eThankfulness – 13 Jan 2013

Things I am thankful for this week:

I have a new job!  I think that’s pretty awesome!

Today is the last day before I start said new job!  I’m thankful that I haven’t had much downtime between NRG and the new place. (Plus the new job sounds exciting!)

Went for a drive out to my new location, not too bad, most of the distance is by motorway and I’ll be going the *RIGHT WAY* both start and finish to avoid most traffic congestion!

I went to the dentist for tooth pain yesterday. (Not thankful for tooth pain) The dentist was recommended to me by three different people and was WONDERFUL.  I managed to let a wisdom tooth (that I didn’t know was a wisdom tooth, just thought it was a regular one) decay.  Fortunately, because had fully erupted, it was just like a standard extraction, nothing like the pain I know other people have with their wisdom teeth.  So my gum is slightly sorry for itself, but overall I’m much better off.  And they were cheap!  I am thankful for the dentists at Bardon Smiles – who are even open on Saturdays!

I got to catch up with my friend BW! She moved to Gladstone a month before I did and we supported each other while we each found our feet socially!  She moved to Brisbane a couple years ago, and I haven’t seen her much since – it was so lovely to see her and we talked for hours.  🙂

I also got to catch up with A – another Gladstone friend who has made the move – had a great time with him, and introduced him to my housemates.

I tried Yum Cha for the first time in my life with amazing bloggers Chrys Stevenson and Jane Douglas, as well as Chrys’ awesome mother and one of Brisbane’s Who’s Who of the gays!  I’m thankful for having the opportunity to meet these amazing people I’ve only chatted to before!  And I’m thankful that I’ll continue to be able to meet up with them – possibly even regularly!

I am thankful for the place I landed.  They guys I’m sharing with are just lovely!  I’m so pleased I picked a good spot and good people!

For all of these things, and many more, I am thankful!

eThankfulness – January 7 2013

As usual, it’s time for my eThankfulness column (and as usual, it’s a touch late).

I’ve just moved from Gladstone to Brisbane, and things I am thankful for this week:

I’ve crash-landed into an AWESOME place – not really suitable for me long-term as it’s not right for the Furball, but Furball is staying with friends nearby while I sort myself out.  Nice room, lovely garden oasis, lovely housemates, awesome vibe, and handy to everything!

Friends – people make or break a place, and I’m already out there and getting to know people as well as catching up with some friends who have wound up in Brisbane from Gladstone or Tassie.

The drive down – little traffic, low-level road works, it was one of the nicest Gladstone-Brisbane drives I’ve ever done.

Weather: Has been just lovely – only one real scorcher and I spent *that* swimming in a pool on the Sunshine Coast

Location: just gorgeous to go on walks through, pretty, lots of restaurants, cafes etc

Work: I’ve got a couple of positives on the horizon on the job front.

Plus I have a couple of ideas for potential software products to get moving on while I’m not working – hurrah for skills that let me produce a product without prototyping costs etc! 😀


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


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, 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!

eThankfulness – 11 Nov 2012

I’ve been getting slack with this thankfulness thing.

I was talking with my mother when I was in Tassie last weekend, and she told me that something like my eThankfulness is well understood in Psychology to have serious benefits, provided you want to do it.  She told me that maximum benefit is when you write entries in your Gratitude Diary every day, but as long as you do it regularly, it acts as a kind of mental-health immunisation, significantly increasing your resistance to things like depression. She made mention that the only group of people who don’t benefit are psychology students – or rather, people who are being forced to do it.

I feel almost euphoric today!

As you are hopefully aware, faithful readers, in 6 days, the Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally will be over!  I have loved organising it, but next time I take on something like this, I’ll try not to have a house on the market at the same time.  GMER on its own has provided me a list of things to be thankful for:

Businesses being so friendly about putting flyers up.  Many of them lit up and said “Oh, it’s YOU! Yes, I’m definitely coming!”  (Often they spontaneously outed themselves to me too)  Which has been one of the best feelings ever!

The generosity of the group has blown me away too.  It seems that no sooner do I ask for things than I get people saying “Sure! When? How do you want it done?”  From the poster design to walking out flyers.  From T-shirt printing to prettying up Scotties function room, they’ve been absolutely fabulous!

I am thankful to the wonderful woman from the Council who has been handling our rally, and has told me that she’s delighted to come!

I am thankful for the generosity of the Marriage Equality Rally attendees, who have been making this so much easier.

I am thankful for the fantastic reactions of most businesses to my flyers/posters – it’s so encouraging!

I am thankful that my friend has located an amazing new apartment, reducing his stress levels massively (and potentially giving me somewhere to crash in the city)

I am thankful for the opportunity to go and see one of my favourite people in the whole world get married in Tasmania!

On that topic, I am thankful for the wonderful day and the amazing weather.

I am thankful for opportunities to see people I haven’t seen in *years*

I am thankful that this notion which made some sense in my head, and which I felt was doing me good, actually has some basis in clinical psychology, to the point that it has been used as treatment for some things.

I am thankful that I live in a country where this rally can go forward and criticise our government – it’s a privilege that too few in this world get to exercise.

I am thankful for the groundswell amongst the blogger community in getting Gladstone Marriage Equality Rally noticed and picked up! 

I am thankful for the opportunity to have my writing on – it’s a real honour.

I am thankful for the opportunity to help improve this small corner of the world in this one small way, and feeling like the world is getting behind me to make it a success.

I am thankful, simply for being able to feel thankful for so much of my life.

I am thankful for those World War One soldiers who fought and died for this country, and for all those who have fallen in her service throughout our history.

And so, on this, the 11th of November, 2012, I am extremely thankful.

eThankfulness – 29 Oct 2012

As promised,  It’s time to be grateful!  And let me tell you, I’ve got some doozies this week!

I sold my house! This has been a major stressor for me, mainly because I wasn’t sure I’d have a job after 16 Nov.

I’ve been extended!  My work is now until 31 Dec, which is a small reprieve, but enough to get me into work in Brisbane before I finish, I hope!

I’ve been published via Gay Marriage Rights Australia – Apart from being very chuffed about actually getting a mention from them, this brings me to thing-I’m-thankful-for number four…

Records have been *obliterated*  My previous “most views” statistic for a single day was 166.  Today’s article views on Age Of Consent in QLD are sitting at three times that!  Thank you, fantastic readers, for getting me to that height!

My work’s major project for the year is finally hitting some goals!  We’ve started rolling out our new system, and I’m so proud of my team!

I have a room for the time between my house selling and a Brisbane job starting!  It just dropped into my lap!

I got to go see the Rockhampton production of Hairspray on opening night!  It was a great night, and I loved it!

Finally, this week I go back to Tasmania for the weekend to see my fag hag extraordinaire tie the knot with her long-time partner.  I’m super-excited about that! 😀

What are you thankful for?

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.

eThankfulness – Mackay Edition – 7 Oct 2012

So, Yesterday was the Mackay Rally for Marriage Equality (MR4ME) and so many amazing and awesome things happened I am so thankful for!

Travel – my car tyres are shot – not a big issue, and getting resolved on Tuesday, but the timing was terrible.  I certainly wasn’t going to get to Mackay in Suzi May (My Suzuki Swift) this weekend.  My workmate Tony heard the Rally was on and offered to drive me!  I was amazed, flabbergasted, and so very pleased that he would do that.

Accommodation – Courtesy of the aforementioned Tyres, and Real Estates not taking credit cards, I was an eency bit broke.  I posted on the MR4ME Facebook page, and within about an hour I had a response from someone I’d never knowingly interacted with, saying “Come stay with us!”  – I certainly couldn’t have afforded accommodation even if the rates were normal, and in Mackay they’re apparently ridiculous!

Weather – The weather on both days was absolutely incredible – a beautiful drive up and a fantastic drive back, with a great time in Mackay in-between.  

Turn-out – There were between 190 and 250 people in the rally, it stretched for a city block, and we had to wait every time we crossed a road.  We also had Senator Claire Moore (Who voted for marriage equality in the senate) address us and march with us, and the local Greens candidate Jonathon Dykyj as well!

Mr4ME Ralliers

MR4ME Taking up a block

Opposition – was invisible.  We had talked about (been told) how to handle it, but didn’t need to implement the tactic of ignoring the opposition.

The Walk itself – a great way to seem Mackay’s CBD, My friend Tony and I headed the column.  I’m very proud to be up-front on this issue.  (That’s me with the Rainbow “=” sign)

Tony and I head the column

The energy – it was fantastic to be with that many people all passionate, all supporting the one cause.  I loved every second of it!

The people – We had a great after-march party at Mackay Metro Market – a funky cafe with great food and great atmosphere on River St.   Check them out if you’re in the area!  I met so many fantastic people!  In the above photo we see Jen – self proclaimed fag hag who moved from Sydney to Mackay, just looking for a gay to call her own.  I met Kris May, the organiser, who I’ve interacted with a bit on Facebook.  I met Robin Lockman, a well-known Mackay Gay Rights activist, (and it was fantastic because *she* recognised *me* – I’m starting to feel like I’m a recognised activist! or at least a micro-celebrity…).

Probably for me, the people I really want to say thank you to in this post the most are Cheryl and Morrie.  This amazing couple put Tony and me up for the night, sight unseen, and showed us around some of the beautiful places Mackay has to offer!



Cheryl’s the one in the middle, in case you needed some help with that


And her fantastic husband Morrie.  These two wonderful people took us in, showed us amazing hospitality, and showed us around, asking for nothing in return!  Cheryl and Morrie, you are the best!  Get in touch with me any time!

What else am I thankful for… so so many things, far too many to list!  The Mackay trip has left me euphoric and hopeful for the future!  Thinking very hard about staging a Gladstone Rally in the near future!  Oh!  One thing I *am* thankful for that doesn’t centre around the rally so much, my new Real Estate agent.  She showed my house yesterday after I left for Mackay, and called me about 3 today saying “I noticed your porch light was still on. Are you ok? Do you need me to feed the dog or anything?”  I turned her down as Tony and I were just leaving Mackay to come home, but that’s a level of service I would never have expected!  (For those of you who are looking for an agent, She’s Margie Richards from PRD Nationwide – Gladstone.  If you’re selling your house, this is the woman you want!  I only wish I’d listed with her sooner.)

eThankfulness – 16 Sept 2012

I’ve been trying to sell my house recently, and it’s a tumultuous journey.  Today I had an open house and it felt more like a set-back than a step forward, even though it actually was a step forward.  This post, tonight, has brought me to some realisations about my perceptions; I am thankful for the clarity and perspective that I can view this situation now.

I am not in a bad position.  I’m 27 and own a house, on my own. In this day and age, that’s a pretty reasonable achievement!

My deadlines are arbitrary, and set by me. If I fail to achieve them, is it really failure, or was I unrealistic in setting my expectations?  If I do not sell by the appointed time, I am sure it won’t be the end of the world and that I will be able to arrange something else.

I am actually in a good position.  My primary concern is the upcoming sale of my house, and not concerns over food, shelter, physical safety, or any other basic necessities for life.

So, I am thankful.  I am thankful that I am achieving financially.  I am thankful that my timelines are not set in stone, or by someone else.  I am thankful that my largest concern pales in comparison against those who are doing it truly tough.

What are you thankful for this week?