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FUSE60 — 2019 Mardi Gras Photo Edition

IN THIS ISSUE: 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbain Mardi Gas photo feature. Find out the best, easiest and cheapest way to access your money. Glitter has been our friend for as long as we can remember, but is it time for a rethink? Everyone needs to know that ‘ghosting’ is not cool and it can cause long-term emotional damage to the ghost-ee. And more!

Alexander Thatcher FUSE EditorCompassion. Connection. Clarity. Conviction.

FUSE60 - Editorial by Alexander Thatcher, Executive Editor.

I write this editorial with a heavy heart, but hope for the future.

The terrorist attack in New Zealand, which killed 50 people, was only the latest in right-wing violence that has been plaguing many countries around the world. It has brought much despair and pain to innocent people who were just trying to live their lives in peace.

Terrorism is a result of extreme views, fear and a need to exert power absolutely over others. Let’s be clear, no matter where you sit on the political, religious or social spectrum, actions that lead to violence or the persecution of others should never be tolerated — EVER!

There is no doubt that some people in positions of power and influence use fear and hate speech to fuel extreme views, often for their personal gain, without consideration of the consequences.

Over the past few years, conservative and religious groups have been gaining influence around the globe. Leaders like Trump put many people in grave danger as he pits one group against another, and uses fear tactics to vilify LGBT people and other communities that don’t fit into the right-wing, Christian model.

Trump is, of course, not the only offender — but most certainly one of the worst. Other leaders, like Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah of the tiny country of Brunei, also push and enable extreme agendas. In his case, the implementation and encouragement of Islamic laws that would allow public death by stoning for adultery and homosexuality.

With compassion and empathy absent, leaders like Trump, Bolkiah and others like them, are emboldening and normalising hateful and extreme views that foster unrest and violence.

With so much fear gripping our world, the need for compassionate leadership is essential, but seems increasingly rare — which brings me to the opposite end of the spectrum.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern seems to be the leader that has all the attributes of true greatness, and what the world needs right now.

She demonstrates all the qualities a good leader should have — compassion, connection, clarity and conviction. Jacinda Ardern is leading her country out of the dark forest with a light so bright that even the most vulnerable are feeling safer knowing their leader has a clear way forward, and it includes everyone.

Our world is filled with diversity and there is a place for everybody. The key elements are, of course, understanding, generosity, honesty and most of all kindness.

My partner Christopher suggested to me the other day that extremism is a bit like pulling an elastic band. The ends are stretched to their absolute limits until, eventually, it snaps and it’s those in the middle that get broken or are forced to choose a side.

It’s my hope that the example set by Jacinda Ardern demonstrates to others that empathy, consideration and the fierce resolve to be better, is the only way to move forward.

Alexander Thatcher
Executive Editor





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