OUTSIDER STATUS

A recent ABC Q&A show featured a clash between north Qld pollie Katter & young gay comedian Josh. Josh pinned Katter down to defending or refuting previous homophobic statements he’d made. Throughout Josh’s tirade Katter looked frozen. When you searched his profile online, it came up that his half-bro was gay, & that there was no love lost between the two.

Just to clarify the political dynamic that Katter was attempting to establish, let me use a metaphor. An online arts news co recently talked about “outsider” artists; we’re currently flavour of the month; as soon as an artist is deemed “out” they’re IN, it seems. The political world is similar. Maybe it’s the modern shortcut to success. Anyway, with politicians, you get the sense that they are keen to push a particular wheelbarrow. Two issues however, and the landscape gets complicated. We, the constituency, find this logic hard to consume. As one member of the Q&A audience said to Katter, “Why can’t you run both issues?” Earlier, Katter had staked out his ground as championing the granting of free title to indigenous families in his electorate; on that issue he proved passionate & heartfelt.

But there are gay indigenous guys; why do they not deserve representation? Is the issue too nuanced to articulate strongly? In the current climate where international issues affect the domestic interaction of sub-cultures, it seems to me that two substantial groups of society are unprotected. Women generally are subjected to abuse & violence, domestically & publicly. Similarly, gay men are without support in issues like same-sex union or having previous convictions based on laws against same sexual activity annulled. It would benefit both groups if we could be declared distinct ethnic groups. Within that framework, prejudice against our groups would seem more visible, and definitely more heinous.

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About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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