take up the cause and helped plan the bill’s passage through caucus to the floor of Parliament.

In an interview with The National Times, Stephen Jones, the member for Throsby, in New South Wales, talked about how the Prime Minister and others in his party selected him to champion the gay marriage cause.

Yesterday, Mr Jones introduced his bill to the House of Representatives. Australian Greens MP Adam Bandt and independent Andrew Wilkie delivered a similar bill.

In December, Prime Minister Gillard brokered a compromise at Labor’s national conference, supporting a conscience vote of her MPs but maintaining her own opposition to any changes to the marriage act.

Mr Jones conceded he had ”a discussion with the Prime Minister. She agreed that I’d be the best person to take this bill up and we talked about how and when we might do that.”

source: The Age

GLBT New and Prospective Parents Focus Group

Henry from The Bouverie Centre has asked Coming Out Australia to post this request:

They are looking for Gay Dads, Lesbian Mums to take part in a focus group, below is a brief description:

At the end of last year, my colleague Jennifer and I held some focus groups with service providers who work with new and prospective parents: maternal child health nurses, general counsellors, family mediators, psychologists, IVF counsellors, family therapists, midwives, educators, and others working in this general field.

We wanted to know what sort of information they would like to see in resources designed to support them to improve service delivery for same-sex parented families. The workers in this group had a range of experience. Some had met just a few same-sex parented families in their professional lives. Others had met many.

The groups were very interesting and it is clear that those who attended are invested in improving the services to GLBT parented families. They were eager to tell us where they thought services could be improved, but even more eager to hear what the clients themselves want. For some mainstream service providers there is a strong commitment to consumer-driven resource development and service delivery. For example, some of the maternal and child health nurses in the group wanted to know how to better support men who have newly arrived children from overseas surrogacy. Others were unsure about how to support both mums and dads in co-parenting relationships. Some counsellors in the groups had very astute questions and observations about the complexities of the emotional rollercoaster that new parenting can be, particularly when there is an added layer of stress that same-sex attracted parents often have to deal with, but they still had questions about how to offer the best service to families.

Therefore we would like to hear from more GLBT new parents/prospective parents about their experiences using mainstream service providers (or perhaps why they are reluctant to use them). If you live in Melbourne and are available to talk to us, we a hosting a lunchtime focus group:

Wednesday 7th March

12.15pm

Lunch will be provided

Children are welcome (we have toys)

The Bouverie Centre

8 Gardiner St, Brunswick, Melbourne

If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Henry at h.vondoussa@latrobe.edu.au or call Jen on 9385 5131 (leave a message if she does not answer!).

We realise that this timeslot will not be a good one for people who work, or people’s who have children with midday sleep requirements. So if you can’t make this time but are still keen to be involved, please get in touch anyway as we will try and arrange another time and/or some phone interviews as well.

 

RUGBY League grand final referee Matt Cecchin has revealed he is gay

I came across this story this morning on the Herald Sun Website. I applause Matt for being brave and to come out. In the world of sport and macho-ism, it must be hard to be accepted for who you are and to be respected. One thing that did stick out with the story, is the fact that he waited for his son to finish he HSC. People criticise gay people when they come out with regards to timing. It is up to the individual as to when they are ready to come out and to express that…

Here is Matt’s Story as told in the Herald Sun……

Ending a closely held secret among parts of the rugby league community for the past six years, Cecchin has chosen to go public now his teenage son has completed his HSC.

Engaged 13 years ago, Cecchin told family and friends about his sexuality after reading retired NRL star Ian Roberts’ book, Finding Out.

Cecchin becomes the first NRL official or player since Roberts in 1995 to declare he is gay.

“Like a lot of people, I thought to be gay you had to be feminine, you had to go to nightclubs and you had to be in the scene, and I was never into that,” said Cecchin, who has refereed 116 NRL games and four Test matches.

“I played sport, I loved rugby league, I liked going to the pub with my mates.

 ”It wasn’t until I read Ian’s book that I started to tick a few boxes.

“I would tell my mates to ask me every question they wanted answered. And there were some good ones, especially after a couple of schooners.

“Sure, sometimes it was uncomfortable. My old man played reserve grade for Newtown and comes from far north Queensland. I thought he’d take it really, really badly, but he was fantastic.”

When Cecchin was chosen to referee last year’s grand final he feared being confronted about his sexuality.

If so, he would have denied it, because his son was in the middle of his HSC exams.

“I didn’t want to tip his world upside down,” Cecchin said.

“I would do whatever I could to protect my son. He’s been so good to me about it. It hasn’t made the world of difference to him.”

Cecchin said he had never been sledged by NRL players, coaches or officials and didn’t expect to be.

“I can honestly say I’ve never, ever heard or been called anything to do with being gay on the field,” Cecchin said.

“I haven’t been treated as a token and I haven’t been discriminated against.

“I’d be very surprised if I was the only gay person in rugby league.

“But me coming out has nothing to do with other people in rugby league.

“It has to do with the youth who are growing up today and may be going through a whole world of hurt and fear.

“My experience is they don’t need to be. People are OK with it now.”

source: Herald Sun