LGBTI

One hundred and twenty young people between the ages of 16 and 25 from around Victoria made their way to Parliament House in the first week of July for the YMCA Youth Parliament program. Spending up to four months preparing their bills, students in 20 teams of six presented and debated the issues most important to them. After debating each bill for an hour, each student was allowed a conscience vote.

The 20 bills presented by the Youth Parliament were mostly progressive responses to social issues, with a quarter having an environmental focus.

Carol Lloyd, a gay icon and trailblazer for female rockers, died on February 13 after a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Lloyd is best remembered for her lead vocals with the funk band Railroad Gin, whose hits include the seminal 1974 classic “A Matter of Time”, which hit number 1 on the charts.

“I just don’t see how I could be living an honest, truthful life and have that in the background,” said My-King Johnson, the first openly gay recruit in major conference American college football (grid iron) on his sexuality.


The scene outside the La Madame bar in Veracruz, Mexico. Photo: Yerania Rolón, Blog Expediente.

Reactions by politicians and the media around the world to the horrific mass murder at an Orlando LGBTI club on June 12 have largely focused on the attacker’s alleged links to Islamic extremists — despite the killer pledging allegiance to both the Islamic State group and its nemesis Hezbollah.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump reacted to the June 12 Orlando shootings, in which 50 people were shot dead at the Flordia gay club Pulse, with evidence that they can agree on at least one thing: bombing people. Both presidential candidates called for an escalation of the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

“We have generals that feel we can win this thing so fast and so strong, but we have to be furious for a short period of time, and we’re not doing it!” Trump complained on Fox & Friends on June 13.

Suspected Islamist militants hacked to death a leading gay rights activist and a friend in an apartment in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on April 25, TeleSUR English reported that day.

The killings came just two days after a university professor was murdered in similar fashion in an attack claimed by ISIS.

An Australian film, Gayby Baby, that follows four children with same-sex parents and highlights the obstacles they face has been banned from NSW schools after the Daily Telegraph objected.

Burwood Girls High, where the director went to school, had planned to show the film as part of the Wear it Purple Day campaign aimed at supporting LGBTI students.

I'm 16 years old. I identify as queer and am in year 11 in high school.

While I go to a tolerant and progressive school, there are many students like me who do not enjoy this privilege. For people like me, school can be the most dangerous place to be. For people like me, mental health issues are rife because of experiences at school. For people like me, things need to change in our schools.

The Growing Up Queer report, released this year by Twenty10 in conjunction with the University of Western Sydney, has revealed some staggering facts about life at school for queer kids.

Equal marriage rallies were held on November 23 in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
 
About 500 people braved wet weather to march for  marriage equality in Melbourne. Speakers included  United Firefighters national secretary Peter Marshall. He said:  "How does a government have the right to say that your love is  not equal? This leads to less workplace rights than heterosexuals.  Unions do not like discrimination. You are supported, you will win this."

The first marriage equality rally in Nowra, south of Wollongong, was held on September 6. About 100 people attended the rally and chalk rainbows were drawn on the footpath.

Rally organiser Tobi Harris told the Illawarra Mercury: “The seat of Gilmore has been held by the Liberals for 17 years, and we want to remind them to stand up for the gay community.”

Long-time queer rights activist Paola Harvey addressed the crowd. Her speech is reprinted below.

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