Homophobia is alive and well, thank you for asking.

Homophobia is alive and well, thank you for asking.

I know this not because I sift the news each morning and watch as the large clumps of: ‘teen gay bashed‘ and ‘young gay suicide‘ collect between my fingers.

I know this not because today marks the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.

I know this because I am often the recipient.

To my heterosexual friends this may seem shocking – perhaps even unbelievable.

There are lots of ways the metropolitan bubble that exists around such cities as Sydney and Melbourne protect their young gay youth but there are a lot of ways it fails them too.

When I lived in the ‘hip’ and ‘progressive’ suburb of Northcote in Melbourne, I had a bottle thrown at me as I walked home.

Advertisement

It didn’t hit me but the slur of ‘dyke’ did.

If I had a dollar for every man who has shouted ‘dyke’ at me from a moving car…

Homophobia is alive and well.

At this year’s Mardi Gras, I was sitting on a Bondi bus with my girlfriend when I noticed a group of girls were giggling beside us.

I looked up and noticed – in naive alarm – we were being filmed. I gave the girls a look of shock and confusion. All we had been doing was holding hands.

I would like to say this was a one-off but that marks the third time I have been filmed on public transport with a partner.

The girls continued to film even when my girlfriend arced up and said, “seriously, are you seriously doing that?”

I soothed her, held her delicate hand a little tighter and said we could rise above it.

If we rise any higher, we’re going to hit the roof – because as women, we’ve already busted the ceiling.

Me and a friend at Melbourne's annual queer festival Midsumma.

There are a lot of reasons why people fight for marriage equality but too many of them focus on the 'marriage' half of the fight.

Marriage doesn't mean anything to me. Yes, I want the dress and the party and being able to say things like, 'my wife' but what I really want is the equality.

I want gay marriage so that my children and their friends are so accustomed to seeing same-sex weddings that they become normal - boring.

I don't want my children to be filmed because they're a 'novelty'.

If you have read this far and you're still optimistic enough to believe that wherever you sit, homophobia doesn't sit beside you, I have one request.

I dare you to spend a week walking down the street holding the hand of a friend whose gender you share.

The looks you'll receive will give you a real taste for what it feels like to be a celebrity.

But if you're as unlucky as me and almost every queer-identifying friend I have, it will also show one other thing:

Homophobia is alive and well.

Watch as Australian Comedian speaks out to end the 'Gay Panic' laws. 

Video by change.org Australia

JOIN THE CONVERSATION