“There are thousands of kids in Australia that are gender diverse. We don’t deserve to be disrespected like that through tweets by our Prime Minister – I know what it is like to be on the receiving end of attitudes like this” – Evie Macdonald, speaking through a video message on “The Project” in response to PM Scott Morrison’s tweet regarding a factually inaccurate Daily Telegraph article (Star Observer – 7/09/18).
Evie described going to a Christian school where she had to pretend to be a boy and spend weeks in conversion therapy. “We get one childhood and mine was stolen from me by attitudes like this” she told the Star Observer. Evie’s mother, Meagan, revealed her rights as a parent were ignored by the school Evie was at. “They came between us and our child by deciding what was best for her and without our knowledge or consent, subjecting her to hours and hours of conversion therapy under the guise of chaplaincy. I wanted my child to be supported and affirmed, so at her next school we worked together to make sure that Evie had the support she needed …in the back of my mind is always the knowledge that if these kids are unsupported at home, school or both, almost 50% will try to take their life.”
Catherine McGregor in her Opinion piece in the SMH of 7/09/18 said: “Sadly, my transition…has entailed significant suffering and loss. But it alleviated interminable suffering and the ultimate loss, suicide…and gave expression to an insistent yearning that I express my true self.”
Catherine goes on to say: “I would urge the Prime Minister to refrain from endorsing the tabloid moral panic about ‘gender whisperers’ and his clumsy exhortation to ‘let kids be kids’. Any parent of a trans kid wants their kid to just be a kid. Neither Scott Morrison nor tabloid columnists love trans kids as much as their own parents do. And if gender fluid kids are not welcome in our secular schools, then it is time to dispense with publicly funded chaplains as well.”
Adding fuel to the fire was Queensland Senator Fraser Anning, who used his first speech in Parliament to label Safe Schools and gender diversity as “garbage” and “cultural Marxism”.
It was good to see a welcome voice of reason responding to the factually inaccurate Daily Telegraph article – West Ryde’s Dr Elizabeth Riley featured on ABC TV’s “The Drum”, professionally debunking all the myths. Dr Elizabeth Riley does great work with parents and their trans children.
Thank you to Ruth & Ron Green, who spoke to the Year 11 Colo High School students on August 16 as part of their Crossroads program. Ruth reported that the staff and students were welcoming and respectful and they enjoyed their experience very much. As reported in the SMH of August 2, State Education Minister Rob Stokes has announced that the replacement for the Crossroads course no longer covers gender questioning and sexual fluidity, despite a government review saying the original content was consistent with NSW anti-discrimination laws. The replacement program, Life Ready, will include modules on sexual health, sexuality and relationships but have a greater focus on financial literacy. Lauren Foy of the NSW Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby said it was essential for schools to address sexual and gender diversity. “The impact on children from homophobia and transphobia in the school environment is highly detrimental to academic, psychological and social development.”
WEAR IT PURPLE DAY
Friday, August 31 was Wear It Purple Day. Wear It Purple Day is about showing rainbow (sexuality and gender diverse) young people that they are supported, celebrated and respected exactly as they are. It’s about raising awareness in your school, workplace, university or general community that rainbow young people face challenges that they shouldn’t and it won’t be tolerated. PFLAG members were involved in a number of events on the day. Gillian reported that Maree Lau’s talk to the school assembly at Fort Street High School was brilliant and VERY well-received. Narelle was also extremely well-received when she spoke to the ARUP Connect Out Network at Barangaroo. The network is promoting an inclusive environment for LGBTI+ identifying colleagues, families and friends and building a community where everyone is encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. Ray and I spoke at the office of the Fair Work Ombudsman in Liverpool St., which was teleconferenced around to all the states. We were very warmly welcomed and a number of staff members came up to us to thank us afterwards. We pointed out a disturbing statistic that had arisen in a recent study “From Prejudice to Pride”, undertaken by the Diversity Council Australia that only 32% of LGBTI people are “out” at work. We hope that all the invitations we are receiving from the corporate bodies will impact to reduce this alarming statistic. Ray & I also took part in the Wear It Purple event in Hyde Park, which was sponsored by NSW Police, the emergency services and the City of Sydney. In spite of intermittent rain, it was very well attended with a number of stalls, hosted by the many LGBTI service, support and advocacy groups and NSW Police support groups and the fabulous Police Band kept everyone entertained. It was wonderful to see the Police Commissioner, Mick Fuller and Deputy Commissioner Tony Crandell in attendance and also mentors to the Wear It Purple young people, Dr Kerryn Phelps and Jackie Stricker-Phelps and one of the 78ers, all of whom had poignant anecdotes to relate from their lived experiences.
Congratulations to Helen Robertson, Central Coast PFLAG co-ordinator, who has been successful in obtaining a $500 grant from Suicide Prevention Central Coast for her idea to run an event for RUOK Day in September to promote wellbeing in her community. She was presented with a grant certificate at an official launch of the RUOK Day Grant winners on August 9 along with the launch of a Suicide Prevention website.
MCC Good Shepherd Movie Trivia Night
Pam & Arthur and Ray & I will be travelling up to Kempsey on the weekend of September 22 – 23. We will be providing support for their inaugural PFLAG meeting on the Saturday night and having a stall at the “It’s OK on the Macleay” Event @ Riverside Park on the Sunday. “It’s OK on the Macleay” is a celebration of diversity within the community & is auspiced by the Foundation Baylin’s Gift – a charity committed to educating young people and their support networks on depression, anxiety, gender/sexual identification and suicide awareness. More information is available on www.baylinsgift.com
Ned & Co Marketing & Publicity
Thank you to Annette Smith from Ned & Co Marketing & Publicity for sending us complimentary movie passes to “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”, which I forwarded to the committee members. The story is based around Cameron being shipped off to a conversion therapy centre that treats teens “struggling with same-sex attraction”, after she is caught with another girl on prom night. Here she is subjected to outlandish discipline, dubious “de-gaying” methods & Christian rock songs. However, Cameron connects with her peers and finds her place among fellow outcasts. It was given 4 stars in the SMH review on September 9. We look forward to seeing it later this week.
Parramatta Pride Picnic
While PFLAG will not be having a stall at the Parramatta Pride Picnic on Sunday, October 28 this year, I’m sure that many of you will want to go along to support and have a fun day at the River Foreshore Reserve from 11am – 5pm. There will be food vendors, drag performances, entertainment, rainbow kids area/activities, exhibitions & talks, a licensed bar and delicious afternoon high tea.
FAMILY MEETINGS 2018
Thank you to all who came along to the March Family Meeting to support new families. As you would be aware, we have decided to hold the Family Meetings every second month on the odd months for the remainder of 2018. The dates of the remaining meetings for 2018 will be:
November 24th (AGM)
Thank you to all who came along to our July Family Meeting and to Ruth for facilitating the meeting for us. I hope many of you will be able to come along to the next PFLAG Family Meeting on September 22 @ 2pm, for, as Rudy always said: “When you don’t need PFLAG anymore, that’s when PFLAG needs You to help others.”
CHILDREN’S PICTURE BOOK FOR RAINBOW FAMILIES
It is a real challenge to find quality children’s books that reflect our rainbow families or the rainbow families of our loved ones.. For parents raising kids in diverse families being able to share stories that make kids feel included in the storybook world is so important. After all, children’s literature is one of the key ways kids make sense of their worlds.
mememe.press is now publishing a highly customised book that allow parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles or friends to create stories that reflect the unique families of their loved ones (including themselves in the story if they choose to!). The book is written by award-winning children’s authors and tells the story of a little kid, looking up from their toys on a Sunday morning to find their family has disappeared! Follows a romp around the house discovering family members hidden under lamps, crouching on the couch (like an old corn chip) or in the bath to name a few spots. The people the child finds change based on who is in THEIR own special family. To make the story theirs - include up to 4 adults (including grandparents and any mix of mums/dads and other significant people in the child’s life), up to 5 siblings and a pet. The books have been developed with the idea that each child, no matter what their family make up, should be able to find themselves in a book.
The books can be ordered online and arrive printed and ready to be read. Go to www.mememe.press to make YOUR book.
To celebrate our community, use the code: RAINBOW15 at checkout for 15% off the book price.
What: A queer festival for all kinds of families
When: Saturday September 29th, 2018 (10am – 6pm)
Where: 107 Redfern St. Redfern
More Info: www.FAMBO.COM.AU
The Pollys Club Rainbow Costume Ball
Welcome to the gayest, most lesbianest, totally gender-nonconforming night you'll ever attend! Welcome to the Rainbow Costume Ball!
Throw on a rainbow-coloured outfit, throw some glitter in the air and run through it, then make your way to the Paddington RSL on October 20, at 7pm. You'll be greeted with drinks on arrival, a three-course buffet, some gay-inspired entertainment, a properly stocked bar, and if you get your husband or wife tipsy before 10, you may also get a free lap dance!
There are some great costume prizes to be won! We'll have the Prince of the Ball, the Princess of the Ball, and the Belle of the Ball. All three categories are totally gender-nonconforming, which means you lads donning pretty chiffon dresses are very much in the running for Princess of the Ball. Or maybe even Belle of the Ball!!
The Rainbow Costume Ball - Saturday 20th October
Paddington RSL - 220-232 Oxford St Paddington NSW
Doors open at 7pm | Welcome drink on arrival | Three course buffet dinner | Full bar service
Saturday, September 29 (10am – 6pm) – FAMBO @ 107 Redfern St. Redfern www.fambo.com.au
Saturday, October 20 from 7pm
Pollys Rainbow Costume Ball @ Paddington RSL.
Saturday, October 27 (2 – 5pm)
Rainbow Families Halloween Disco
@ Addison Rd Community Centre, Marrickville.
Sunday, October 28 (11am – 5pm)
Parramatta Pride Picnic
@ River Foreshore Reserve, Parramatta.
Saturday, November 24 @ 2pm
PFLAG NSW AGM/Christmas Party
MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL REMINDER
Please do not forget to renew your membership for 2017/18 Thanks to all the members who have renewed already. If you joined after 30 June, 2017, you are deemed to be financial until end of 2018.
If you are on email, please help us reduce our costs by sending us an email with your details (which will remain confidential) and all future information will be emailed to you.
NSW Inc. PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians of Gays) is a group of people who share common experiences and provide support for each other. We listen and love. We help families have open, positive and loving relationships with their GLBT children and we work for their civil and human rights.
PFLAG NSW NEXT MEETING
Saturday Sept 22nd @ 2.00pm
The next meeting of PFLAG NSW Inc. (Incorporating Western Sydney) will be Saturday Sept 22nd at 2.00pm in the Conference Room, “175 Motel”, Formerly Wesley Lodge Motel, 175 Hawkesbury Rd, Westmead, very close to Westmead Hospital and Train station. Car entry is only from Hawkesbury Rd via a boom gate.
For Information contact: Judy on 0439 466 125 Postal Address: PO Box 3751, Marsfield NSW 2122. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org