Here’s to the magnificent 78’ers, those brave souls who stood up for their rights and tonight celebrate 40 years of Sydney Mardi Gras. These civil rights champions were brutally bashed, arrested, taunted and harassed and still they marched for their friends, for the freedom to be their magnificent selves, for equality, for ‘the love that dare not speak its name.’ Thank you to the warriors who fought for the freedom to love freely and to be equal citizens. Rainbow beauties I salute your courage. Your selfless actions made Sydney a more fun, more colourful and more inclusive place. I can’t imagine dancing on Oxford Street in 1983 without you.
As I hope for glitter not blood on the streets tonight, I’m shedding a few tears for the beautiful loved ones we lost when AIDS ripped through our lives in the 80s and 90s. I know tonight they will be there in spirit. I’m also thinking of the people who work so hard for Bobby Goldsmith and ACON and my friends decorating floats. Party on beauties. I feel nothing but love and pride when I see you shining.
My oldest childhood friend is about to turn 50 and realising I have elderly friends has made me think about what I’m going to do with the rest of my life. Middle age can be about making time for personal growth and wondering what sort of human you want to become in the second half of your life. Once my kids have moved out of home, I want to inspire people, live well and have fun, so when I grow up, hopefully I’ll still be young enough to:
Care about my fellow humans like Sam Newman
Be open-hearted like Prune Macsween
Dance like Peter Garrett
Have the compassion of Miranda (Not Really) Devine
Pop pills like Ben Cousins
Manage my hair like Donald Trump
Tolerate people like Peter Dutton
Possess the humility of Malcolm Turnbull
Be open-minded like Andrew Blot
Be submissive like Eddie Maguire
Be as sexy as Bronwyn Bishop
What’s on your life goals bucket list?
Adding water to plastic flowers in a vase
Putting the TV remote in your handbag
Storing cutlery under the pillow
Folding undies and carefully placing them in the fridge
Dementia is my mum’s gift to me. She can’t remember what my children are doing this week, but I’m hearing loads of stories of her long ago boyfriends before my dad.
Dementia is my mum in tears when she can’t remember how to listen to phone messages
Dementia is 4am phone calls when she can’t remember if it’s my sister’s birthday or her wedding anniversary today
Dementia is finding pleasure in patting a kitten for hours at a time
Dementia is not knowing about Facebook or Snapchat or being contactable 24/7
Dementia is driving to the favourite places of my mum’s childhood
Dementia is sitting quietly doing puzzles that aren’t challenging
Dementia is telling all the staff in her nursing home that she is Polish, when her grandmothers were Irish and Welsh and her parents were born in Australia
Dementia is keeping her here long enough to value and appreciate and say thank you and goodbye
We have been gay
Going our way
Life has been beautiful
We have been young
After you’ve gone
Life will go on
Like an old song we have sung
When I grow too old to dream
I’ll have you to remember
When I grow too old to dream
Your love will live in my heart
So kiss me my sweet
And so let us part
And when I grow too old to dream
That kiss will live in my heart
We say I love you, and if we’re still together on Boxing Day, Easter Wednesday, the day after the kid goes back to school we may survive as a couple by detaching from your teen’s nightmare behaviour
Your son looks like Elvis but he sings like a drunk footballer
I adore you but your brother’s second wife’s extended family will poison me slowly with their frozen coleslaw
I’d really like to grow old with you but your son’s new girlfriend has a voice that curdles milk and I can’t bring myself to help you raise her kids
Your touch is tough to resist but the complaints from your mother and her coven of neighbours about my cooking have reduced my brain capacity
You soothe my jangled nerves but your child’s penchant for snakes is a reptile too far
I really like your daughter but another netball match will kill my will to live
I love you but I can’t add another mother in law to my collection
Shakespeare described step parenting best:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, but bears it out even to the edge of doom
Thia week Australia celebrated a victorious YES vote for marriage equality. After all the hate that was unleashed on the LGBTQIA community, it was beautiful to see my queer friends celebrating with their allies.
The religious hypocrites in the Anglican church spent $1million on an advertising campaign for the NO vote. ONE MILLION DOLLARS as homeless elderly people live under bridges and in cars.
I’m happy that most Australians stood up and fought for our friends so that we are all equal under the law. My gay friends have been bashed, spat at, ridiculed and put down by family and so-called friends and strangers. I’m writing this for all the times they’ve heard, “I don’t mind gays, but,” for all the times they’ve heard someone use the statement, “That’s so gay,” in a derogatory way. It breaks my heart to think of the pain they’ve experienced during this hateful campaign that could have been avoided if PM Turnbull had any courage.
All the gay parents I know have had to choose their path carefully, to consider what parenting really meant. I know happy, healthy kids who have two mums and two dads, and they’re thriving. My kids have one parent available to them 24/7 and they’ve had trying times. Heterosexual parenting is more likely to expose kids to harm.
These are the politicians who didn’t have the courage to vote yes or no. Remember their names at the next Federal election:
As Ellen de Generes said, “Here are the values I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values.”
Cyclone Senza exploded into my life 13 years ago, after I’d been at the hospital in drug-free childbirth hell for 25 minutes. She couldn’t wait to get the party started.
Or trash our house. She has painted on the walls of every place we’ve ever rented. And they’re good paintings, so I can’t get mad. Senza leaves a creative mess in every room she enters. It would be easier to parent her if we lived in a castle with four maids, a butler and a housekeeper.
My girl, you are the funniest person I’ve ever met; entertaining, smart, animated and kooky, you have only two gears, full throttle or passed out on the floor You struggle to use your inside voice but your astute observations about supposedly mature adults are always worth hearing.
Looking at a box of unpaid bills you said,
“Mum, that is a box full of nightmares.”
You are physically courageous; you surf, swim, climb trees, duck and dive. You’ve had breathtaking bodily self-confidence from the moment you were conceived. And you have a kind heart. This year you cared for babies in a Thai orphanage like they were your own family.
You are fast, furious, full of attitude and love for your friends, and easily bored. I hope your adventurous spirit takes you all over the world. You run head first at life, without fear. Your courage is everything I wish I could find in me (but with less back chat).
You kid, are everything. In your adolescent angst phase, don’t let teen bitches, dopey dudes and unenlightened teachers snuff out your fire.
Happy 13th Birthday to my beautiful hurricane #teenager