OutinPerth Pride WA article January 2012

I was at my hairdressers’ house on Monday and her 13 year old daughter was washing the colour off my hair. We were talking about school, what she was doing on the holidays and she rattled off the usual; the beach, the movies, hang out with friends. Surprisingly, next on her list was possibly protesting outside Parliament House on a Sunday.

I was quite stunned, and asked her why. She said that she’s heard some things about how gay people weren’t allowed to marry, and that she just couldn’t understand why, “It’s like not letting people come into the country because of their nationality”, and that she thought she would protest. “I thought I’d make a big sign and go down one Sunday. It’s not right.”

This young girl is completed removed from the community and its issues. The only link for her is my wife and me, and what she hears through the media. It made me realise something. The message is getting through. Progress is being made.

The year ahead has much to look forward to. There will be bigger and better things for the community and of course, the usual events and happenings throughout Perth and Australia wide. Topping it off this year, World Pride is taking centre stage in London starting in June.

But ignoring all of those things, there is one thing that stands out for me. The outlook of people is positive. This time last year there wasn’t a constant buzz of excitement, energy and, positivity everywhere. This year, it’s all you can feel. The world wide community is making a stand and we’re finally being heard.

The past 12 months have been hard, and it’s now beginning to show that progress has been made. Although the fight is not over, and there are still many issues that need to be tackled, take this time to be proud of what you have done, and what, as a collective, we have achieved.

I’m looking forward to the next 12 months and the progress we’ll make from here.