The Daily Telegraph's Sunday staff were met on August 30 with rainbow banners, chalk, and vibrant queer pride as members of the rainbow community and their friends took a stand against the newspapers vitriol against documentary Gayby Baby.
Gayby Baby follows the lives of four children with same-sex parents and shows the challenges they face due to homophobia.
Community Action Against Homophobia called the snap protest to oppose the Telegraph’s reporting of the film and the subsequent ban imposed on schools.
Piers Akerman’s column in The Telegraph, “Gay push should be kept out of schools”, attacked Burwood Girls High’s plan to screen Gayby Baby to mark Wear It Purple Day, a day where students and staff wear purple to stand against homophobia and bullying.
Within a day of Akerman’s column appearing, NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli banned all state schools from showing the film during school hours. Hours later, Leichhardt High School announced a screening outside school hours. Gosford's Anglican Church also took a stand against bigotry.
Lizzi Price spoke to the crowd about falling in love with a woman and becoming a mum to a small boy. “We were so in love,” she said, “but we lived in an area that was not safe. So we got him to tell people I was his aunt. We had to pretend, at soccer and at school events, I was his aunt, but at home I was his second mum.
“He seems okay, but maybe if Gayby Baby was around back then we wouldn't have had to pretend. We were a loving family, but the Daily Telegraph is denying this for so many of us.”
A high school student, Aboriginal queer activists and Greens MP John Kaye addressed the crowd before a rainbow was chalked in front of the Telegraph office.
Kaye said: “It doesn't matter if your family has one dad or two, your family is as valid as any other. We as a community demand inclusive schools. One school does the right thing and this newspaper thinks it is their role to fabricate a community response. Well it is immoral.
“Cowards run this state. This is a G-rated film that helps the urgent need to reduce bullying. We allow principals autonomy up to point but then the state regulates that this film can only be shown out of hours.
“But we have scripture in school hours. So it is ok to tell people that sin causes cancer but this film is out-of-bounds?”