Last night we watched a tele-movie on the ABC called Riot.
It is the story of the first Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade held in Sydney.
I couldn’t believe the police brutality, I couldn’t believe how Australian’s condoned prejudice against people they knew, I couldn’t believe the laws that enabled all of this.
I was 2 years old when the first parade happened.
I grew up in this nasty soup. My sense of self was forged with this as a silent, unseen, poisonous background.
In my lifetime so much has changed.
I think I felt the depth of all this when marriage equality became law last year. I realised that I had been living as a second-class person and had completely accepted that…because that’s the way it always was.
We are not there yet.
How men and women view the roles of people with different genders and sexual orientations is the problem.
Watching this film, I felt the power of group action.
I felt emboldened to speak up.
To act out.
To use my voice.
To shake off my passive, comfortable life and say and do things that matter.
Rock the boat.
But not nearly as frightened as someone who was detained and bashed by the police in 1978 for walking in a legally approved street march.
Forty years later the police march in the Mardi Gras parade. All because men and women were prepared to risk their lives to stand up for what was right.
So, I think I can say and do things that matter.
I think that is the least I can do to say thank you to the people who successfully fought for my right to be me.
The least I can do.
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