eThankfulness for 30 Dec 2012

As the year draws to a close, the time comes to look to the future.

But first, a look back over 2012

It’s been a wonderful, tumultuous year for me and there have been lots of opportunities to be grateful!

Major events:

  • Made a definite decision to move out of Gladstone 1/1
  • Started getting housemates in (technically 27/12/11)
  • Did minor renovations – painted the house etc. 17/5
  • Put my house on the market – 23/5
  • Both my parents turned 60 – Trip to Tasmania to celebrate 4/8
  • Mackay Rally For Marriage Equality 6/10
  • One of my long-time friends got married – 2nd Trip to Tasmania to celebrate 3/11
  • Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally 17/11
  • Sold my house 27/11
  • Moved in with *shudder* people 23/11
  • Contract finished at NRG 31/12
  • Move to Brisbane 31/12

So what am I going to be Thankful for?

Well, this week I’m thankful for:

Fantastic work people at NRG – I’m going to miss a lot of people from that place

My current housemates – apparently sharing with people isn’t as bad if you’re the one renting the room!  Kidding – M and R have been awesome housemates, and it’s a nice place to live – AND I’ve been able to have Alva here

Friends – so many have been making efforts to catch up before I leave, it’s been really nice.

Work – I’ve managed to get all my projects complete before I left, so I’m quite pleased with myself

Christmas – M’s parents invited me to spend Christmas with them by their pool in Boyne Island, where I was treated like one of th family – it was just lovely, a wonderful way to spend Christmas if I had to spend it away from my own family.

Success – I will succeed in my New Year’s Resolution to be in Brisbane for NYE!

and Having time to spend with friends, to pack, everything

But looking back over this year’s events, what are the things I’m most thankful for?

Making a plan with scary goals, and sticking to it.

Getting at least *one* housemate into my house that I want to associate with afterwards

My friends, who helped me paint my entire interior in a single day, and did a damn good job!

Friends helping with moving furniture around and post-reno cleanup etc, ready for open homes

My August trip to tasmania was (Besides a chance to celebrate my parents’ 60ths) an opportunity to catch up with friends I haven’t seen since I was there the year before, and yielded an opportunity to catch up with my cousin Heather who I so rarely get to see (She’s in Melbourne), and whose company I enjoy so very much!

Attending MR4ME in Mackay was amazing – an experience I won’t soon forget, I met so many amazing people!

My November trip – Aside from the opportunity to see my friend tie the knot, I got to spend time with some of my Canberra friends

GMER – There really isn’t much I’m not grateful for there – it all went so well, and was just such a success

I sold my house – Thankyou Margie Richards for your hard work on getting it sold – Look her up at PRD Nationwide Gladstone if you’re looking to buy or sell in this town – she’s fantastic!

As I said before, my current housemates are awesome – and I’m grateful for good housemates!

My Contract finished at NRG, and while that’s kinda sad, I’m grateful that I was able to leave the place wishing I could have stayed longer – it’s a nice way to end things.

And the move to Brisbane? I’m grateful that there’s someone who can look after Alva while I look for work and a pet-friendly home.

Thank you Gladstone, for some wonderful memories.

eThankfulness 26 Nov 2012

I am thankful:

For amazing Gladstonites who have been standing up and refusing to shop at a store whose owner responded in a very negative  (homophobic) way to the Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally flyer when I asked him to put it up.  I’ve spoken to him since the incident, and he has apologised profusely, and asked how he can “make this right”.  I’ve suggested that I’m really not sure, but that posting an apology to GLBTIQ Gladstone might be an appropriate starting point.  at 3PM I pointed him towards the group, and I’m still waiting to get a request to join and post from him.  If another 24 hours pass and I haven’t heard from him again, I’ll be letting you know who it is.  I have my suspicions, but I think his apology to me is a reaction to the dead zone that the store has become.

I am grateful – to new housemate/landlord M who offered me a pet-friendly room when I announced that my house had sold.

I am grateful for the many well-wishes I’ve received from people over my impending move

I am thankful that the Rally went off with only a couple of minor hitches

I am so grateful to the Gladstone Observer for their continued coverage of the GMER – There was a full-page photo essay in the weekend observer documenting it!

I am also grateful to the Observer for having selected me as a winner in their firefighter fantasy competition.  Free firefighter 2013 calendar? Don’t mind if I do!

I am grateful, yet again, for the fantastic work friends that I have and will miss sorely when I leave Gladstone.  You’d all better let me know when you’re in Brisbane so we can do coffee or something, y’hear?

I am still overwhelmingly grateful to the population of Gladstone who made the GMER into what it was, and for the people who have started organising some once-a-month events to provide some organised GLBTIQ community here!  You guys rock!

Seriously, if you’re in Gladstone and want to meet other GLBTIQ people, check out GLBTIQ Gladstone – apart from being administered by the caped queersader, there are some very cool things going on there, including some story-sharing, coffees, picnics, and more!

Dylan from Gladstone, grateful for another week!

Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally

CoverGMER

So, the Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally happened on Saturday – you might have the notion that I’ve sort of been involved with it…

Above is our group photo – that’s what about 100-110 people look like (I counted 10 Shutterbugs, one of them being Shutterbug Photography CQ who took the photo above)

I’ve been on 6 different Radio Stations, including 4ZZZ, JoyFM (Listen Here) and ABC Regional (Check the links for the interviews).

Our rally went amazingly,  with 110-120 attendees including Mayor Gail Sellers.

I’ve included the speeches from our 4 fabulous speakers (and me) (Thanks to James Wragg for recording these on the day and giving me the footage)

We Have Glenn Butcher, the ALP’s endorsed State Candidate for Gladstone

Shelly Holzheimer – One of our fantastic straight allies in this town

Nerrilyn Diefenbach, Mother of a gay man.

Em and Mikayla Glossop, lesbian co-mothers

And then there’s me – I don’t need to tell you who I am, right?

I couldn’t believe the amazing response we got. We had a small contingent of local church groups over the road at Anzac Park praying for marriage – something that a vast number of LGBTIQ folks have been doing over the last few years – and we had I believe a total of 3 negative statements or gestures during the course of the march, far outweighed by the positive reactions we inspired!

After our 3km march, (and gosh it was hot!) about 40 of us retired to local restaurant Scotties for some much needed fluid replacement! Scotties was absolutely amazing and produced beautiful food for us, served by their lovely staff!

The rally made the front page of the Gladstone observer, and this is where the world first learned of my secret identity – the Caped Queersader!

Front Page of the Observer

We even made the Channel 7 regional news!

I have to say a massive thank you to the Gladstone Observer, especially Beth Young and Kara Irving, for their fantastic coverage and promotion of the event, to Radio stations ABC Regional Capricornia, HotFM, ZincFM, SeaFM, 4ZZZ and JoyFM, to SameSame, StarObserver, Doug Pollard at TheStirrer.com.au, Chrys Stevenson, and the myriad of others who helped garner publicity and support for this event.

I would also like to thank Gladstone Regional Council and the Gladstone branch of Queensland Police who were immensely cheerful, helpful, and supportive in organising the required permits for the rally.

Gladstone businesses also deserve a massive shout-out as so many of them helped by displaying our flyers, developed by Faye Kjattar of Squid Ink Designs.

I have to give a warm, squishy, soppy thank you to those people who I’ve been chatting with to help me cope with the craziness of all of this – I swear I would have gone sane if it wasn’t for you lovely folks, and we can’t have that!  You all know exactly who you are.

I would like to thank again our speakers who did an amazing job, Glenn Butcher, Shelly Holzheimer, Nerrilyn Diefenbach, and Em and Mikayla Glossop.

Finally, I have to thank the residents of Gladstone who made the rally the resounding success that it was, and who are currently organising new and fabulous events within the community.  Keep tabs on Queer in Gladstone via GLBTIQ Gladstone on Facebook. Plus I’m sure I’ll be doing some promoting on this blog.

Dylan Carmichael, who is currently thankful for pretty much everything in life, signing off!

Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally – 4 days to go!

This last week has been incredible.  I put out requests for various things to happen and someone almost instantly puts their hand up to do them!

Like Faye Kjattar from Squid Ink Designs who designed the promo material

Gladstone rally

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ll know that I’m passionate about making this event a huge success, and I’ve been putting a lot of energy into it.  So I’m asking you, dear readers, to give me a hand! (holds for applause)

Here’s how you can help –

This is a QR code:

MarriageEqualityQRCode

Scan it with your smartphone, and it’ll take you to the rally’s Facebook Event page.  After you go there yourselves and make all the necessary flight arrangements to come, your mission, should you choose to accept it,  is to share this image and the Facebook event page as widely as you can!  I know you may not know anyone (else) in Gladstone, but your friends might, or their friends might. This is a situation where numbers matter.  So saturating the interweb with this particular rainbow-sparkly light is important!

The Gladstone Observer’s been great, and I’ve got bloggers everywhere adding to the social media storm!  Today, I’ve recorded interviews with HotFM, SeaFM, JoyFM, and the ABC.

Our “Going” column on the Facebook event is now at over 160 people!

Gladstone, the place to be for Marriage Equality, the place to be for ME!

I look forward to meeting my hordes of loyal readers on Saturday!

Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally – 6 days to go!

This last week has been incredible.  I put out requests for various things to happen and someone almost instantly puts their hand up to do them!

Like Faye Kjattar from Squid Ink Designs who designed the promo material

Gladstone rally

If you’ve been paying any attention at all, you’ll know that I’m passionate about making this event a huge success, and I’ve been putting a lot of energy into it.  So I’m asking you, dear readers, to give me a hand! (holds for applause)

Here’s how you can help –

This is a QR code:

MarriageEqualityQRCode

Scan it with your smartphone, and it’ll take you to the rally’s Facebook Event page.  After you go there yourselves and make all the necessary flight arrangements to come, your mission, should you choose to accept it,  is to share this image and the Facebook event page as widely as you can!  I know you may not know anyone (else) in Gladstone, but your friends might, or their friends might. This is a situation where numbers matter.  So saturating the interweb with rainbow-sparkly light is important!

The Gladstone Observer’s been great, and I’ve got bloggers everywhere adding to the social media storm!

Gladstone, the place to be for Marriage Equality, the place to be for ME!

I look forward to meeting my hordes of loyal readers on Saturday!

eThankfulness – catchup edition – 23 Oct 2012

It’s been a while, and I’ve been busy – the rally and all, y’know? – but I told myself that I was going to take time out each week to reflect and be grateful for things that happen in my life, small or large.  I haven’t been doing that, and I’m sorry.  Not an apology to you so much, my readers – the personal reflections of this blogger saying “thank you” into the void for personal situations are probably not what draws you to my blog – but I regret for myself.  The simple act of saying “thank you” for various things is tremendously cathartic, and puts the negative in perspective frequently and regularly.

Thank you, parents.  You’ve been there for me recently to haul me out of difficult situations, though half the country separates us.

Thank you, friends. During what I have to say is one of the most stressful times in my life, you have kept me laughing, smiling, and have reminded me so much and so often how wonderful my life really is, in so many ways.

Thank you, B, for reminding me how peaceful it can be to go and lay on the beach, be disconnected, and do nothing.  It’s a lesson I’ve needed to re-learn.

Thank you, NRG, for your unique blend of work and social opportunities.  You are the best place I have worked so far in my life.

Thank you, world, for irrational and spontaneous laughter.  It is truly amazing stuff.

Thank you, Kris May and Mackay Rally organisers and participants, for inspiring me to organise a similar event in Gladstone – I doubt it would happen without you.

Thank you, Gladstone’s queer community – I’ve had so much support from you over the last few days with the rally, I’m amazed!

Thank you, Margie, your tireless efforts with my property are truly appreciated.

Thank you, person who held the door for me when my hands were full.

Thank you, world, for leaving me in a situation where my concern is how much and when my house will sell, rather than whether I’ll have food or a roof over my head.

For these things, and so much more, I am truly thankful.

How will we know when we get there?

The Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally preparations are going well!  We took over page 3 of the Weekend Observer, which is awesome.  Here’s the article that ran.

It prompted a friend of mine to ask me “a straight person question”.  She wanted to know “Is it just me or does it piss you off when they describe you as ‘openly gay’?”

And the answer is, in Gladstone?  now?  No.  “openly gay” is still sufficiently novel here for it to be worthwhile as a descriptor.  If I was in Brisbane?  I’d probably be wondering why they needed to include it, with thousands of other openly gay men in the city.  Her concern was that we use “openly” when it might be considered not the best thing.  Like “Openly terrorist” where you would never hear of someone “openly being a child safety advocate”

With that in mind, I started thinking about what it means when we don’t need to attach “openly” in front of gay people in the paper in Gladstone.  I think that that is a good indicator of our acceptance in a community.  I am openly gay.  I stand unashamed, and unconcerned.  If you have a problem with my sexuality, it’s you having the problem.  I’m probably living a bit more openly than most – not many people get an article in the paper to say that they’re gay, and it’s OK!  In future, I might talk to reporters about avoiding “openly”… if “gay” isn’t enough, then maybe “out”,”active”, “concerned”, “vocal” or any number of options might work, without reinforcing that perhaps I should be ashamed of it even though I’m not.

I’ve seen “self-confessed” before and that I would find offensive, much as I would “so-called” or “self-described” – I guess I have this notion that not only is it not something that needs confessing, but that I’m probably in the best position to know whether I am or not, without that being cast into doubt.

So how can we know when we’ve beaten homophobia and heterosexism? When I’m  no longer an “openly” gay man, and just become a gay man.   When we don’t need an adjective to describe our state of public queerdom.  When we don’t need to “openly” be.  When we can just be.  That’s how we will know we’ve won this war.