One thing I’ve been grappling with throughout organising GMER is – have we, the GLBTIQ community, really become a one-point group? We have Marriage Equality rallies now, to the exclusion of almost any protest over anything else, it seems.
How odd, coming from someone who organised a ME rally himself!?
I talk a lot about ME, particularly on this blog. But I also talk sometimes about other issues that I feel are of import to the community. My goal with this article is not condemnation, not mudslinging, and not to detract from the importance of ME or deter support for it – but it is supposed to provoke some thought, and hopefully some responses as to how we can manage the multiple issues the Australian LGBTIQ community face.
Why aren’t we, as Australians, up in arms about the ridiculous and archaic state of Queensland’s age of consent laws? or the Gay Panic Defence?
Where is the groundswell support for access to surrogacy across the nation and why is there no national day of action as a statement of disgust at the Newman surrogacy rollback?
Where do we march for LGBTIQ social infrastructure services (like Tasmania’s Working It Out) which are missing in so many regional areas?
Where are we standing in solidarity, holding a vigil dressed in green for TDOR? Where are our voices for Intersex people’s lack of adequate inclusion in the anti-discrimination act?
Why aren’t we pushing hard for a census question on sexuality or gender identity?
None of this is to say that Marriage Equality isn’t important. It is. And it’s a battle that needs to be fought and won, and fought now. What I’m left wondering, I guess, is what happens to the other important GLBTIQ issues that are getting little-to-no air time? I always say to opponents of Marriage Equality who say “Don’t we have more important things to think about/deal with/do?” that “We’re clever people, and can deal with multiple issues at the same time.” But are we? Can we? I think the answer to those is “yes.” Do we? That I’m not so sure about – particularly in QLD we have some serious problems that Marriage Equality is not likely to fix, yet we seem to focus a huge amount of time on it.
Is it because it’s a battle we feel we can win, where others feel much more difficult?
Is it because Marriage Equality affects most Queer Australians, where the other issues are more localised?
Is it because Marriage Equality has an easily identifiable goal where other problems are more ethereal and harder to determine when “we’ve got there”?
Is it because we’ve started on Marriage Equality, and we don’t want to divide the focus?
Talk to me! If you can, do it on the blog so that everybody gets to see the whole conversation – otherwise things get fragmented across multiple sites and posts… Tell me why you think this is, and how we can work to campaign more effectively on more fronts?
This is the Caped Queersader, signing off!