Featured artist: Shannon Crees

Changing community attitudes

Featured artist: Shannon Crees
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Changing community attitudes

Changing community attitudes

 

Amongst all of those interviewed for this project, there was a universal feeling that popular attitudes towards the LGBTIQ community had improved over the course of their lives. Personal experiences of homophobia or discrimination that may have taken place in the past were seen as unlikely to occur today. Although equality still seemed some way off, it was felt that progress had been made in ‘leaps and bounds’ in recent decades, and that for much of the population being ‘out’ was seen as normal and acceptable.

 

Garry Trotter: “I remember telling my mother, when I had left high school and was at university, that I was gay, and that was very traumatic for her. She used to go out to the garden and cry in the flowers because her view of homosexuality was that I would be a lonely old man, that I wouldn’t have any friends, that everyone would shun me.”

Katherine Cummings: “I remember starting a journal when I was in high school saying: ‘Can a person be born with a male body and a female brain?’ And I kept adding to that until my nerve broke, because I thought it would be found one day and I’d be in trouble. It was starting to get too big to be hidden in holes and corners, so I burnt it. That would have been about 1950.”

Garry Trotter: “In the majority of instances in Sydney it’s relatively Ok to be a gay man. It’s a lot easier and you don’t necessarily have to hide so much as you did when I was a youth.”

Simone Curry: “I think Australia is a wonderful place. It’s why we live here. I came back from overseas – my partner’s English – and we are deliberately living in Sydney to raise our children because I think it’s a wonderful place to raise children, particularly in a gay family. We’re very lucky. We’ve made leaps and bounds over the last thirty or forty years. We just need to cross the final bridge, cross the ‘t’ and dot the ‘i’, move on, and just get on with it. ”

Brent Thorpe: “I think for the most part there’s a lot of tolerance; I don’t know that there’s a lot of acceptance. And I think there’s a big divide between those two things.”