After the news of the AFL player saying players who are gay should not come out, and the backlash from that, and now recently seeing our local member of parliament outed by a tabloid news show, i think it’s safe to say homophobia is alive and well and living in a person near you.

The outing of Dave Campbell was an attack of pure homophobia, it cannot be excused or explained away as anything else.

Using the excuse that he had used a ‘ministerial car’?, so what?, the man has done nothing illegal, visiting a gay sex on premises venue is not illegal, it is not a crime, it may be morally questionable in some peoples minds, but if he’d used the car to go purchase a carton of cigarettes, a carton of beer or to go place a bet, it wouldn’t matter a jot, all those things to some are of questionable morality, but not illegal, and in this insane world what isn’t questionable and morally offensive to some, what is morally offensive to me is that gay men of every age are committing suicide at up to four times the average for males, that people of the GLBTI community are being bashed and maimed and killed, and that isolation and loneliness is a wretched problem in the GLBTI community.

Mostly I feel for the guy, and a sense of great sadness that our very recent, and current history, that made it impossible for a man of his generation to come out, to be supported and to be nurtured in his true self, even when I was young, and Dave is an alma mater of my own Corrimal High School, it was absolutely not an option to come out and be open about your sexuality, just being in the music class got you bashed, I may be staring down the barrel of a total prolapse and fast approaching a state decrepitude, but I didn’t go to school ‘that’ long ago, and guys and girls, I hate to say this again but it still isn’t that good for us, recently in Surry Hills a man was gay bashed, did I mention this happened on the international day against homophobia?.

Some will say ‘It’s their personal business if they come out or not’, and that’s true, but I’m also calling it that that defence has a wider impact on our community, our safety and our well being and acceptance, and we can’t dance around that or deny it, being visible and normalising (for want of a better word) our part in the world community is all our responsibility, from a Storeperson right through to, well lets say, an Olympic world record holder, you know the old clichés, ‘every grain of sand’ ‘Every drop of water’ well, they’re true.

How much are we to blame as a community? If we don’t want the shame, the scandal, the getting caught out, the getting comfortable having different levels of openness, or lies, for different sets of people around us, then we have to be brave and step up to the plate and take whatever is flung at us, whatever pain we have to endure and whatever the consequence may be, but something to remember is that it will be ‘their’ issue and problem, but we’ll have our dignity. Not for a second do I suggest it will be, or is easy, when I came out I lost 25 kilo’s with the stress (see, their can be a silver lining) we risk losing family, friends, being ridiculed, anger and hatred, but how much energy and distraction do we expend by jumping, and hopping around juggling comfort levels for others, when we’re not comfortable ourselves?, who are we living for here?, I think the perfect example of what happens when you juggle for others, we are seeing in the story of David Campbell, to quote Keith Richards ‘You can’t accuse me of something I’ve admitted to’, sooner or later it comes crumbling down, and we lose the control of the situation, the trying to solve and cover many problems, when as painful as it may be, the truth would have been the only way for him to remain empowered.

Complacency is a very dangerous thing, how many times in history have groups of people said ‘It’s not too bad, they just dislike us’ Then ‘It’s not too bad, they aren’t kicking us out of our homes’ Next ‘It’s not too bad, they aren’t killing us’ Till finally ..

I feel for us, and all we risk, all we have risked and everything that has been lost by being truthful to ourselves, and those around us, but again quite often it is only thus as we try and satisfy the morals, the intolerances, the prejudices and the narrow mindedness and the uneducated around us.

I guess we’re all complicit in this to one extent or another, I’ve long believed that ‘well enough’ isn’t good enough, being ‘relatively’ comfortable behind our locked doors, and SOME streets, if we alter and compromise our usual behaviour, is just not good enough for me, as long as we can’t marry, can’t adopt, have to lie, can’t be totally open, have to change our behaviour any time we step outside our front door, can’t hold hands walking down Crown st, have to alter our movements, activities, the way we speak, and act, and a million other things (and tell me that we don’t all do those things to some extent) then I think we all have a duty to do more, have a sense of pride and ownership in our true selves.

I don’t think I need to spell out in point form all the positives that could also come out of choosing to ‘live the truth’, for every negative there has to be an equal and opposite positive.

These are just my thoughts, what are the answers?, I don’t really know, what do we do about it?, that’s up to you.

I’ll finish off with my favourite quote by Benjamin Franklin ..

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety deserve neither Liberty nor Safety”.

Greg xoxo

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