Rosie Waterland and LGBTQ+ writers

Contributor to the Mamamia Women’s Network, comedian and author, Rosie Waterland, came out as bisexual on Facebook last Tuesday. Of course, she has the support of the Mamamia staff, including founder, Mia Freedman, which is great. According to a snapshot of her Facebook post, the response to Waterland’s coming out has been positive.

I think this is great. In the past, I’ve ummed and ahhed about taking my blogging to the next level, but a part of me hasn’t felt… normal enough. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s true. American women’s site, Ravishly frequently feature articles from members of the LGBTQ+ community, which is great, but here, not so much. Until now. And for that, I’m grateful.

It should be said that Mamamia isn’t the only publication to have an openly LGBTQ+ contributor. Josh Manuatu has writteen for The Spectator Australia and Catherine Mcgregor has written for Sydney’s ‘The Daily Telegraph’. It’s still great to see Mamamia have and embrace an LGBTQ+ columnist that has articles published frequently on the site.

 

This shouldn’t matter. I know, I know, but when you are under – represented – due to sexuality, race, disability or gender – sometimes, you can’t help but wonder whether you can fit in that industry. Also, it’s great to have allies speak out in the media in support the LGBTQ+ community, and throughout this year, I’ve emphasised the importance of allies and how we shouldn’t take their love and support for granted. But getting representation in the media from someone LGBTQ+ is something else. It’s a face, a person, an idenitity, that represents (to an extent), what LGBTQ+ rights issues are all about. Now, whether Waterland opens up further about her experiences as bisexual, that’s up to her. She doesn’t have to say anything else, if she doesn’t want to. I think her initial ‘coming out’ on such a public forum is enough.

 

So, where do we go from here? I hope that it gets even easier for LGBTQ+ writers to contribute to the media – as themselves. I’m hopeful. Kudos to Mamamia and good on Rosie Waterland for coming out. As herself.

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Asexuality Resources

In the wake of Asexuality Awareness Week and a comment someone posted on one of my blog posts, I thought I’d create a non – extensive resources list on where people can go to find information on asexuality. Here goes:

Websites/ Forums

Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) – a forum and information resource on asexuality – includes FAQ for both those who suspect they are asexual and those who have asexual friends/ family/ partners

Asexual Archive – a collections of posts/ articles that offers information about asexuality and support for members of the asexual community

Books (available both in hardback and electronic)

The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality – Julie Sondra Decker (2013) – this book on asexuality is also available in iTunes, (I know because I’ve got it). This book is very good. It goes through what asexuality is, research conducted by Canadian researcher Anthony Bogaert, social and legal issues faced by asexual people in the U.S. as of 2013 (things may have changed since then). Overall, it’s a good book. It’s simple to understand, but also quite extensive.

Understanding Asexuality – Anthony Bogaert – I’ve never actually read this book, but giving it’s by one of the original researchers into asexuality, I can’t see how it can be that bad. More updated information may be available that isn’t included in this book.

Articles/ News Items

The media is starting to catch up when it comes to the existence of asexuality. I’ve seen and read a number of news items over the years that have talked about asexuality and most of them have been quite good.

Ravishly – What IS asexuality anyway? 27/10/2016

Debunking 5 Common Everyday Feminism: Debunking 5 common myths about asexuality – October 19, 2014

Everyday Feminism: Getting real about what it means to be asexual – October 1, 2016

Mamamia – This is what it’s like to live a life with no sex – 20 October 2014 I remember when I first read this, I think I nearly cried and I’ve had respect for Mamamia’s founder and publisher Mia Freedman ever since. Written by the former blogger and asexual advocate Johanna Qualmann.

I remember watching this on SBS, again in 2014. Very good clip. No sarcasm or impoliteness from the hosts of the show (which can happen).

 

Some magazines have also done articles on asexuality, including the late Cleo (again, by Qualmann), and “Australia’s Women’s Weekly”, I think back in 2014. That was a big year for asexuality awareness! For that, I’m grateful.

 

What other good items/ articles/ shows, etc have done a good job exposing asexuality? Feel free to drop links in the comment section below. 

Short open letter to Mia Freedman – you can’t speak for all the LGBTQ+ community

 

Dear Mia,

You are a great LGBTQ+ ally. Thank you for all that you’ve done to support and raise awareness on the LGBTQ+ comunity, including publishing articles on asexuality. I really do appreciate your voice to increasing asexuality visibility. You’re passion for justice for the LGBTQ+ community is much appreciated, I’m sure.

However, your comment on Liberal Senator Josh Manuatu was out of line. You, or anyone else, has no right to dictate yo how LGBTQ+ individuals feel about issues like same – sex marriage, adoption, or political persuasion. We are all indibiduals, just like all straight people don’t share all the same values and political ideology.

 

Manuatu isn’t alone as someone who is gay, but opposes same – sex marriage. In the lead up to the Irish referrendum, openly gay people opposed same – sex marriage, mainly because they believed that marriage there to raise children in a traditional nuclear family. In a protest that occurred in France to the lead up of same – sex marriage in May, 2013, people who were openly vocally opposed same – sex marriage for the same reasons. I have also heard that here, in Australia, gay peoplesay they’re againsr same – sex marriage, but feel like they can’t be open about their views in fear of a backlash from the wider LGBTQ+ community. This is unacceptable, just as unacceptable itvwould be to bully and ostracise an LGBTQ+ person who felt like they need the right to marriage.

Mia, you are a valuable voice in supporting the wider LGBTQ+ community. The way you’ve allowed LGBTQ+ people to tell their stories and continual advocacy for the LGBTQ+ is to be commended. It really does. However, the way you attacked Manuatu on Twitter is not the way to advocate for LGBTQ+ people. Please keep that in mind next time. And keep on speaking up.

 

Love and respect,

 

 

S.

Do you identify as LGBTQ+ and oppose same – sex marriage and/ or adoption? Feel free to leave comments below.

 

 

 

MAMA MIA! Another Article On Asexuality!

Anyone who has read any posts on this blog, I hit the roof when asexuality is mentioned in the media. It always brings a bit of tension. What’s going to be said? Are we going to be mocked? Pathologised?

Today, I stumbled on a blog post about asexuality on the blog, Mamamia (“This is What It’s Like To Live Without Sex” – Thursday September 25 Jo Qualmann).

It was brilliant! First, Jo Qualmann is herself, an asexual. She has been very open in the media about asexuality, including in Cleo magazine and on SBS’s “The Feed” earlier this year. So, now, she adds Mamamia to her list of media contributions.

I applaud Mamamia publisher, Mia Freedman first and foremost, for letting Qualmann write the article and publishing it. Thank you for letting Jo tell her personal story and getting asexuality more visibility.

A big applause should also go out to Australian Sexual Health sex therapist, Desiree Spierling for her comment at the end of the article. She acknowledged struggles faced by a number of asexuals without treating it like something that should be fixed. She basically pointed out that much of the struggles that asexuals face are within society and to do with confusion bought on by invisibility, not because asexuality is a disorder. To quote Donkey from ‘Shrek 2’ “Oh finally!”.

So, I’ll say it once again, Jo Qualmann, great article and to the Mamamia team, THANK YOU.