Queer identity in the age of a same-sex marriage postal survey
life was hard enough, but right now it feels a whole lot
harder for Gene Smith.
For many people of my generation, the same-sex marriage postal
survey is our first taste of active state-sanctioned
discrimination. Were dealing with this whilst still coming to terms
with our identities, and what it means to be queer.
If any of you boys came home and told me you were gay, Id
probably disown you, says Mum casually as we are watching the
Sydney Mardi Gras on TV, her brow furrowed in mild disgust.
I am 13 and think I might be gay; her words are like a bomb
going off, the ringing in my ears drowning out the TV.
We love you, no matter what. And who knows? Maybe its just a
phase. My grandfather embraced me after I told him I was gay.
What? Mums eyes widened and her hands jerked the steering wheel
of the car, sending us swerving. Im never going to have
grandchildren she later cried.
Faggot! someone screamed from a passing car. I pretended I didnt
hear, but thought about it for weeks after. Sometimes I still think
Since when did you start sounding so gay? my best friend
laughed, having not seen me for a few months.
I dont like him hes a poof, quipped my brother about a boy he
doesnt like at school. Whats wrong with being a poof? I quipped
Marriage should be between a man and woman! Being gay is
unnatural! reads a comment on an online article. I clicked on the
womans name, and discover she lives in my hometown.
Shes Facebook friends with members of my family.
I had probably been with Mum down the main street as they smiled
at each other in passing.
You can never be too careful, said a boy I dated once, after he
snatched his hand from mine as we were walking down the street.
I probably feel a bit threatened, chuckled Tony Abbott, on
screen and in front of the nation, in answer to a question about
how homosexuality makes him feel.
Im not as okay with being gay as I thought I was, admitted the
boy I like, my shoulder wet with his tears.
Hes been out for less than a year. His mother, for religious
reasons, is voting no in the marriage survey.
He loves her, and I have no doubt that she loves him. Its
Above are a just a few of the words said to me over the course