Monday, March 07, 2016

Freedom Fighters for Sexual Diversity.

Koori Smoke Ceremony Before the Parade

So, last Saturday night turned out to be a big buzz, being the Saturnalia of the Sydney GayLesbianBiTrannieQueerIndigenous Mardi Gras parade for 2016. For a long time I have decried the State having co-opted the Gay Rights movement, turning it into a family affair attended by politicians and media whores, resenting the police having a goose-stepping contingent when it was them in the main who oppressed, tortured, incarcerated and arrested us all our lives. But during the celebration I changed my mind, the affair had import greater than the bummers, the joy of the crowd was overwhelmingly palpable and I had too much fun.


My far-left friends are excoriating me for attending the event, suggesting I’ve sold out and support the assimilation of what should be sexual outlaws agitating for an alternative society, of what manner I’m not so sure: a future Utopia where we all squat in tee-pees, live naked, eat Mung beans, don’t marry and fuck whoever? Quite silly really, the world IS, society IS and anyway, gays have long been assimilated, we're in the police-force, the govt., the priesthood; we're teachers, CEOs, sailors, lawyers, medicos etc; change to the stubborn wrongs of social rule will have to come in increments, some big, some small, and equality in marriage is one of them, we want equality in everything and the freedom of choice, just like Hets have.

No grand political revolution is going to happen overnight and if it did we better watch out, as history has taught us that greater tyrannies usually take the place of the old one, and people like me would get shot against the wall in the zealotry and bloodbath. What does being "radical" mean? What does it promise? A better world? An ongoing bitch-fight? Us whities here in the West are already spoiled, it's the indigenous, the transgender, the poor, the disabled, the incarcerated that need an ongoing fight for rights, radically gay seems an oxymoron.

Commemorating the Guy Who Started the Riot of '78 by Refusing to Obey the Pigs.
I must say I was stunned at the number of contingents that were State or Commerce sponsored, the police, the fire brigade, the defense forces, ACON (HIV Advocacy), Beyond Blue (Mental Health), Facebook, the Corporate Leaders, the Liberal and Labor Parties, the Lord Mayor, the Greens (perhaps the best of the lot), on and on. Yet there were many community groups also who fully supported our liberation, who cared about our well-being, not for assimilation but for acceptance and respect. The old days of prejudice and bigotry seem over for most of us white Western gays, the right-wing curmudgeons and religious zealots be damned.

For one night we were all unified and one community, heterosexual and homo, even black and white, and all were happy, smiling our tits off. It was total fun and extremely exhilarating. The parade was led by the Kooris, Indigenous Australians who have long suffered exclusion and loss of equal rights, Koori gays particularly hard done by as they were ostracized by both communities, black and white. Dancing boys and girls did traditional dance, sweeping the road with gum leaves, they set the pace and the standard and were truly stunning.

I got to march with the ‘78ers which were next up, the brave gay warriors who in 1978 could take the oppression no more and fought the police after a protest rally, rioting and demanding our inclusion in the human race, to no longer be criminals or mentally insane. It was such an incredible high to stroll along, listening to techno through my MP3 while the crowd roared and sincerely thanked us for being out front all those years ago. 

We were even given special seating when we'd marched far enough and for the first time in 37 years I got to sit comfortably and watch the parade cruise by. Except for that big, bald lug of a poof who stood in front of us so he could show his ugly face to the cameras, blocking our view, he didn't give a shit, the selfish dickhead, the same guy who did the loud texting at the Govt house on apology day; it goes to show we're not all one big happy family, I wanted to kick his arse, that's where I become radical. But I didn't do it, I sat quietly with his arse in my face, tired of bitch-fighting, eventually giving up on the parade and going home.

There were 140 contingents after us, people of all shapes, colors and ages, youths hoping to grow into a better world, refugees finding succor in a new country and demanding the same for others, Asians hoping to spread the word of freedom to their own lands, the disabled looking for love, Scottish men in kilts telling us "if it could happen in Scotland it could happen anywhere", macho football clubs saying there was no place for homophobia in the game, parents out to nurture their gay children, doctors and nurses assuring us they are with us, surf life-saving clubs willing to save us along with anyone else who is drowning, an endless stream of well-wishers: I finally felt that society in general was no longer going to look askance at me. And I was not being assimilated into a fascistic world of pea-brains because I felt so happy along with the rest of the crowd, I simply felt human, sharing the human condition, an awareness of loss and need for love.

Now for the rest of the world, India, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Russia, parts of South America, the Pacific Islands, so many places still living in a medieval darkness, a huge hunk of the human race oppressed and maligned. You out there who may read this, perhaps you think that I’m some depraved nutcase raving obscenities or PC platitudes, but we are coming and we will break the shackles of sexual inequality, for those shackles bind you and yours also, the human race is ONE and what frees some frees ALL.
The Gay Defense Forces About to Rescue the World From the Force of Darkness.

If you enjoyed this story please go to the WEB address above and consider buying my book of tales about growing up anarcho-queer, rock and roll punter and mystic adventurer in Australia and India of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.