Posts Tagged ‘Gay’

Why I got naked today…

July 17, 2016

tribeWell, it has been a while since I last muttered away about anything. In fact since my father passed away last year I seem to have had very little to say on here, or in life for that matter. It has been a strange time, life goes back to normal, you go to work, you eat, you chat you move on, but something inside you does not, it stays stuck. I guess that is why I have not blogged, I have been feeling stuck, stuck in this well of emotions that I feel like I am drowning in, but doing nothing to really help myself. Close friend and family have said I should ‘talk to someone’, and they don’t mean the postman. I know I ought to, but I am not really one for doing that, I seem to find it easier to mutter away at a keyboard to no one in particular. I think this way I feel safe that no one if going to challenge me about what I am thinking and why.

my-tribe

Anyway, why am I posting this now? Well this morning I took off all my clothes and let someone take nude photos of me…. I did it for something called My People | My Tribe, which is a community group focused on telling and sharing LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and diverse sexualities and genders) stories that educate, enlighten and inspire. The group aims to shine a light on a variety of LGBTQ+ areas of interest including a focus on topical issues, history, sexual and mental health.

They recently, had a call out to the Sydney LGBTQI+ community to take part in a photoshoot that tells the stories of 100 locals. Titled #BareNakedTruth, participants are photographed by well know photographer Brenton Parry who said it’s time to showcase we are all more alike than different. “By photographing 100 people from a diverse cross section of the community, stripping them back and telling their story I’m hoping we can see that for all of our differences we have more similarities.”.

Some of the stories that I have read associated with some of those taking part have really inspired me. By participating in it myself it has in fact made me think about my dad a lot.  I came out at 18, around the height of the AIDS epidemic which fed fear and prejudice against homosexuals, and I was not living in some cosmopolitan city like I do now. I did it because I knew that if I could not be honest with others about who I really am and know that by doing so they would love me for who I really was, not who they thought I was, then I could never truly be honest with myself about who I am and grow to love myself. Back then I was gripped with hate and disgust for what I was, and I desperately wanted to not be gay.

And why does all this remind me of my dad, well at the time, we might not have had the best of relationships, it was a struggle for both he and I to accept my sexuality, but he sat me down one day and said he admired me for coming out. He said it was one the bravest things he had ever seen someone do and no matter how difficult things might be or what challenges I might face in the future, he said he knew I would have the courage to face anything after having witnessed me coming out to the world.

It took me a long time to come to terms with who and what I am and many years to truly feel proud of who I am. Today I stripped back my clothes and stood there proud and loving my father for the kindness of acceptance that made me feel loved and cherished for who I really am.

I feel a little less stuck today.

Sexy men in shorts, what is not to like…

August 26, 2014

Bingham Positive RGBI have always liked rugby over football (or soccer as they call it here in Australia) and so naturally I have got myself some tickets to go and see the finals of The Bingham Cup that is currently underway in Sydney.  For those of you that don’t know The Bingham Cup, or as it is officially called the Mark Kendall Bingham Memorial Tournament is a biennial international, non-professional, gay rugby union tournament. Yes gay men really do play rugby, but don’t take my word for it just ask Gareth Thomas, who was until 2011 the most capped Welsh rugby union player, with 100 test match appearances until. After an informal invitational tournament, held in May 2001 the International Gay Rugby Association and Board (IGRAB), came together with the objective of forming an informal invitational tournament which would be an international rugby union competition, or as it has become known the “gay rugby union world cup”.  The tournament itself came to be named after Mark Bingham, a former University rugby star who had played in the May 2001 tournament for San Francisco Fog RFC and was also a cofounder of the Gotham Knights RFC. Mark Bingham died in the September 11, 2001 attacks on board United Airlines Flight 93. He is generally accepted to be one of a group of passengers (along with Todd Beamer, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick) who fought with the hijackers, which eventuated in the crashing of the plane into an empty filed instead of an assumed target in Washington. Mark Bingham was just 31 when he died in 2001, and the Bingham Cup was established the next year in honour of Mark’s courage, strength and love for rugby union. Back in 2002 eight teams competed in San Francisco, and attracted sponsorship from Nike and Guinness, this year in Sydney over 25 will compete and there are an abundance of sponsors, namely Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, AussieBum, Cannon and Lend Lease and is supported by representatives from across sports, such as Wallabies Dave Pocock and Adam Ashley-Cooper, South Sydney’s Greg Inglis and Australian women’s cricketer Alex Blackwell. This years’ tournament is the seventh in the history of the cup, and I will of course be cheering for the Sydney Convicts. For more information and of course to buy yourself some tickets visit the official website: http://binghamcup.com/

It is hard work being gay….

March 13, 2013

You have to maintain a 32inch waist no matter how old and lazy you get

You have to have a gym membership even if the heaviest thing you want to lift is the post off the door matt

You have to have an assumed knowledge about all things to do with women’s fashion even if you don’t have a single fashionable female friend

You have to know the words to every song ever performed by Kylie, Madonna and Bananarama and at least 3 other 80’s pop stars

You have to know what all the ‘in’ bars and restaurants are, even if you have lived like a hermit for years

You have to wear clothes that are in fashion, but not look like mutton dressed as lamb if you are an ageing gay

You have to pretend NOT to fancy the hot straight guy in the office

You have to look at least ten years younger than you are, and make it look effortless

On that note, you have to have immaculate hair even if you have just got out of bed after 12hrs of sleep

You have to know someone that your straight friends can buy pills from, and I am not talking paracetamol, even if you have never even so much as puffed on a joint your entire life

And finally you have to be happy in the face of adversity, there is a reason you are called gay, now go face that firing squad with a skip and a hop and a great big smile on your face…

Who wants to be a daddy Part 4

December 20, 2012

photoWow, it has finally happened I have become a daddy, twice over to two adorable little boys. Charles and MacArthur were born on the 6th December and I have fallen in love with them a .little bit more each day since then. I was very calm in the lead up to the big event, I think having waited so long and tried so hard to become a dad a part of me was waiting till they were both here and I could hold them in my arms before I really truly believe it was all real and happening.

On the day and all through the process I stayed calm and focussed and in awe of what a great job mum to be was doing. The babies had to go straight into a special care unit for 24hrs (just precautionary) and I went with them while mum was in recovery and it was not till that moment that it struck me that they were here in the world and I was their dad and would forever have them in my heart that I suddenly was overcome with emotion and shed a few tear, ok I blubbered a little, all those years of yearning to be a dad finally coming to fruition, it was a moment I will treasure forever, especially when they are misbehaving and driving me crazy.

I wrote a little while back about how the family I was looking to create is a somewhat modern family, and although I had a little bit of negative response, on the whole most people were very supportive and encouraging, and I have been blow away by generosity of support we have received and want to publicly acknowledge my gratitude for this.

My journey to becoming a dad has finally ended, but my journey as a dad is just beginning.

Earlier postings relating to this topic: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Political Parties chasing the Pink Vote

August 28, 2012

I know I have talked about brands targeting the Pink Dollar before https://macarthursmutterings.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/big-brands-wise-up-and-target-the-lgbt-community/ when I looked at Coca-Cola and Grey Goose supporting the Winter Party Festival (WPF) in the US and Mardi Gras here in Australia being supported by Virgin Australia, ANZ, Google and Finlandia Vodka, for example.

Well this time I want to talk about Political Parties chasing the Pink Vote. We have some elections coming up in Sydney which sees the  political fight for dominance of Sydney Council being taken to the LGBT Community, why is that?

Well is it one of the few electorates in Australia where the ‘pink vote’ can and does make a difference. If you have spent much time in places like Darlinghurst and Surry Hills you will know that LGBT individuals are both an important and integral part of these communities, and their voice not only matters but is worth listening to.

With this in mind, and with elections just around the corner, the council recently announced some new funding, if all goes to plan Mardi Gras would get $400,000 in funding over the next two years. This might sound like a lot, but a conservative estimate of the average number of spectators a year is 300,000. It is estimated that MG delivers an annual economic impact of $29 million to Sydney and NSW. This is the direct result of international and interstate visitors travelling specifically for Mardi Gras events, so $400,000 is not all that much really, they could be doing more.

Labor’s candidate for the position of Lord Mayor has claimed a Labor run Town Hall would commit $3.2 million to MG and Aids Council of NSW (ACON) over four years, no small sum. And apparently a future Liberal Government will work with MG to ensure “it grows as one of Sydney’s most important cultural and social events and as a major tourism driver for the state”, although I am unaware of any actual sum of commitment in dollar terms.

Don’t get me wrong, all this ‘possible’ support and funding is crucial and long overdue, but LGBT voters don’t just think about how the parties support them at election time only (ok for some that may be true). Like any constituent they think about how political parties represent then (or don’t) most of the year and as such maybe those who want to win, and stay in power, in Sydney ought to pay more heed to the Pink Vote all year round and not just at election time.

The Gap goes gay….

May 11, 2012

Ok, I know I have harped on about brands targeting The Gay’s recently but the Gap’s latest ad got my attention for two reasons. One I like Gap, I have fondness for the brand that goes back over years, when I moved to Sydney I was sorry to discover that they did not have stores here. That was rectified recently with a new store opening here. Ok so it’s not the biggest store and maybe I am getting a little too old for Gap clothes, but that said I did walk out of there a few weeks back with three new pairs of jeans and an armful of t-shirts. And reason number two this ad got my attention was of course the fact it features two rather nice looking chaps (no not those kind of chaps, that really would be taking Gap down a new path).

As a brand it has always been popular with gay community so I wonder why it has taken them so long to do something  like this, if they have done it before please someone do tell.

Back in the 90’s the brand had a real vibe of being cool as the kids would say, however it is fair to say it has lost that edge it once had and I assume it is now trying to recapture some of that vibe again, I’m not 100% convinced this will do the trick but I applaud them for going with an ad targeting the LGBT community.

The fact that even Obama has now come out in favour of same-sex marriage, might encourage even more brands to take the plunge and start showing same-sex couples in their campaigns (the Pink dollar is not to be scoffed at).

There is no doubt that there still a lot of mainstream homophobic prejudice out there so I understand that brands will need to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of targeting the LGBT community, but how many of them properly research and understand just how loyal LGBT consumers are to brand that support and are loyal to them?

And by that I mean brands that don’t just make a token effort to appeal to the community but commit to them as a loyal customer base that just might have a significant contribution to make in their brand’s efforts to reinvigorate sales and enlarge its customer base.

One obvious example of a brand that has taken a brave step in this direction is JCPenney, under its new “Fair and Square” tagline, it has gone against conservative pressure groups like One Million Moms by partnering with Ellen DeGeneres (she is gay by the way) and making her the brands spokesperson. In addition to this they recently featured a lesbian couple and their daughter on their Mother’s Day catalogue.

These may be baby steps but at least they are steps in the right direction…

If New York can do it…

July 19, 2011

Ok, I know I have written about this subject before, but in response to New York having made same-sex marriage legal, I just felt I needed to make further comment. I mean, come on –  if New York State can do it, then surely Australia can as well. Now I know that might sound odd, because after all NY is so cool, hip and liberal, so of course it passed there. Well actually, the State of New York is not all that liberal. When you take into account the rather ‘traditional’ country areas, it’s actually a tad right. More importantly, it has a very influential Catholic Church and they (along with the powerful political conservatives) carry much influence. So as you can see, some striking similarity with Australia. Oh and not only that, but the issue of marriage equality is in the hands of these legislators, not judges, which is the same as Australia (more’s the pity).

What is encouraging, and something I absolutely agree with, is that in New York they rejected having a “compromise” in that they rejected civil unions and went straight for marriage. Several studies have now clearly demonstrated that civil union schemes are unsuccessful in providing same-sex couples with full social recognition (and in some places legal recognition). The time for “intermediary steps” to full equality is in the past and same-sex marriage should be the focus for debate here in Australia. Those at a Federal level who offer civil unions in the hope that this will end the debate, are thankfully mistaken.

As I have touched on before, religious groups make a big song and dance about the issue and do a great job of muddying the waters, trying to make it a ‘religious’ debate rather than one of ‘legal equality’.  One of the main obstacles to reform in NY was the ultimatum from religious organisations for legal immunity if they refused to marry same-sex couples, refused services at faith-based child and welfare agencies, or even refused to rent them venues for wedding receptions. However, these exemptions already exist in Australian law, NOT that I agree with them, particularly if the organisations in question are getting tax-payer funding, which most do but that is a whole other matter…. . No religious celebrant in Australia can be forced to marry someone against their wishes. Churches have exemptions under marital status in federal law and sexual orientation in state law. So as far as I can see, these organizations already have all the exemptions they require, so butt out will you.

If we call it something different then it means something different

April 6, 2011

I have been asked a few times lately what my point of view is on same sex marriage, by both straight and gay friends As part of the conversations I had, I realised that many people have what I think of as a ‘skewed’ idea of what marriage is all about.

Now why do I say that? Well it is not that I mean they have ideas about how a marriage might or might not work. The key thing that almost everyone seems to think is that ‘marriage’ is a religious act. Now even my ‘non-religious’ friends (some who did not get married in a church themselves) believe that the act of marriage is a religious thing!

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought a ‘marriage’ was in fact a ‘legal’ act, not a religious one. Yes, a lot of people choose to get married within a religious setting, such as in a church, but ultimately they sign a legal document that then legalises their wedding… in fact without this you are not really married in the eyes of the law.

Also a key point is that heterosexual couples are allowed to ‘get married’ in non-religious places, such as a garden, on a beach or even in a pub – where is the religion in that!? And yet they can still call it a ‘marriage’.

It is not good enough to say “but marriage is a religious act” as an argument, because that is not the entire truth, and besides non-religious heterosexuals being allowed to get married in a church simply makes a mockery of that argument.

I do agree however, that if the church does not want to allow same-sex marriages in their churches, then so be it, but they do not ‘own’ the copyright of marriage. I fundamentally believe that same-sex- partners should be allowed to get ‘married’ (be it in a garden, on a beach or in a pub) and call it just that. Marriage. 

A ‘civil-partnership’ is not the same. If we call it something different, then it means something different. People know what the act of marriage means, what being married bestows on a relationship and the statement a couple make to their friends and family when they ‘get married’. We all know the importance of this. And no it is not the same when a couple make a civil declaration, it does not have the same gravitas and it certainly is not seen as ‘equal’ to a marriage by most people.

Until I can say “this is my husband” rather than “this is my civil partner” there will always be a disparate treatment and acceptance of same-sex partnerships.

And if R is reading this…. no I am not wanting to get married.

Is this the gay comic book hero we have all been waiting for…

September 1, 2010

Good on ya, as the Aussie inside me would say (no rude comments please). Archie Comics have taken the bold step of welcoming its first openly gay resident this September in “Veronica” #202 (I urge you all to rush out and buy it). The character in question is the rather dashing blond haired and blue eyed Kevin Keller, I wonder what his porn name would be?  Now I am sure that as a result of this they are sure to receive a bag full of hate mail from the more ‘socially conservative’ types out there, but I for one think it is about time we had more diversity in this forum which lets face it has always had a huge gay following.

The introduction of Kevin is just about keeping the world of Archie Comics current and inclusive. Archie’s hometown of Riverdale has always been a safe world for everyone. It just makes sense to have an openly gay character in Archie comic books,” said Co-CEO Jon Goldwater in an official press release.

In a story titled “Isn’t it Bromantic?” Kevin Keller makes waves as the new kid in town by beating Jughead in an eating contest, what better way for the gay guy to make friends and influence people. This of course get the attention of boy-crazy Veronica. When Jughead points out her interest, Kevin’s up front about the fact that he’s gay and spends the rest of the issue introducing himself to the rest of the gang while trying to let a clueless Veronica down easy, I think he should make a bold play for Jughead in the next edition.

It will be interesting to see where Kevin goes from here on, I wish him well on his adventures and look forward to seeing how he is received by the world at large.

Wear It With Pride

February 16, 2010

ACON have launched a new education campaign called Wear It With Pride to help people understand the Federal Government’s recent reforms affecting same-sex couples.

In July 2009, the Federal Government amended 85 pieces of legislation that discriminated against same-sex couples.  Which is great news, if people actually knew about them, hence the campaign.

The campaign has been created by M&C Saatchi, and there are various print and poster ads, and central to the creative are 85 tee-shirts inspired by various human stories behind each of the reforms.

Engagement with the ads and as such the new changes, is driven by the multifaceted individuals and their different stories used across different elements of the campaign. What M&C Saatchi have managed to do is create a nice salient execution and at the same time ensure a level of involvement that means the key message will be easily understood.

I don’t expect everyone to see this campaign to walk away knowing exactly what all those 85 changes were or all the detail behind them, but most will walk away with the awareness that these changes have taken place and hopefully a desire to know more.

On that note the campaign also features a comprehensive website where you can actually educate yourself about all the changes:

http://www.wearitwithpride.com.au

Oh and one finale note, all the individuals you see in the ads appeared so entirely voluntarily and pro-bono, good on them for adding their voices to such a great cause.

Gay Adoption Ad

February 25, 2009

Gay parenting happens all the time in the natural world, and we humans are animals too…just a thought

February 23, 2009

flamingo

 

A pair of male Flamingos at the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, Gloucestershire in the UK were “were so desperate to have a family” they started stealing eggs from other Flamingo’s nests. The staff were impressed with their parenting skills, an A+ for egg-sitting and hatching, that rather than ostracise them from their society when other nests were abandoned by their heterosexual parents the Carlos and Fernando as they are called were considered the best alternative to “adopt” the chick, just as well this is not in Queensland Australia  (or Australia for that matter).

For the first adoption the unhatched egg was taken off the pair and put into an incubator. Hours later a healthy chick hatched, however staff were worried the “flamboyant duo” would not bond with the newborn. This is because the process of bonding normally begins when the chicks are “calling” them from inside the egg. But not to be put off the staff put the chick carefully into an old eggshell, taped it up and returned to the unsuspecting couple’s empty nest. The pair were soon seen ‘talking’ (gossiping more like) to the chick inside the egg and a little while later it hatched for a second time – to be greeted by its loving new foster parents.

 

WWT spokeswoman Jane Waghorn said: “Fernando and Carlos are a same sex couple who have been known to steal other Flamingos’ eggs by chasing them off their nest because they wanted to rear them themselves. They were rather good at sitting on eggs and hatching them, when a nest was abandoned, it seemed like a good idea to make them surrogate parents.”

 

The happy pair have been together for about six years, and can feed their chick without any female help – by producing milk in their throat. Carlos and Fernando not alone, as apparently gay flamingos are not particularly rare “If there aren’t enough females or they don’t hit it off with them, they will pair off with other males,” Ms Waghorn said…..

 

This all gives me hope….

Who do you love…

February 5, 2009

lovers

A Gay PM…..

January 29, 2009

rainbow

Obama made history by becoming the first ever black person to become president of the United States of America, but surely that is now about to be topped by Johanna Sigurdardottir? Who is she some of you may ask, well she is about to be the first openly gay prime minister in the world. Not bad for someone who started off her working life as a flight attendant.  She is currently Social Affairs Minister in Iceland and is the preferred candidate of the Social Democratic Alliance Party to lead an interim government, until new general election in May.

Maybe this will bring some cheer to the poor Icelandic people who need some good news after the collapse of their banking system, and their rising inflation and unemployment.

Apparently she “is respected and loved by all of Iceland.”, and I am sure she will become an inspiration to many young lesbians.

By Colin MacArthur

Do you like it?

January 22, 2009

we-love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems Tesco love mings as well….

tesco-minge