Dear journalists across Australia,
Fears among the LGBTQ+ community leading up to the same – sex marriage plebiscite are real. The fear of queer – phobia in general is too often a fear that many, if not most, LGBTQ+ people have faced sometime in their lives. And too often, these fears can be, and often are, confirmed. Please don’t water these concerns and experiences down.
I want to call to journalists: Andrew Bolt, Rita Panahi, Paul Murray, Carrie Bickmore, Steve Price… whoever you are – whoever you work for – if you are a journalist, can you PLEASE call out queer – phobia when you hear/ see it. Can you condemn it as swiftly as a number of journalists called out and condemned the abuse against Adelaide Crow’s player, Eddie Betts last week?
I’m calling on journalists – especially the major metropolitan journalists in Sydney and Melbourne, to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community because I truly believe that anyone with a major public platform can, and often do, have large audiences/ readership that can often take your words to heart. I’m sure that you have LGBTQ+ listeners that would greatly appreciate your ally – ship during the months leading up to the pending plebiscite.
An extra call to the wider public – please stand in solidarity with your LGBTQ+ friends and family during these next couple of months. While I agree with a plebiscite, I’m not going to say that these next couple of months will be pain – free for the LGBTQ+ community. Please stand by them. Be a shoulder they can cry on. Confront queer – phobia when you see it or read it on – line. Of course, make that you remain safe. Don’t confront someone if you face the chance of getting physically hurt yourself. Even in those situations, though, please stand by your friends/ family members in the aftermath of such an event if it occurs. Again, be a shoulder to cry on. If you think you can, seek justice for victims of violent queer – phobic attacks. Often though, being there will be enough.
I’m sure that having people stand by members of the LGBTQ+ community, that these fears, while still there, will be soothed by knowledge that they have support. It may make all the difference.