If you took party drugs or smoked cannabis on the weekend, would you fail a drug test on Monday? A forensic toxicologist reveals all.
I suppose we all fit into a stereotype in one way or another — I know as a gay man I do. I like hanging out at the gym, I moisturize and my features are a bit effeminate (at a party recently a woman asked me how long I had been living as a man!? It was quite a hit to my masculine ego, but I’m OK with it now — really). Although these might be considered ‘gay’ traits, I know plenty of straight guys who have similar features and share many of the same interests, and many other gay guys who are completely the opposite to me. The only thing stereotypical about all gay men it seems is that we like other blokes, and I can’t even guarantee that.
So what does that mean for stereotypes? Maybe, that really, they don’t actually exist at all. It seems though, that people like to lump others into neat little packages… all gays are like this… all women are like that... it’s rubbish!
In this issue we chatted to two people that really sit outside their ‘perceived’ stereotypes: Bianca Elmir and Andrew Georigiou are both boxers. Bianca has been kickboxing for over ten years and was recently crowned the Oceania boxing champion. With her eyes firmly set on the 2012 Olympics, she’s keen to kick some ass, so to speak. And Andrew runs a popular gay boxing club in Sydney — not quite Fight Club but these gay boys know how to throw a punch… even the pretty ones. So it looks like we’ll have to invent a whole new stereotype for female and gay boxers — or not. Check out the features by Simon Copland on p11 and p13.
So you’ve probably noticed that FUSE has had a make-over (that’s so like the gays). Yep, we’ve tweaked and prodded and now FUSE21 is all grown up. We hope you like it — everyone on the team had to give up some valuable beach time to bring it to you.
We’ve added a few new sections, like ‘Round Up’, ‘Tip Off’ and a gardening/food section called ‘Eat Me’ by yours truly. Plus of course all the regular stuff we’ve grown to love, like ‘What’s On’, ‘Buzz’ and ‘Ear Candy’. Another great year of FUSE is heading your way.
FUSE21— Breaking Away From Stereotypes (Boy Issue)
FFUSE21— Breaking Away From Stereotypes (Girl Issue)
There I’ve said it. I think it was mostly just because I was a small feminine looking boy, but I did get called “ya poofter Thatcher” a lot. Maybe they knew something I did not at the time. It was all very upsetting as a young teenager and getting punched and pushed is never very nice. I cried a lot — that probably did not help.
I remember my mum really lost it once and chased a big kid down after he punched me at the bus stop for no reason, (thanks Mum).
Bullying in schools has always been a problem and kids can be awfully cruel to one another. Having said that, they do learn from their ‘own environment’ so they are not totally to blame. Kids are very open to suggestion, so what they are taught by parents, teachers and peers can shape them for a life time. Teach them intolerance and that’s what you get…. Intolerance.
Bullying in schools and gay suicide has featured a lot in the news over the past few years, but it has not been until recently that governments have started taking this issue seriously. Just before the last election the Gillard government promised $22 million to help tackle suicide in at-risk groups, including the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans* community. More recently the ACT Government said they are ‘ramping up efforts to stamp out homophobia in Canberra schools’. (Andrew Barr MLA writes about this on p15.) It’s a slow road I fear, but at least we’ve started addressing a very serious problem affecting our youth.
On a more up beat note, we’ve got a pretty sexy issue for you this month. Our features include an interview with all round hottie Carsten Andersson — porn star come pop singer. (Bet ya he never got picked on at school.) p12. We also chatted to the ‘very fit’ girls at the Diamond Phoenix Dragon Boat Club about endurance, stamina and hanging out at the lake. p21. Plus there is Madonna, Kath & Kim, hot gay guys (and girls) on the TV soap 90201, 70’s hair, sexy money and hooking up — we’re just full of sexiness. But the sexiest of all is our big Sydney Gay and Lebsian Mardi Gras 2011 photo feature — It’s awesome and so were we. p39.
Be proud and enjoy FUSE22, Alex
FUSE22 — Out and Proud (Boy Issue)
FUSE22 — Out and Proud (Girl Issue)
Can you be brave?
As we started putting this issue together it became apparent that nearly every story — and indeed even our photo spreads — had the same subtle yet very important message. If we want to be happy, then we need to be authentic.
No matter what you’re doing; shopping for new clothes, entering into a new relationship, re-evaluating your life, heading to Mardi Gras or even just going out for an evening with friends — be the ’real’ you.
Being authentic means being brave enough to accept yourself as you really are.
At this point we can finally stop seeking the constant approval from others and stop pretending to be something we’re not. It’s something that most everyone struggles with, myself included. Most of my life I have been insecure and desperate for everyone to like me — no matter the cost — thinking it would make me happy. Trying to be more than I am, withholding what I truly need from others and all too often being fearful to communicate my deeper emotions. As troubling as it may sound, it’s a realisation that can liberate me.
I traded my authentic self because of my fear of being judged. It was not until I saw the suffering that it brings me and others, that I have started to work on being who I really am. It’s not something that happens overnight and being brave enough to ‘be me’ every day is a challenge. It requires vulnerability to be authentic but I know in time it will bring the contentment I’m seeking.
I think being authentic and happy with who we are can be of particular benefit to the LGBTI community, especially our younger community members who are just coming to terms with their sexuality and identity.
Many people struggle with being someone that the world may not approve of. This is very apparent in a new report released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics which shows that 2535 Australians died by suicide in 2012 and that this trend is on the rise.
Although this is only a small piece of the puzzle, it’s incredibly important to encourage everyone to be brave and to be who they truly are and most all to know that who they are is not only OK but wonderful. I hope everyone enjoys this issue of FUSE.
FUSE40 — Being who you are. (Boy Cover)
FUSE40 — Being who you are. (Girl Cover)
40 YEARS OF EVOLUTION
Well, I don’t think I am understating things to say that the 40th Anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was absolutely awesome!Well, I don’t think I am understating things to say that the 40th Anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras was absolutely awesome!
On the ‘night of nights’, under the theme ‘40 Years of Evolution’, an estimated 300,000 spectators filled the streets of Sydney to watch over 12,000 participants take part in the world’s biggest celebration of the LGBTIQ community — the 40th annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. Afterwards, we continued to celebrate at Australia’s biggest LGBTIQ party, which was headlined by superstar and gay icon Cher. The party busted at the seams with thousands of joyous glitter-coated revellers in every imaginable colour of the rainbow. It was all very fabulous!
It was an honour and privilege to be able to celebrate and give thanks to our LGBTIQ elders, 78ers and the many other queer crusaders that over the past forty years have given so much to bring change, acceptance and equality to our country.
Although there is always work to be done on many fronts, these brave people have made it possible for myself and my partner — along with all our LGBTIQ brothers and sisters — to live our lives, as we are, in relative safety.
In this our special ‘40 Years of Mardi Gras Pride Photo Edition’ we have ten fabulous pages of Mardi Gras photos for you to feast your eyes on p32. We’d also like to send a special thank you to all our readers, advertisers and supporters who make FUSE a reality every year.
There is no more perfect combination of passion and people than The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Every year, hundreds of thousands of spectators from all over the world bring the city to a standstill as they cheer on a jaw dropping parade of 10,000 fabulous people.
Photos by: Yes We are Photography and Wayne C Style for FUSE Magazine.
Last night, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade brought the city to a standstill in a glittering explosion of pride. An estimated 200,000 people looked on as the biggest and longest parade in recent years, made up of 178 floats and 12,500 participants, marched, rolled and danced through the heart of Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian district.
Born from a single night of celebration turned political protest, the true Mardi Gras spirit lives on 38 years later. The Mardi Gras theme of ‘Momentum” saw thousands of LGBTQI people and their supporters from all over the world come together to joyously celebrate how far the community has come, as well as recognise the journey ahead. See all the fabulous photos >
Last night, the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade brought the city to a standstill in a glittering explosion of pride. An estimated 200,000 people looked on as the biggest and longest parade in recent years, made up of 178 floats and 12,500 participants, marched, rolled and danced.