In this issue: Canberra pride festival guide. American LGBTIQ freedoms out of the window. Gender and King Lear. From Mardi Gras to SpringOUT, we catch up with Lynne OBrien. Venus Mantrap from Valley of the Molls. Canberra Qwire turns 30. Queer Buddhists. Dear Rose, Gay horoscopes, social photos and more.
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FROM THE EDITOR
Having gratitude while your heart’s breaking
While it’s not always easy, having gratitude for the good things in your life can have a profound impact on your mood and overall wellbeing.
The 2022 National Study of Mental Health and Wellbeing by the ABS found that one in thirteen people in Australia experience depression. A Beyond Blue study reported that three in ten people who identify as LGB are currently experiencing depression, which is four times the rate of heterosexual people in Australia.
Mental health is certainly a serious problem in today’s world, and finding ways to get through the day can be a difficult slog for some folk. Experts tell us that practising gratitude can help alleviate depression symptoms and the aching discontent with life. But so often with these things, it’s easier said than done, especially considering the past few years as we’ve seen the world unravel. It seems humans are behaving badly and without compassion wherever you look. It’s heartbreaking.
Gratitude is certainly not a solution alone, but research shows that it can help us cope with traumatic events, regulate negative emotions and improve our general wellbeing. It can have a positive effect on our family and friends, too. It’s a small way to have a meaningful impact.
In a world where so much is out of our control, being thankful for the small joys in life is a good place to start. Maybe it’s the ice cream you had today, a text from a friend who cares, a warm bed, your morning coffee, or that you can hold hands with the person you love without fear of authoritarian persecution.
For me personally, I believe that what separates my privilege from entitlement is measured by my gratitude and awareness for what I have; and truth be told, I have so much.
Having said that, I’m going to be blatantly opportunistic and use the pages of this issue of FUSE to show just a few things I’m appreciative of, and maybe you might be too.
Every time I sit to write, I find myself extremely appreciative for a free press and that, in Australia, we can express our opinions even though they may not align with others or the government. You’ll find our News Round Up on p09 and a special Op.Ed about the systematic rollback of queer rights in the US, p14.
I’m certainly happy we can celebrate pride and all things LGBTIQ+ with glory and joy here in Australia. In Canberra, we celebrate in November each year, and you’ll find the SpringOUT Festival Guide on p25. While we’re loving pride, I’ll draw your attention to one of our LGBTIQ+ heroes, Lynne O’Brien. Lynne is an impressive community member, proud lesbian, queer activist, and currently president of Canberra SpringOUT, p22.
To be able to express ourselves authentically through art is incredibly empowering, and studies show that it can also improve our mental health. On p16, therapist Bella Insch talks about creativity and the power it can have in your life. On p41, you’ll find our interview with Canberra’s very own Venus Mantrap, who expresses theirself through a unique type of art drag. And finally, I’m thankful for all the talented LGBTIQ+ artists who created work for this year’s Kaleidoscope II exhibition at Belconnen Arts, p53.
Canberra is indeed a wonderful city to live in, and I’d like to finish up the year by extending my gratitude to everyone who supports FUSE, to my partner Christopher, who works incredibly hard behind the scenes, and to our awesome FUSE team, Max, David, Rose, Scott, Dwayne and Nathan.
With my heart full, I wish everyone a safe and joyous SpringOUT festival, Christmas and holiday season.
Alexander Thatcher — Executive Editor
FUSE67 — FUSE67 'Pride in the Capital'
FUSE MAGAZINE: MADE IN AUSTRALIA
EXECUTIVE EDITOR: Alexander Thatcher
CREATIVE DIRECTOR & ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Christopher Powell
ASSISTANT EDITOR: Maxwell Elliff
FUSE PHOTOGRAHER : Nathan J Lester
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