Monday, September 27, 2004


Yes, I know that writing a post about a half hour Australian dinnertime serial is lame. Admitting that I watch it every day is perhaps going to lose me some respect. And don't misunderstand me - I don't watch it despite thinking that it's complete garbage (that's The Bold and the Beautiful, which I can only watch if I'm doing something else concurrently); I actually think it's a good show.

Anyway, the post isn't about Neighbours; it's about the impressive fact that the coming out story of a teenage lesbian is being shown at 6:30pm.
Neighbours fans are really happy about the storyline. The gay media is moderately impressed. Unsurprisingly, however, conservatives are making an unhappy noise.

I think it's bloody brilliant. The portrayal is as realistic as one can hope for in a soap in that time slot and it's sympathetic to the lesbian character.

I was so naive about sexuality as a teenager. At school, often someone was "accused" of homosexuality. And instead of standing up for someone's right to be anything they want, those who were most supportive of the accused denied the accusation. I remember denying a few on friends' behalf.

I remember a mysterious rift between my group of girlfriends and another girl. No one would tell me what was going on. I discovered years later that the other girl is a lesbian. I wouldn't be surprised if that's what the rift was about. It makes me really sad to think about how she must have felt. What makes me sadder is if I had known, I probably wouldn't have supported her. Supporting her would have most likely made me an outcast as well - something I wouldn't have been prepared to deal with in high school.

Maybe, with changing social attitudes, I would have responded better if I went to school in this decade. Maybe not. Legally, the situation is still the same. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby is fighting to change the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act because private schools (like the Catholic school I went to) are exempt from it. Private schools can still discriminate against gay and lesbian students by refusing admission, expelling them or treating them unfairly on the basis of their sexuality. Shame.