Sydney, Wednesday 4 December, 2013 – With less than two weeks to go, Sydney-based anti-bullying organisation Community Brave, is urging the LGBTIQ community to get behind their peer-to-peer funding campaign to help end bullying, homophobia and teen suicide. The campaign aims to fund their innovative new social media platform which provides an online service and [...]
Darebin’s coming out – send a picture and support our LGBTIQ community! At Council, we celebrate Darebin’s diversity and we’re proud to be home to a wide range of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer (LGBTIQ). To show our support for the LGBTIQ community, Council will be representing Darebin at [...]
By Benjamin Riley on September 17, 2013 Support from the LGBTI community in North-East Victoria has helped drive the unlikely campaign by independent Cathy McGowan to a win in the federal seat of Indi, a campaign pitting her against sitting Liberal Party MP Sophie Mirabella. While the electorate has been called today for McGowan, the seat was [...]
A Fundraising Event for the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council (AGMC Inc.) “About Face” is a photography-based, anthropological diversity in an Australian male context. These men are invited to be photographed and share their lived experiences on race, sexuality and beyond. “About Face” is a project of Keo Lin, a Melbourne based photographer. Wednesday, 25 September [...]
Australia is meant to be the lucky country, the country of the fair go, says Melton’s Peter Ellis. But somewhere along the line we dropped the ball.
Ellis’s half-Aboriginal family, and friends – both straight and gay – are longing for him and his partner Wayne Elliott (Director of Coming Out Australia) to marry.
Ellis, whose mother is Aboriginal and who works in Aboriginal health, had an Anglican-Wesleyan upbringing. “I certainly have a lot of love for God and a lot of love for my faith and it’s something that I feel I need to express as a Christian – that something I would want to do is marry my partner.
“I was brought up with a Labor Party background. My grandmother was a mayoress of Broadmeadows and my family is very Labor-oriented. We don’t want gay marriage to be the political football it is now because it’s not a Labor or a Liberal or a Greens issue; it’s a social issue that everybody can own.
“I’ve got a wonderful heterosexual family and friends who are married and have kids and they are waiting for us to have that big day … they want to be a part of it.”
Ellis says he wouldn’t jump on a plane to a country like Canada or Argentina where same-sex marriage is legal.
“I don’t live there, I live here,” he says. “I’m a proud Aboriginal person and I want to celebrate my relationship with my loved ones in my own country, not someone else’s country.
“When you think back to the social justice movement for black fellas back in the ’60s and ’70s, then, absolutely, gay people are still experiencing that level of discrimination.
“A lot of the argument against gay marriage is about their religious ideal of what marriage is about … but I know many people who are not necessarily religious people who still get married. Athiests can get married.”
Ellis says a civil union is like “half a marriage, kind of a marriage”, that doesn’t afford equality when it came to decisions about things like medical power of attorney, wills and probate and adoptions laws.
Elliott, whose three children from a previous marriage are also waiting for him to marry, said equality would send the right message to young people who had not come out.
Keilor East Airport West Uniting Church’s Reverend Samasoni Nafatali is ready to conduct weddings for people of any sexual orientation or gender identity – as soon as the hierarchy and government say ‘yes’.
The Samoan minister is not preaching to the converted among his flock and reiterates that he can’t speak for the church or congregation but only himself. “It’s an unfortunate situation because the church has come a long way.
“Through these past 2000 years there have been issues the church has been trying to deal with. And the message the church is trying to convey is to help people liberate, help people feel free to live life to the full, and that’s a message Jesus was trying to convey: that people may have life, receive life and live it to the full.”
Nafatali says it wasn’t long ago that blacks, women and children weren’t recognised as having equal rights. “If we come back to the women’s issue, women have been liberated from the Western point of view. They have the right to live life to the full. I think helping people liberate and be free is part of the gospel.”
Yarraville’s Lisa Stingel met her girlfriend Will Starke as a nurse in Daylesford Hospital when a mutual friend came in as a patient. When Starke came out “many years ago”, society was still arguing about whether a lesbian or gay person could see their partner in hospital.
Stingel eventually asked Starke out to dinner and the rest is history. “When people talk about marriage equality and anything like that, I forget they’re talking about us because our lives are just so normal,” says Stingel.
“I don’t see myself as different to anybody else; the only difference for me is that at the end of the night I go to bed with a woman and not a man.”
The two haven’t talked about whether they will get married, but they want the option. Stingel has two daughters from a previous partnership but never married.
“Not until we got together and I fell in love and not until I felt this is something I’m actually feeling quite passionate about [did I think about marriage] for the first time,” Stingel says. “I want the right to be able to ask Will to marry me and spend the rest of her life with me.” They don’t want the option of a civil union, or what Starke likens to a “skim milk marriage”. Starke says she would never want someone who didn’t want to marry them to conduct the ceremony – whether a priest or civil celebrant.
Altona North celebrant Libby Williams believes a marriage should simply be between two people who love each other.
“A marriage is a marriage is a marriage,” laughs Williams, who happens to be bisexual.
She says 65 per cent of marriages are civil functions, not religious ones. “One of the things the government promotes about marriage is facilitating a stable society, you know, historically.
“I think if that’s the essence of a healthy, stable society and [helps] families to grow and so forth, well, I just think, why not? You don’t need to be married, obviously, to live together or have a family, but it’s an opportunity for people, before their family and friends, to declare their love to each other.
“I think, often, gay couples have had a lot of challenges in their lives so they’re even more determined to be together – you know, it might have been harder for them to find the one.”
Rona Goold, head of Australia’s Civil Celebrations Network says: “Let’s give couples the freedom of their preferred style of ceremony and not believe the myth that legal marriage is religious. Even Oliver Cromwell forbade marriage in churches for that reason.
“We don’t need to be so ungenerous of spirit. Fair is fair.”
Images: Michael Copp
Author: Goya Dmytryshchak
Publication: Maribyrnong & Hobsons Bay Weekly
Date: 10 July 2013
The Bi alliance committee is putting a call out to everyone for bi stories from people who:
who identify as bisexual
are a partner of someone who identifies as bisexual
are a friend or family member of someone who identifies as bisexual
Anyone is welcome to email them with a story about their experience
about bisexuality, so long as the main focus relates to this topic.
Stuck on what to write? some suggested topics were:
Why does someone need to proclaim they are bisexual when they are
in a monogamous life long relationship?
Experiences of coming out to others and/or oneself.
Experiences of partner, friends or family of having someone coming
out as bi.
They will endeavour to post all stories pertinent to experiences about
bisexuality, though they may suggest a couple of changes here or there,
such as removing profanities. If you’re concerned about publishing
something with your first name, they’re happy for you to use a
Stories can vary in length from a few paragraphs to longer- whatever
you are comfortable with. It would be great to receive some more
stories that reflect the diverse experiences of people who are
bisexual. It would also be good to hear stories from partners, friends
and families of people who are bisexual. You don’t have to be a
literary virtuoso at all.
Just click on the email and your story will go to the
committee, the email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bi -Alliance committee
We have been requested to post this survey on behalf of a student at the University of Western Sydney….
Are you aged between 18 and 25, and identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, or Queer? If so, please consider taking part in this research project that is investigating stigma, stress, coping and risky behaviours.
Participation will involve completing an online survey, which will take approximately 30 minutes of your time. Your participation is voluntary and completely confidential (i.e., data cannot be linked back to the participant).
Should you feel the desire to do so, you may withdraw from the study at any point, with no consequence. The current study aims to understand individuals’ experiences, challenges and means of coping among young people and provide new areas that may be targeted in therapy to assist individuals to effectively manage stress. If you are interested in participating, please click the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/H10139
Open invitation to learn about ‘Your Place’ – women’s exploration of same sex attraction. A taste of what is explored in the six week support group. Presented by psychotherapist Mary Matthews
Cost: $30 – reimbursed if you sign up to the six week support group.
Date: Tuesday 30th July 2013
Bookings: contact Mary Matthews via email: email@example.com or (m) 0409 567 233
Place: Thornbury Women’s Neighbourhood House, 131 Shaftesbury Parade. Thornbury.
In the Loop is a free support group for careers, partners, friends, and family of people living with HIV (PLHIV).
The needs of carers or partners of people living with HIV (PLHIV) have frequently taken a back seat when planning support programs within the HIV community. In the Loop is a group which seeks to redress this balance.
In May 2013, Living Positive Victoria (LPV) and Positive Health, Counselling Services at the VAC/GMHC, collaborated to run a pilot group at Coventry House in Southbank. In the past there have been specific support groups run for the HIV negative partners of HIV positive men. In the Loop was designed to cater for this group as well as for anyone who is close to someone living with HIV.
It is recognised that there are occasions when people who are involved in caring for someone with a chronic condition feel helpless in the face of illness and are unable to adequately attend to their own needs. They might postpone their own medical appointment or cancel a social engagement on account of the person they are looking after. They might feel unable to put their hand up for some extra help or not even consider the possibility of a break from their role. It might be impossible for them to enquire about their loved one’s health for fear of upsetting him or her. Left in the dark they imagine the worst.
But there is another subtle and sometimes destructive issue for many carers of PLHIV. The issue of secrecy is paramount for many people and this adds a complex layer to the caring role. Sometimes the PLHIV has requested absolute secrecy around their diagnosis. On other occasions the partner or carer may have imposed their own silence around HIV for fear of discrimination and rejection by people in their immediate circle. The effect of this secrecy and stigma may isolate the PLHIV as well as those involved in their support.
In the bad old days the type of care that was required was very different from what most PLHIV need today. However, even today, having someone in your life that is living with HIV can produce a burden which at times is difficult to shoulder. We like to think that the stigma associated with HIV has diminished in many sectors of society but how it is experienced by many is still present. This was perfectly illustrated in the group when it became apparent that the majority of participants had not told anyone what they were doing on the two consecutive Saturdays In the Loop was held.
The structure of the two days is purposefully flexible. The aim is to provide information on HIV and the services available in the community and then focus on self-care and ways the participants might support themselves in their role.
One participant wrote the following after attending the workshop: “The program you put together was outstanding and in the past week or so I have called upon the information you provided at least twenty times a day. I have read a myriad of books on HIV but the experience of talking to people outweighs them all. Your calm and reassuring approach to all of us was a comfort beyond words.”
We received this request:
I am an emerging filmmaker based in Melbourne. I am currently working on a short film titled ‘How I Wish’, which is a story about a teenage girl coming out to her mother about her sexuality. Following rejection from her mother, she goes through an emotional breakdown, from which she recovers by writing a poem to her beloved. In the poem, she makes a decision, one that would define her and her future. We are currently crowdfunding for our short film and have only a few days left on our campaign. For more information about the story, cast, crew and to view the teaser trailer, please visit: http://pozible.com/howiwish
I hope to make ‘How I Wish’ a poetic expression of true love. Upon
completion, it will be submitted to various film festivals nationally and
Thank you for your time.
It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people’s hearts and minds. This is the story of Shane and Tom and Shane hopes you are inspired to share it with others.
We have received this request from Dolly Magazine -
They are writing an informative story for teen magazine DOLLY on bisexuality. The story is going to cover what bisexuality actually is (readers are very young so many of them aren’t aware of it), the common misconceptions about bisexuality and conversations you can have around the issue.
It is going to be a positive and informative piece about why it’s okay to be bisexual and a summary of what it is for readers who don’t know.
For the story they need to find some real girls who can talk to Edwina in the next week or so on the phone about when they first discovered they were bisexual, the issues they encountered (telling family and friends, etc) and how they triumphed in getting it out into the open and their thoughts on it now. We would of course change their names, ages or any identifying info and would just put their quotes in the magazine. They looking for girls who are from 14-22 years old, are bisexual, and are willing to share their experience and advice on how readers can navigate that time when they first realise they’re bisexual?’
If you are interested please email Edwina at