Thoughts, not prayers: It’s time for action

There’s a necessary grieving period after certain elections. There’s nothing like conservatives winning an “unwinnable” election to remind you of your priorities, values and hopes. But it can take a bit of time before you’re ready to take action.

I found myself suffering from an election hangover that lasted for a week with no alcohol or illegal drugs involved. I got sick and had to take time off. I listened to a lot of Kate Bush, Lizzo, Halsey, Taylor Swift and Kanye West, and hugged my wife and our dogs.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what caused the ‘hangover’.

It could have been the Tweets about the multiple self-harm and suicide attempts amongst refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru since the election. Alternatively, it could have been hearing from friends about their children’s terror – about climate catastrophe, about their safety, about their futures. Maybe it was hearing the fears of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of colour, queer people, transgender and gender diverse people, poor people, women, and those from other marginalised communities. Maybe it was reading about some people’s total disregard for human rights and animal rights.

Credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/ycW4YxhrWHM


I’m not ‘over’ my hangover but I am ready to show up again, as an activist and as a writer.

I returned to my manuscript of the memoir I have been working on for a few years. It has changed so much in that time. Even though I wanted to have a published book earlier, I realise now that it wasn’t time yet. There’s a lot that I can add now and can explore with more complexity. It’s a book about mental illness, the gender binary and queer identity. All of these issues have a lot at stake as the popularity of far-right and fascist politics grows.

It’s also time to return to freelance writing about political issues. I don’t even know where to begin – there are so many issues to address – but I suppose I can start anywhere.

At the moment, I’m writing, editing, thinking and plotting with a fresh and furious post-election lens.

Ultimately, I’m ready for action, even though I’m tired and sick (and sick and tired). Who’s with me?

Time to act for Marriage Equality

Australians, please don’t become complacent about the marriage equality vote. It isn’t the most important issue going on in the world, clearly, but it still matters. You can advocate for marriage equality and for all the other issues you care about. I will be reminding people of these other issues once the survey results are released on 15 November and I have celebrated/cried enough.

If you are a straight ally and have been helping: THANK YOU! We couldn’t do this without you. It has been an awful time for our community, and I truly appreciate your support. It might be worth considering if there are any other ways you can help at this point, beyond talking to your communities, putting up posters, etc.

There are phone banks taking place all month in the lead up to the vote closing on 7 November (https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/call-party-for-equality-tickets-38370977627 and there are many others). Please send me a message if you need more information. Phone banks are essential for reaching people who have forgotten to vote or don’t currently care enough to bother. If you or someone you know needs a replacement form: https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au

If you are straight and generally pro marriage equality but haven’t done much or anything at all, please think about why. Are you actually pro marriage equality? If you’re voting no, that’s your prerogative. But if you are voting or have voted yes, and want your queer family/friends to have equal marriage rights (and I assure you, you have queer family and friends whether you know it or not), we could really use your help. Send me a message if you are unsure what to do next.

If you are afraid to ask your family members what they are voting – and this is something many people have told me that they feel – please message me and I’m happy to provide tips on how to approach it.

#australianmarriageequality #voteyes