Freshly Doug Thursday

No gays here – yet! pic by Comet Star Moon

It seems Aussie queers are increasingly happy to be Born This Way, with news that one of those brainwashing ‘Christian’ ministries that tries to turn us straight, can’t find any clients. SO nice to see the bigots going out of business. Perhaps the Lord is trying to tell them something – like “F— Off!”

A major row is simmering between Dykes on Bykes, the men’s gay biker group Motorcycle Tourers, and Victoria Traffic Police. The Tourers and the Dykes have always ridden helmetless in Pride in past years, but this year the traffic cops decided to enforce the road rules.

As a result there was only a small contingent of bikers at the March, far fewer than normal: and two Tourers who decided to leave their helmets off anyway got surrounded by police and slapped with a fine. The case is going to court.

The bikers say that the whole point of Pride is that people shouldn’t be ashamed to show their faces, should be out and proud, and point to an unbroken safety record at Pride events round the world, where the Dykes always lead the parade helmetless. Victoria Police responded by warning that they intend to apply ALL road rules at ALL marches the bikers take part in, regardless of tradition – including the upcoming ChillOut Festival.

Funny that they only enforced this ONE road rule at Pride: untethered drag queens standing precariously in the boot of of a swanky saloon went unmolested, for example, as did massive flags attached to bikes, and around 30 other road rules. If you want to know more, tune into The Rainbow Report on Joy 94.9 Thursday night, when I’ll be covering the story.

One of the mysteries of gay campaigning in Australia is the dearth of corporate leadership. Aside from a select few, such as IBM, major corporates are simply not on the page when it comes to supporting marriage equality or any aspect of gay rights. You only have to look at the crosspatch, defensive timidity of the AFL. So it’s good to report that restaurant booking service Dimmi’s have come out in support of equal marriage in time for Valentines Day. Check out their Facebook page and say thanks: and why not go to the website and book dinner for you and your Significant Other while you’re about it?

The American Boy Scouts, beset by by donors threatening to withdraw funding if they accept gay scouts and leaders, and others threatening the same if they don’t, have decided not to decide. They postponed a decision to their next board meeting in May.

Our own Australian Scouts could help them out: they’ve been fully inclusive for years.

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)