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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What’s This About Minorities Taking Over?

Content Warning: homophobic bullying, Orlando Pulse Massacre

Last night, I watched Paul Murray Live on Sky News (I’m really loving that show at the moment). He was in Tweed Heads on the New South Wales/ Queensland border with Senators, David Leyonhjelm (Liberal Democrats), Pauline Hanson, (One Nation) and Kiralee Smith (Australian Liberty Alliance), plus others.

I’ve got to say, that all candidates answered very well. All made good points throughout the night. The last question by a young transwoman really stuck out to me. She was asking about Safe – Schools; the controversial anti – bullying program that was aimed at assisting LGBTQ+ students. For the record, looking deeper into the program, I think it went too far. It should have stuck with supporting the LGBTQ+ students, combated bullying in general and gave information to teachers in how to support students in the LGBTQ+ community. However, “gender theory” was used in the program, not to combat bullying, but to fulfil a radical socialist agenda of Director, Roz Ward. The video below will tell you what I mean.

(Post continues after the video).

What I didn’t expect was that, in answering the question, Pauline Hanson went on a mini rant on how society is overrun by “minorities”.

I really get annoyed with these sentiments. While I don’t agree that the Safe Schools Program went the right way in combating homophobic and trans-phobic bullying, I resent the way minorities, especially the LGBTQ+ community, are constantly shouted down any time they bring up issues of discrimination and safety at schools.

I, for one don’t want to dictate anything to anybody. I’m not trying to shout anyone down and I certainly don’t condone any abuse of anyone who is against same – sex marriage for example. but when can we – members of the LGBTQ+ community, have our say? When can we point out our own experiences of self loathing, or discrimination, without everyone fighting tooth and nail to keep us quiet?

 

The Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre in Florida around fortnight ago was a tipping point for the LGBTQ+ community). Writer after writer have opened up about struggles – both personal and societal –  faced by the LGBTQ+ community. No matter how many politicians or journalists tried to downplay the attack or revert to other issues, members of the LGBTQ+ community were still insistent. This was only the latest (and deadliest), of a string of violent and abusive incidents that LGBTQ+ people have faced in the West. It is the deadliest of a string of acts of discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community in the West (at least that’s how most see it). No, this wasn’t just a terrorist attack like September 11, 2001. This was a specifically targeted attack aimed at the Hispanic LGBTQ+ community. They were the targets and victims that fateful early morning. While exact motive of the gunman is still unclear, (I’ve read and heard different theories), it has put a spotlight on LGBTQ+ discrimination.

 

So, yes, Pauline Hanson, we may just be a “minority”. We just want to be safe. We want to be heard. We don’t want to be targeted for hate speech or violence. And we will continue to speak up until violence, discrimination and abuse is not longer a daily reality for members of the LGBTQ+ community.