My Action Agenda – Michael James

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Melbourne Equal Love Rally by Nekonoir

For a good two years now I’ve been hearing two flagship phrases from the anti-equality movement (largely propagated by the churches) bandied around whenever anyone talks about those who campaign for equal rights issues, “The Gay Lobby” and “The Gay Agenda”.

This seems to stem from an irrational fear that somewhere there is a large congregation of “the gays” that gathers regularly, perhaps even weekly, in thousands of buildings across the world, to discuss our beliefs and how we can better impose them on society. A fear that we will band together with a firm and united moral compass to take action together to better serve the world and bring forth our agenda, this “Gay Agenda”, and impose it upon the world.

Sadly, no, that wouldn’t make any sense, but it’s a reasonable fear, I suppose? Because isn’t this just what “The Christians” do? Gather weekly to praise their leader and strive to better teach his doings, impose his agenda upon society?

Yes, “The Christians” fear that we will figure out the good thing they’ve got going and perhaps use our collective commonality and desire to change society for the better, for ourselves and future generations.

We should be so lucky!

What a sight it would be for the Wendy Francis’s of this world to see on a bright and sunny Sunday morning: a fresh rainbow sparkling across the sky, as all the male same-sex couples of the world emerge from their immaculately manicured homes, in their freshly pressed Armani and Versace Sunday best. Strolling hand in hand towards their nearest shrine. The sun streaming through the beautiful stained glass windows of Gaga, Madonna and Kylie that adorn our house of worship, as we gather to discuss how we can come together to bring about change.

And we would talk and laugh and sip our double shot soy lattes and nibble on crisp biscotti, merrily signing and folding letters to our politicians, the media and anyone of influence about the evils imposed upon us, oh. What a sight it would be.

The reality is rather different.

Unity?
Commonality?
Change?
Sure! But first, we’ve got a night of heavy drinking, a hangover breakfast, a trip to the local markets, and a Sunday recovery session ahead of us. Oh and let’s not forget, the diary is totes booked out for like the next 4 months.

As a “gay lobby” or even “community” if you will, we can’t find the time or the inclination to bang together a clear agenda to work towards bettering our own lives.

Why, you may ask?

Because there are already other people to do it for us! We click the petition on Facebook and look in awe at the couple of hundred people that turn up to the latest protest rally and think “Yeah! Change is coming! That’s awesome!”, and pick up a glass of wine, and change the channel.

Meanwhile thousands and thousands of letters pour into the offices of our local government representatives protesting at the atrocity of marriage equality becoming a reality. The piles of letters from senior citizens wanting to know what day their bin collection is, or whether or not the carbon tax will effect the price of prune juice, vastly outnumber the dribs and drabs written in support of marriage equality.

The point is, no-one gives a damn.

So I give this to you, MY gay agenda is to see our community, no matter what shade of the rainbow you are, come together and actually take action for equality. Stand up for ourselves, TOGETHER. Make every person we come into contact with KNOW what is happening. Make them know that WE care, and INSPIRE them to do something about it.

We can’t sit idly by and let the Shelly Argents of the world take a stand for us. It will take everyone of us, and every person we know who loves us and gives a damn about us and our future, to take a stand and have a voice, and if we don’t have that, we don’t stand a chance.

  • Inform.
  • Educate.
  • Inspire.

Is it really that hard?

My gay agenda would see our community speaking TO each other, WITH each other and TAKING ACTION to see that;

  • Marriage Equality is achieved
  • All states allow same sex adoption, foster care and access to surrogacy
  • Legislation allowing religious organizations to discriminate against the GLBTIQ community is eradicated.
  • All legislation in this country makes us all equal, irrespective of what’s in between our legs or what we believe in our heads.

It all seems so simple right?

“No freedom til we’re equal, damn right I support it”

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About the author

Michael James was one half of the couple on the Queensland Association for Healthy Communities 'Rip'n'Roll' posters promoting condom use. He successfully ran a campaign to get outdoor ad company Adshel to put them back up, after local Australian Christian Lobby rep Wendy Francis had persuaded them to take them down. He does other cool stuff like that, too.