We are officially at stop number three of the Absolut Show All Your Colours Tour and just like the previous two stops, the emotions are running higher than a diamond-clad Lucy in the sky.
If you’re still not across the Absolut Show All Your Colours Tour, it’s bringing Pride to rural towns across Australia’s east coast, visiting LBTQIA+ folks who have a story to tell (and sexuality to celebrate).
For stop three, we swung by Nambour to get acquainted with Kaylene, a lesbian who grew up in the tiny town 101 kilometres north of Brisbane.
Kaylene’s journey has been long and often conflicted. Growing up Christian, Kaylene was struggling with the idea of being a queer person who also believes in God, and had to muster up the courage to tell her friends and family.
She sent an email to her loved ones saying, “I’ve fallen in love with someone, I still love God, but it happens to be a woman.”
“And that’s when my life fell to pieces,” Kaylene says.
Kaylene credits her ex-fiancé of four years for giving her the strength to begin accepting herself and the relationship she was in at the time.
“Because she was so normal with it, she challenged me to be normal and say, ‘Actually, you don’t have to hide this, and if I’m going to be with you, you can’t hide it.'”
Both Kaylene’s Mum and Dad – as well as her entire family – fully support who she is, which is such a promising factor for young, queer people petrified to tell their own family.
“Dad has been a huge support in coming along, Mum has rallied together some of her friends and they’re so excited to celebrate – for them, it’s this huge event that ‘s happening in Nambour,” Kaylene says of the Pride celebrations.
“My advice for young, queer people in rural towns would be to find a community and to find safe spaces for you to express yourself. And perhaps maybe, to create the safe space. If you can’t find it, see if you can create the space and kind of lead that, because I guarantee that people will come.”
It’s also important to note that coming out is so incredibly different for everyone. There’s no correct time, pace or approach to it. Some people know who they are and are comfortable with who they are when they’re 10 years old, others, slightly later in life.
“It took me 23 years to even come out, and probably 27, 28 years to be comfortable out. And to short-track that for someone else, I think is hopefully the world we’re moving towards.”
To stay updated with how the rest of the tour pans out, head on over here.Image: Supplied