Damned If You Don’t, Dammed If You Do

Warren Entsch / Australian Marriage Equality

Warren Entsch / Australian Marriage Equality

Pauline Pantsdown rallied the troops for a social media campaign that caused a witches coven of homophobes to change venues. Now she, and everyone who participated in that campaign, is being heavily criticised for being violent, threatening, anti-free speech etc etc.

Such occasions leave activists in an impossible position: do we let such gatherings, at which people were to plot how to deny us our full human rights, go ahead without a murmur?

Or we do express our righteous anger at this conspiracy against our humanity, and risk being attacked in turn for being over-zealous? Like extremist Christians never get over-zealous in their promotion of their cause?

I can’t be arsed fossicking round the net for examples of how many times we have been tarred as child-molestors, demon-worshippers, filthy, immoral… I mean, there’s a limit to how much one person can stand of these lies, and beside, I won’t give them the clicks. Look it up yourself if you’re feeling especially masochistic.

But at no time has anyone suggested that the vile rhetoric from the Christaliban is an argument FOR having a plebiscite as soon as possible. The idea is ludicrous. Yet now it’s being suggested that our allegedly OTT outburst, is an argument FOR a five month hatefest.

So we’re damned if we don’t protest, and damned if we do. Fine, if that’s the game (he said, wallowing in all the cliches he has to hand), then I’d as soon be hung for a sheep as a lamb, and let the bastards have it with both barrels every chance I get.

What sticks in my craw is people who are supposed to be on our side falling over themselves to attack us. Warren Entsch has said, and this is no joke, that our reaction to this gabfest proves that hate speech on all sides will only escalate if we DON’T have a plebiscite.


This is the man who was led by the nose by Howard (he claims) until he unfortunately he had to abandon his attempts to help us.

This is the man who believed Abbott was sincere when he said he’d support a cross party bill, only to find he’d been duped again.

And now, because of one justified LGBTI tanty, he piles in and trashes us, and pushes Turnbull’s plebiscite.

Now, I’m sorry, but to be rolled by one PM is unfortunate, to be rolled by two is getting suspicious, and to cave in to a third… Either this man is the most naive MP in parliament, or he’s not as much of a friend as he likes to make out. Just who is being led by the nose here? Could it possibly be us?

Let me point something out here. Holy Mother Magda pointed it out on Q&A. When these “Christians” come under attack, they are supported by their friends, families, co-religionists, pastors, congregations. It’s one big hot sauna bath of affirmation.

What’s the worst that can happen? That some self-righteous baker will have to make a cake for some people s/he doesn’t much care for.

When an LGBTI person hears hate speech, all too often they hear it, and must fight it, alone. Especially if they have not yet found the courage to come out.

All too often the child is NOT supported by their family. All too often s/he is flung out on the street.

S/he is not supported by their church, or mosque, or synagogue: more often they are shunned.

S/he will too often find no refuge at school, at the sports club, among their peers, instead meeting with bullying and ridicule.

So if we get foaming mad at the people who perpetuate that situation, and would worsen it if they could, cut us some slack. We are fighting for our lives and those of our tribe.

They just want an excuse not to bake a cake.

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)