Tag Archives: Gay

It’s a ‘yes’ and other things.

Same gender marriage passed with a 61.5 percent ‘yes’ vote with a participation of 80 percent of eligible voters. How that remaining fifth would have voted is something the far right and other conservative groups are probably trying to figure out. Were they so opposed they threw the ballot paper in the bin or are they all people who couldn’t be bothered walking to the post box? If for the most part ‘no’ sayers then the result would have been different or at least a lot closer had they voted. I’d guess Australia is split down the middle on the issue and this same-gender marriage went through because a lot of the against didn’t vote.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation news was happily reporting statistics on participation rates by age group forgetting this was supposed to be an anonymous survey. It appears some were right in being suspicious of the bar codes on the ‘anonymous’ yes or no only form and the government has collected data on how each individual voted.

The yes camp also said there would not be any further social consequences to a ‘yes’ outcome such as gay and lesbian issues being introduced into primary school classrooms. Wrong again – yesterday, the day the result was announced, a mother contacted me saying her 9-year-old son was put in the ‘wrong’ group in a classroom debate on same-gender marriage. Influenced by an ultra conservative Catholic grandparent, he said God made marriage between a man and woman.

The federal senate as I write this, is debating the bill that will legalise same-gender marriage and the issue is freedom of religion, guaranteed in the constitution, and freedom of speech, itself implied but not guaranteed in the constitution. Should a priest be able to refuse to marry a same-gender couple on the basis that marriage is a sacrament in which God himself joins a man and a woman? On the Australian Broadcasting Corporation news this morning a person looking as though her day job is schoolboy impersonator, said that would be ‘discrimination against LGBTQI people’.

Etc, etc and we are now just a day into this and already two basic tenets of democracy, the right to speak one’s mind and the right to religious freedom, are under attack. And we haven’t started on the kid issue yet. Anyways, as Bill Clinton said at the funeral of Helmut Kohl, “we must also let the young make their own mistakes”.

Myself, and as I’ve said before, I support the right to marriage for all but I also support the right to free speech, the right to religious freedom and the right of children not to be dragged into highly emotional adult debates. It’s called believing in democracy and anyone who has a problem with that is welcome to fuck off to countries like North Korea or Saudi Arabia.

The other ‘good’ news is that the Australian soccer team will be heading to the World Cup in Russia next year. Great game last night in Sydney with the Aussies defeating the Hondurans 3 – 1. I’m not a great football fan but the World Cup is a different matter. National pride.

OK – have to also mention the sale today of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi” for 400 million US dollars. Aside from all the issues related to social equality this raises, I also could not help but wonder why a single painting is that desirable? It’s like it is a piece of the very material from which the most successful culture in the world was built and laugh out loud, it’s also a painting done by a dude who would be in jail and/or subjected to the reporting conditions of a sex offender were he alive today and lived and created as he did five hundred years ago. Says a lot about what actually created western culture as we enjoy it today – so far.

Drawing of the young boy 'Salai' by renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci

Salai, Leonardo’s ‘life companion’ was such a pretty thing…

 

Camille Paglia interview with Gayme and a poem by Walt Whitman.

 

Started writing up a post on culture, gays, society and etc and realised much of what I was writing had been said already by Camille Paglia back in the nineties in an interview she gave to now banned magazine ‘Gayme’. So dumped the draft text and went looking for the interview which by some miracle I managed to find in an obscure database.

 

 

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Scanned page of Gayme Magazine with interview with Camile Paglia.

Paglia mentions Walt Whitman pointing out he would today be jailed as a sex offender. Some may remember the movie ‘Dead Poets Society’ and how the teacher played by Robin Williams has the students address him as “Oh Captain My Captain”, that’s a Whitman poem.

O CAPTAIN ! M Y CAPTAIN !

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Others of Whitman and that would better illustrate the sexual preferences Paglia was referring to,

O TAN-FACED PRAIRIE-BOY

O tan-faced prairie-boy,
Before you came to camp came many a welcome gift,
Praises and presents came and nourishing food, till at last among the
recruits,
You came, taciturn, with nothing to give—we but look’d on each other,
When lo! more than all the gifts of the world you gave me.

 

W E TWO BOYS TOGETHER CLINGING

We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm’d and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving.
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the
turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.

ad nauseum

LOL – the expected flood of hate mail resulting from my last post failed to eventuate. Not a single comment which means that either no one reads anything here, no one has ever found this blog or no one could give a rat’s ass. Maybe the site stats which indicate thousands of regular unique visitors are fake and the work of the spooks? Seriously, I was expecting at least a few little insults.

Anyway – gay marriage is the ad nauseum talking point on our public broadcasting service and I would imagine many are as sick of the topic as I am. The latest is that legislation that would have enabled a plebiscite, as is the policy of the conservatives currently in government, was again rejected by the senate. The Labour opposition and the Greens want a vote in parliament possibly because they have done the numbers and fear a resounding ‘No’ if the issue is put to the public.

As I’ve often said here and as a same-gender-attracted person myself, I have no problem with the concept of gay marriage and can think of a few guys I might have married last century when still young and beautiful, but I do feel we need to address the question of the rights of children with same-gender caregivers and also the rights of biological parents including grandparents, whether there is parenting equivalence and the question of commercial surrogacy which a few Asian nations have recently banned. I would not want to see future gay people being the victims of a backlash provoked by the fact the marriage thing was rammed down the throats of an unwilling public without addressing these and other issues and already I have from conversations with heterosexuals, found they are sick and tired of this gay marriage thing and some will therefore and out of exasperation, vote ‘No’ when the issue goes to a postal vote as appears to be the government’s strategy now that a parliamentary vote and a plebiscite is off the table. In a large part we can thank the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) for pushing same-gender marriage so hard we are already beginning to see a backlash.

From those conversations with conservatives, I also found the concern they have with same-gender marriage and other recent attempts at making society more inclusive such as the ‘safe schools’ fiasco, is that marriage and safe-schools are less about inclusion of minorities into mainstream society than they are the thin edge of a broader agenda to completely re-engineer society. For example, same-gender marriage has implications for gender and it could be argued that ‘safe-schools’ was also less about bulling than it was to eliminate gender as early as the primary school playground. I wonder how this elimination of ‘gender’ could be a benefit to gay men whose sexuality is as gender based as that of heterosexuals? The question is who historically has had a problem with gender and sought its removal from all social institutions?

It might surprise some that not all gay men are comfortable with these current developments believing them to be of dubious benefit and potentially a ‘bridge too far’ that could result in a future loss of rights. “Not all gay men” for the most part are older men such as myself who remember that the gay liberation front of old (GLF) was a social movement that pushed for a sexual liberation, kicking the state out of the bedroom, and one from which all members of society stood to benefit – that being including heterosexuals. I think this distinction between past and present gay rights movements is something I should write about and so it will be the subject of a future post.

Other than that the printing business is stalled on a few technical issues that appeared in the first tests, difficult to crash teach yourself what is a trade, but which I will resolve and if not, then there will be printing gear for sale on ebay. Not too fussed about it as it is simply ‘something worth trying’ as part of resolving financial problems and I have other irons in the fire and plenty of things to keep me amused such as books, street photography and the animation project which is progressing.