Last night, I cried twice. First time, I was watching the documentary “Frock and a Hard Place”. Second time was in the Q and A special hosted by Tom Ballard. Why you may ask? First, because I was so upset and shocked of the cruelty that LGBT people (particularly gay men), experienced in Australia in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Sure, things may have improved, at least legally, but, frankly, I think it’s still a blood stain on Australia, frankly.
Second time was when the episode of Q and A was on, and Lifeline was mentioned. We may have come a long way, but, truth is, identifying as anything other than cis – gender and straight can be a mind/ soul destroying experience for too many people. Frankly, I do put asexuals in this category (which was mentioned last night on Q and A – wow!). People don’t realise the damage, sometimes the irreparable damage that has been done!
When it comes to the issue of same – sex marriage (which some people say is inevitable now in Australia), people give the same old line “why, it only affects a small percentage of the population”. Well, as I’ve posted before, adding LGB plus asexuals who are romantically attracted to others of the same – sex, I guessed it’s probably between 2 – 3%. However, that’s not the issue… or at least it shouldn’t be. These people are still over – represented in the suicide and bullying statistics as pointed out again last night. Why do you think that Ballard quoted the Lifeline number? (For those who don’t know, or aren’t from Australia, Lifeline is a phon counselling service). It’s because for many LGBTQ+ people, realising who they are, and coming out can have major psychological implications! For too many, it’s a seriously isolating experience. It means the risk of losing friends, family and other people that we’re suppose to be able to rely on. And, I”m sorry to say this, but for those of faith, it means the risk of emotional and spritual abuse.
This is why it’s still a big deal! Homophobia and discrimination against other sexual and gender minorities (GSM), still exist, despite our advances. These issues go WAY beyond the same – sex marriage debate that has plagued Australia for the last couple of months. This is about getting to a point where it’s no longer risky to be yourself and being able to be OK with who you are!