Express yourself. Don't Repress yourself.
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A lot of interesting comments and feedback regarding me attending lunch with The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard today. Thought I would explain myself ( which I rarely ever do ) as a few of you seem a tad angry and I personally find that fascinating.
Firstly, to be completely real with you, when I received the invitation I thought back to me as a child with nothing growing up and thought ” My goodness, everything I have been through as a child, a teen and even a 20 something never once did I ever think I would ever make it to be something, someone, let alone be getting lunch offers from A leader of our country.” I also knew that the invitation would have been for my work in the community, my work with headspace, and potentially other opinions I had been very public about, like Gay Rights Rallies I have lead or comments I had made about Teachers and Nurses deserving better pay and working conditions. I wasn’t sure which or why I had been invited exactly but I am proud that the work I do, with the help of every one of you, does get noticed. I wasn’t being invited because I am ‘famous’. I was being invited because with the public profile I have, I have shown it comes with a conscience and an opinion and perhaps even an insight to our generation. That and it comes with a pretty strong headed leader who cares a lot about our world.
Not a lot of information was given, just that 10 of the most influential people in Australia involved in social networking under 30 had been chosen to attend a lunch hosted by Tom Waterhouse in which Julia Gillard would be the guest of honour. Hence the name top 10 under 30. Julia was the first to admit that she wasn’t under 30.. before anyone gets all technical.
From that I gathered social networking, online interaction, online safety and our opinions were what would be the topic for this informal lunch. I wasn’t told who else would attend. I didn’t really care. See, I am not one to ever say no to an opportunity. Especially not one where I can have my voice/our voices heard regarding something I am passionate about. To see how many people wrote nasty things about Julia or myself just shows you too are passionate and I imagine you would have also agreed to attend so you could have that chance to have your opinions heard.
However you are not mad that I attended are you? It’s more you feel I turned my back on the gay community it seems. That some are disappointed that in a 2 hour lunch with our PM I wasn’t able to come on here with great news ” I Had a GREAT lunch with the Prime minister.. and now I would like to announce she and the Labor Party say YES to Gaybo weddings”
I want to remind you neither Tony Abbot or Julia Gillard support gay marriage. This is our battle and I will not stop fighting it. There is simply a time and a place.
Julia and I have many things that are not in common, I ate vegetarian options, she had meat, I go for the mighty Cats, she goes for the bulldogs, I am covered in a million Tattoos, she is not, I am religious.. she is atheist.. although we did both have our coffee black.
Julia, the labor party, do not as it stands today support Gay Marriage and I of all people am fighting that law based on equality and simple human rights.
That is why I talk about it publicly attend rallies, lent my face to NOH8 in L.a and so on.
It would be pretty absurd if the PM didn’t KNOW my opinions on Gay marriage now wouldn’t it even if just on account of the fact i’m a RAGING lezzo, the media hardly let a week go by they don’t like to remind EVERYONE.. incase anyone had missed the memo. I’d hardly think I need to even tell her. Yet of course if this lunch is to happen again and it is a topic I have a lot to contribute to the pro’s of same sex marriage.
That said, I am not a one trick pony and I do not just have gay based views, I have views on many current issues in society. Ones that effect gays, ones that effect the old, the young, even strong opinions on where people buy their puppies from. Today was not about that, my mission today was to talk about how worried I am about online bullying, kids never feeling safe, Suicide rates and mental health. What I think we need to do regarding bullying and how we can protect vulnerable people from predators.
I was able to re-tell stories you have told me, and speak to our government about the lessons you have taught me and the magical moments we have shared.
People who I have visited in schools and even quote what some of your parents have told me through letters or face to face interactions. The gift I was given today which came from my personal experiences fused with that of which I have lived along side you was one of the biggest gifts I have been given.
I am sorry that I couldn’t change her mind on Gay Marriage, and that actuality I didn’t even bring it up, I am sorry if that makes you feel I am less of a role model or Martyr in that regard.
Thats a real shame, but to those who do understand why I do the things I do thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be in this position and for giving me your stories and struggles and putting faith in me that together we are achieving big things. One day at a time.
Think back to when it all started to where I am now, 6 years many of you have been on this ride with me. We, together can, person by person, make this world better, I believe that.