I remember the call like it was yesterday. It was just after dinner one night when my mate called to ask me how I was going. But not ...
- This made me think
“I did not come out until the age of 23 and even then it was a very slow, nervous and calculated process. I was worried what the world would think – would I be turned into a second class citizen, does it make me less legitimate and credible and does it make me less of a person the moment the world knows that I am gay?
I struggled for a while with my own sexuality not so much because there is anything wrong with it but because I have been indoctrinated to believe that something is wrong with it. After all, we’re the ones who aren’t supposed to be married, not supposed to hold hands in public or show any kinds of affection or risk getting bashed.
What changed was visiting San Francisco. Sitting in a café on a cold Saturday morning looking out the window, watching families – gay or straight – with their children, walking alongside each other like any society and community should. That’s powerful. At that moment, everything changed. I thought I was in the future.
I believe that there will come a day when I can be fully out and be free to love the ones that I love and show affection to the ones I love.” — Ben, 25
No matter which way you approach it, gay marriage is a very strong political topic. Compounded with major elections around the country, the daily buzz of “it’s wrong” or “it’s right” has led to, at times it being too easy for our politicians to lose sight of the men and women involved within this political battle as “real people”.
We need to be concerned with the way this is all unfolding in the media. Its attempts to demonise the gay community are now a very calculated blend of both subtle and down right ridiculous. We’re not morons, we can read between the lines, at what they’re playing at and it’s a dangerous line they’re crossing.
Gay people especially young gay males are struggling in their own skin to gain a sense of pride and self worth, as they, mostly in isolation deal daily with their sexuality and just what that means as they form their own unique identity. They’ll be watching this topic with great interest, this is the Australia they’re about to step into. The dialogue around this topic is a barometer of how they can imagine living their lives, both personally and publicly and they too, just like you, can read between the lines.
Soften the Fck Up would never assume to tell you what to think, you are more than capable to come to your own conclusions on gay marriage and to express those opinions with a ballot paper. We’re not interested in that side of things, but chances are you will more than likely know of, work with, speak to or even be mates with someone who is gay. If that’s the case, remember them in your mind when the media is blurting at you, that gay marriage is a separate topic to what you think about gay people. We’re talking real people here, they’re not the faceless evil queer boogie men, they’re just David, Scott, Karl, Simmo, Big Matt, Hamish or even just run of the mill old fashioned Bob. Men that are just getting on with their lives, not setting huge queer agendas, praying sexually on the young or standing around shirtless in white rooms with bad pasty white skin and half their lower torso pixelated out.
Political campaigns always run shit hot with fear towards their climax and as we enter the final legs of the larger elections this year, if you notice a polly doing something that is way out of line with either how you see yourself or your queer mates, tweet it, Facebook it and let your mates know that you think it’s a pile shit too. We need to hold these people in power or those whose views are regarded as the experts accountable. We need to make sure that their views are based on facts and credible research data.
This is a very important topic, it affects not just the queer world but their friends and families in the wider world. We need to consider this with clarity and to do that we need to take as much hate out of the equation as we possible can, only then can we individually come to a clear decision on this topic one way or the other.