Equality: What Does It Mean?

Trigger Warning: violence, gender and sexuality discrimination. Proceed with caution if this is triggering for you.

The last couple of days have been about the campaign for equality. Last night, Sydney, NSW, celebrated the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Like every year, the issues that come up surround the legalisation of gay marriage and other legal rights.

On Mamamia, Labor senator Penny Wong, herself a lesbian, wrote a post in the light of Mardi Gras about gay rights in Australia and how Australia falls short. She talked about, for example, the high instances of verbal and physical attacks gays and lesbians, specially young people, still face. I have written before that LGBT youth faced a much higher instance of bulling according to Youth Beyond Blue.

In late 2011, sister of conservative columnist, Andrew Bolt, Stephanie, wrote columns published in both Crikey and the Sydney Morning Herald about her wish for marriage equality to become legal in Australia. Her main reason? She argued that the marriage certificate made her feel more secure and validated (she’s married to her partner in Canada… at least she was at the time that the article was written). She too, faced violent attacks when she came out at 21.

To me, the issue goes beyond marriage, as I think these two examples point out (especially the Mamamia article). Whether we like to admit it or not, homophobia still exists. It’s still risky for gay people to reveal who thetpy are. Have we made progress? Yes, but we’ve. Still got a long way to go.

What about people who are bi? From what i’ve read, they seem to be attacked by both the gays and heterosexuals. I’ve been critical of how bisexual people are portrayed in the media, as do many people who identify as bi themselves. No, they don’t need to sleep with everyone they see! Stop fetishising them, (especially bi women), and turning who they are into nothing more than a porn movie! They just happen to be able to experience attraction to both men and women (well, usually). Deal with it! Same as pan sexuals and poly – sexuals are attracted to multiple genders (poly – sexuals aren’t attracted to all genders where as pan sexuals are just so we’re clear).

And finally, asexuals. I’ve said this again and again, first being believed would be nice (I’m talking for all asexuals here, not my experiences personally). I’d like there to come a point where discrimination and teasing of asexual people is frowned upon just as much as any other form of discriminatory behaviour. I’d love for all asexual women to be able to resist sexual advances without having their safety in jeopardy. I’d like for asexual men not to feel emasculated because of their asexuality. I’d like it for asexuals to not experience discrimination by health professionals (e.g. being treated like a ‘problem’ in relationship counselling.

So, yeah. We’ve come along way, for sure. Hopefully,we can go a little bit further so what I’ve written above can come true too.

What steps would you like to see takecplace as in LGBT+ rights?