We can all agree that whilst we’re currently getting out in force to campaign ferociously for the ‘Yes’ vote in the ongoing same-sex marriage postal survey, the very fact the queer community is being forced to have the validity of their relationships put to a public vote at all is, quite frankly, utter bullshit.
Despite noted fuckbag and Australian Christian Lobby headboy Lyle Shelton blithely stating yesterday that “homophobia doesn’t exist much in Australia”, anyone who’s ever had a conversation longer than a sentence with someone LGBTIQ knows how insanely incorrect that is and having our status as human beings worthy of equality under the spotlight has unfortunately opened up old wounds.
Rightfully taking offence to this insidious statement, as well as yesterday’s tweet from Rugby star Israel Folau stating he is voting ‘No’ despite his “love and respect [for] all people” (*COGNITIVE DISSONANCE KLAXON*), comedian and writer Josh Thomas kick-started the hashtag #TheyGetToVote, in an effort to shine a light on the rampant and at times incredibly violent acts of homophobia most queer Australians have suffered in their lives.
Also, I know we are trying to have a 'civil debate' but fuck you. You don't love, nor respect me if you are voting no. You want to hurt me. https://t.co/NV9DSbBQyw— Josh Thomas ???? (@JoshThomas87) September 13, 2017
New hashtag: #TheyGetToVote. Where you say the homophobic abuse you've received or witnessed and remind the 'no' people what team the are on— Josh Thomas ???? (@JoshThomas87) September 13, 2017
Starting off with some harrowing stories of his own, with other LGBTIQ members joining in with their own heart-wrenching tales of abuse and discrimination, the hashtag quickly became a powerful indictment of what the ‘Yes’ campaign is truly fighting for: a safer, more inclusive, accepting society where our status as equals in the eyes of the law filters down to communities across the country.
SORRY IF MY SWEARS HURT YOUR FEELINGS IT'S JUST ONCE 4 GUYS KICKED ME UNTIL I BLED WHILE SHOUTING 'FAGGOT' AND THEY GET TO VOTE ON THIS https://t.co/yDToJqCT5B— Josh Thomas ???? (@JoshThomas87) September 13, 2017
Mardi Gras morning, I see car stop on oxford street-4 men jump out. Push a gay to the ground, break his teeth. They drive off #TheyGetToVote— Josh Thomas ???? (@JoshThomas87) September 13, 2017
my extended family found out i liked girls and called me a genetic deformity and kicked me out of the house #TheyGetToVote— ola (@trainwreckdua) September 13, 2017
I held a boys hand at school and was pelted with rocks then they threw me in the urinal. Teacher told me to, "be more aware." #TheyGetToVote— BM (@macleanbrendan) September 13, 2017
Coming out of a gay bar, some guy came past me on his bike, spat at me and yelled 'DYKE'. #TheyGetToVote— Tess Randles (@I8AllYourBees_0) September 13, 2017
bloke punched me in the chest (managed to avoid full brunt) FROM A CAR for wearing a sparkly pink top FOUR DAYS AGO #TheyGetToVote— Nic Kelly (@nicwkelly) September 13, 2017
Head shoved into toilet wall, called a faggot and stalked by threatening school bullies who wanted to beat my brains in. #TheyGetToVote— Matt Bachl (@mattbachl) September 13, 2017
As unnerving and unpleasant reading all of these experiences are, this is the reality of life as a queer person in Australia and depressingly elucidates how truly fucked putting an oft-abused minority’s human rights to a huge public “debate” and vote truly is.
Homophobia and its impacts are real and widespread in modern Australia. You can help continue to dismantle it in the coming days by voting ‘Yes’ in the postal survey, encouraging others to do so and looking out for your queer friends, family and colleagues. It’s fucking rough out there, now in particular.
We can do this friends. Lets kick homophobia squarely in the dick with a huge ‘Yes’ result.