FUSE51 — Live Proud

The plebiscite is dead!

If you were just as sick as I was of hearing the words ‘same-sex marriage plebiscite’ then you’re probably just as happy that it’s finally dead in the water. It’s been utterly crazy that the Federal Government has been hanging this monumentally stupid idea over our heads, when marriage equality seems to me (and about 70% of other Australians) to be such a basic right. Even before any decision had been made about the proposed plebiscite, hate speech and anti-gay propaganda had already increased against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Australians. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s promise that the plebiscite would be conducted in a civil and respectful way, had already been pretty much undone.

Like many others, my greatest concern was the negative effects a plebiscite would have had on LGBTIQ people and families. The dangers of homophobia were recently highlighted in a new study which showed that sixteen percent of young LGBT people have attempted suicide and a third have harmed themselves — largely due to homophobic harassment — making them six times more likely to consider taking their own life than their heterosexual peers. Although things are better, the study found there is still widespread homophobic harassment, bullying and violence in schools, in the workplace and at sporting events.

It’s studies like these that make us realise just how dangerous a plebiscite would have been for vulnerable people in our communities — the Government not only sanctioning but paying for negative, closed-minded hate speech and homophobia. Much of this literature is about spreading fear, ignorance and unfounded lies about same-sex families being unhealthy, and attacking initiatives like the Safe Schools Program designed to stop bullying in schools and to support LGBTIQ youth.

It is totally reckless to tell LGBTIQ Australians, and especially young people, that there is something wrong with them or their families just because of their sexual orientation or gender diversity. Thankfully commonsense has finally prevailed before so many people were put at risk from Government condoned homophobia. Love is love after all.

Knowing this, it’s incredibly important that all LGBTIQ people feel OK with who they are and have unconditional support. So on a more positive note, summer in Australia brings a time where pride festivals start to happen all over the country. It’s a wonderful opportunity for LGBTIQ community members and allies to celebrate diversity and love while connecting with others.

During November our nation’s capital will celebrate with the SpringOUT Pride Festival — and in this issue of FUSE you’ll find the line up of just some of the key events that are being held p06-10. We urge everyone to participate and show their true and most beautiful colours. For the festival’s full program of events visit the FUSE What's On Section and springout.com.au

Enjoy and stay safe, Alex

FUSE51 : Live Proud 'Our hottest issue yet!' (Gay Cover)

FUSE51 : Live Proud (Lesbian Cover)

Tags: Gay Men, Lesbian

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