Why doesn’t Andrew Bolt condemn hateful posters against LGBTQ+ families in Sydney and Melbourne?

Trigger Warning: homophobia, homophobic language, Orlando shooting last year

A person has informed Andrew Bolt of slanderous anti – LGBTQ posters that have been seen in both Sydney and Melbourne:

Once again a simple vote for marriage equality turned into a fight for survival by Bolt and the hard right.

Still no mention of those horrible posters, Andrew?

“Nicholas” has a point. It’s the principle not the side that counts, right?

True, true, Bolt has condemned homophobia in the past, including on the assault of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce last year. He has also criticised Mark Latham and Ross Cameron for making unsavoury comments about LGBTQ people. Good on him for that. He has also spoken with compassion toward LGBTQ+ he personally knows during this debate.

Pic of Andrew Bolt last year being interviewed on "Think Again" conference
Andrew Bolt expressed regret on the strains on his relationships with LGBTQ+ friends and family over same – sex marriage.

There have been other times when, at least to my knowledge, he’s missed an opportunity, such as the threats against Melbourne’s Joy 94.9 FM last year.

I know, I know I keep bringing these things up. But, what is it, the principle or the side that is important.

Even more important than that, who wants to be told (falsely) that their LGBTQ+ loved ones are more likely to abuse children? I don’t think for a second that Bolt thinks that’s true. So, why silence?

 

I think this is more that the posters are more than just a bit off or espousing an unpopular or controversial opinion. The posters used the F word meant for gay people, especially gay men. Not only is the term considered to be a form of verbal abuse by members of the LGBTQ+ community, but it is often associated with physical homophobic violence.

The myth that LGBTQ couples are more likely to or are the equivalent of child sexual abusers needs to be stamped out, too. The aftermath of the Orlando Pulse Night Club last year sparked fear in the LGBTQ+ community. What wasn’t talked about in Australia was that people —non Muslims, mind you — praised the gunman, saying that the victims should be executed. In their venom, these people equated gay people to pedophiles. One preacher said from the pulpit that Orlando, Florida is a little safer tonight”Yes, he and others did receive condemnation, but it still freaks me out. It shows that words do matter. Regardless of your views on same – sex marriage or even LGBTQ+ people in general, comparing LGBTQ+ people and their families to pedophiles, as well as derogatory terms, must be condemned. And it needs to be called out by people with a major social and political influence and voice, like Bolt has.

People have scoffed at the idea that LGBTQ+ have negative feelings about the plebiscite. To be quite honest, for a while, I was in favour of it, even the postal one. Since the postal plebiscite is likely (if it passes the Supreme Court), then LGBTQ+ must be supported. Abuse must be condemned. These posters are not just a matter of “free speech”. This is purporting a dangerous view of LGBTQ+ people, which for too long justified violent attacks on people based on their sexuality or perceived sexuality or gender. In the name of ‘debate’, it’s about time people started calling this out and condemning it.

If this post has raised any issues with you, you can contact Lifeline: 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636. For emergencies, ring 000. 

Rainbow Pride flag
Image: iStock

 

Magda Szubanski demonstrates the personal side of the same – sex marriage ‘debate’

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fiwakeupwithtoday%2Fvideos%2F1709373355763989%2F&show_text=0&width=560

(From Today Show Facebook page)

In this ‘debate’ on same – sex marriage, I have often wondered who are letting LGBTQ+ people speak.

Things are starting to look up. The latest example is from Today Show (Australia) where comedian, actress and LGBTQ+ advocate, Magda Szubanski gave an emotional interview explaining why same – sex marriage is so important and the effect of the debate.

This isn’t the first time she’s opened up about her experiences and her passion for the legalisation of same – sex marriage in Australia. In 2012, she came out publicly on The Project and explained how she felt about the same – sex marriage debate. Her coming out was a classic!

I think Magda Szubanski’s story demonstrates that same – sex marriage is not a ‘non – issue’ for some members of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s real, it’s raw and it’s personal. In both The Project and The Today Show interviews, Szubanski emphasised her own struggles as a young gay person, obviously remembering what it was like to have your life and love under scrutiny (this was when homosexuality was still illegal in many parts of Australia. Tasmania was the last state to decriminalise homosexuality in 1997).

I think this is what needs to be thought about when debating, not just same – sex marriage, but anti – discrimination laws, the back pedalling of anti – vilification laws and advertising standards, etc.

So, what can be done?

Can I say, yet again, please, PLEASE, keep an eye out for LGBTQ+ loved ones. If they are struggling, be there for them. Encourage them to get further help if they feel they need it.

For LGBTQ+ people who are struggling, please don’t suffer in silence. Talk to someone, or at least take the steps you need to make yourself feel better. Switch off from news and social media if you have to.  Regardless of what many people, including allies, might say, this can and often is very taxing emotionally. Please look after yourself.

If anyone needs any support you can contact:

Lifeline: 13 11 14

 Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636. (The website has great information about mental health too).

Censorship isn’t the answer

Last night, Andrew Bolt and Daily Telegraph columnist, Caroline Marcus criticised Facebook for blocking a user after he posted on the upcoming postal plebiscite on same – sex marriage.

After pressure from the public, the page and post have been restored.

Defending Natural Marriage's restored Facebook page
Facebook bucked under pressure and restored ‘Defending Natural Marriage’ page
Restored page of Defending Natural Marriage
Facebook page and acciunt of its creator has been restored by Facebook after inquiry by Sky News (Australia)

This has sparked an angry response from some of The Bolt Report fans. In retaliation, some have said they’d retract their support for same – sex marriage,

Screenshot of FB conversation on 'The Bolt Report
Censorship and bullying tactics are driving people away from supporting same – sex marriage

 

The same – sex marriage debate hasn’t been easy for some members of the LGBTQ+ community.  Frankly, it’s made me cry at times, and I’m single and asexual. I can only imagine how it must be for some same – sex couples. To have your identity, your relationship and your rights debated is tough.

However, I don’t think silencing debate will help the LGBTQ+ community. To be frank, the actions of some have been appalling. From the disgraceful treatment of Margaret Court on The Project earlier this year, to the threats made against the Australian Christian Lobby (I’m not commenting on the current case that’s presently before the court), and more, the LGBTQ+ community and the same – sex marriage campaign in particular are bleeding supporters.

Please step back.

The past couple of weeks have been hard for many LGBTQ+ people. I get it. I really do. But the attacking of opponents, or even some supporters like Marcus, is just wrong. Stop it!

If you are struggling, don’t be afraid to cry. Journal. Scream,  if you need to. But don’t abuse people in real life or online. If you do say something in the heat of the moment, apologise.

If you think you are struggling too much, please, please reach out and seek help. Talk to a family member or friend. Let them support you. If you think you need more, seek out professional help. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636.

Terrorist attack hits Barcelona

At least sixteen people have been run down in a terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain.

Dozens more have been injured, some critically. Australians were in the city when it occurred, but are not among the casualties.

One of the terrorists died in a shootout with police. IS have allegedly claimed responsibility.

For Australians who have concerns about loved ones in Barcelona, call Foreign Affairs Department: 1300 555 135.

For those from other countries, feel free to put a contact number in the comments of your country’s embassy/ foreign affairs, etc for concerned loved ones to contact.

When the ‘Roaring 20’s’ isn’t what you think it was meant to be

The twenties.

Full of love, happiness and success.

Except when it’s not.

I’m twenty – eight now. While my twenties haven ‘t been bad, really. It’s been far from predictable, successful and full of constant happiness. My mid twenties – around twenty – five was particularly hard until i went on the Rotary Lions’ Club’s ‘Rotary Youth Leadership Award’. The week there, gave me a new lease on life and a sense of optimism that I hadn’t experienced in a while. Sometimes, your twenties can be quite lonely. It’s often a time when friends that have grown up together go their separate ways. If your lucky, you may have one or two that you keep in contact with (I’m one of the lucky ones, actually).

In terms of career success, in your twenties, you face a brutal truth; that you will most likely be rejected at least once. Your career may not have taken off. For some, being in your twenties means having to move back with your parents. According to the September 2017 issue of Cosmopolitan (Australia), one in ten Australians take anti depressants. (“The Great Millennial Meltdown, Jennifer Savin, pp. 103 – 107. Cosmopolitan Australia, September 2017).

According to the Jennifer Savin article. there is a bit of an industry, at least in Europe. In a hotel in Benehavis, Spain, women in their 20’s and early 30’s flocked to a retreat run by Stephanie Kazolides in a mental health/ yoga/ meditation program called ‘Quarter Life Health Project. The retreat cost A$500 per person.

The twenties seemed to be big contrast for many people than what they think or are told it should be. It’s definitely a contrast from some of the images I found iStock for this post.

Group of happy and young people
Image: iStock
Young man gains good news over phone ecstatic
Image: iStock

For many people, obviously, the twenties may not live up to these expectations for most people – at least not all the time. It’s a time where you’re still trying to make sense of things, fighting for independence and trying to get on your feet career wise. What shocked me in the Savin article was the percentage of people who enter employment after graduating university – just over 41% which I think is despicable actually, but that may be for another post somewhere along the line.

The twenties comes with growth, expectations and transitions in relationships. Unfortunately, for too many when relational transitions take place, people in their twenties often experience loneliness, which can be really hard. Most people have a vision of what the twenties should be like — by being told by others or themselves. Moving out, working, having adventures, getting married, buying a house, etc.

Yet, following that path isn’t so straightforward, especially for Gen Ys who live in the major cities. Work isn’t as easy to come by, including when you have a degree. I know from experience even getting relevant work placement when doing a TAFE course can be hard (that’s one of the things that got me in a rut).

 

While I don’t think Gen Y has had it the worst — every generation faces it’s challenges — looking back I think Gen Y could have had things a bit differently. I think for too long, university was seen as the ticket to employment, even though TAFE was getting less stigmatised, university for most was the ultimate goal. I think people who were taught about careers, applying for courses and jobs, etc, I think it would have helped to have a bit more of a talk about rejection and possible long or medium – term unemployment wouldn’t have gone astray. Not to mention stigma still faced by people with a disability. Then again, I guess no – one predicted the GFC in 2008, which threw a lot of young people off.

 

For people who haven’t entered or have only started their twenties, I have one piece of advice – take it in your stride. It’s not going to be all smooth sailing. Be flexible (probably for a while my big downfall). And, most importantly, reach out and get help if you think you need it.

For health resources or support, you can contact and get information from Beyond Blue.

Click on these articles if you think you need better ways to deal with stress (or just some encouragement).

Her Campus: How to deal with stress in your 20’s

Psychology Today: If you’re lost in your 20’s

GoodTherapy.org Mental health issues to be aware of in your 20’s

Have you got any tips you’d like to share with 20 – something readers? Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below. 

 

 

Other people affected by the same – sex marriage debate you may not have thought of

pride heart shaped hands
Image: iStock

 

 

I’ve planned to do a few posts on same – sex marriage. And it’s also something that I thought of leaving behind. It’s taxing. It can be painful for LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones.

Same – sex/ marriage equality supporters argue that it’d affect gay and lesbians and them only. Well not quite. I want to list a few more groups that are rarely mentioned:

  • Homoromantic people – this includes homoromantic asexuals.
  • Bi – romantic people in same – sex relationships
  • Bisexual people in same – sex relationships (or who want to be)
  • Pansexual people in same – sex relationships (or want to be)
  • Pan – romantic people in same – sex relationships
  • Those who don’t identify as gay or bi, but find themselves in love with someone of the same sex
  • People in a queerplatonic relationship with someone of the same – sex, or people who want to be

 

The romantic orientations are what I want to talk about because this may affect members of the asexual community in Australia. This will (hopefully), frankly bust this obsession that some people have with equating same – sex relationships on sex and having that reason why they oppose same – sex marriage. For certain romantic asexuals, this affects them too.

Hopefully, changing the conversation in this way may get some heads out of the gutter. I am so sick of LGBTQ+ to being equated to sexual stereotypes or just outright lies about the LGBTQ+ community and every excuse why tbey shouldn’t be afforded same legal rights.

The list I’ve made above only makes up a small percentage of the population, but so what? I get so sick of that argument! That ‘small percentage’ of people may include someone in your family, friends, co – workers, etc.

That wasn’t the main aim of this post. My main point is, I think sometimes we keep revolving the marriage debate around sex. Sometimes, it literally has nothing to do with it. It IS about love and love only for some. Will this change the course of this ongoing debate? Probably not. But I do think it’s important.

 

Who have I missed? Who else is potentially affected by this debate? (WARNING: Any reference to bestiality or paedophilia will be removed and you may be banned from commenting on here again).