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With a wave and a Flourish…

Wed 15 Dec 2010 In: Our Communities View at Wayback View at NDHA

With a wave and a flourish ... Stand back and watch us grow! After many years of having equal rights, it is somewhat disconcerting that they are still not universally recognised and even worse that the work thinks in most cases that being equal means being the same. Like many I have grown a little tired of people I come into contact with in a professional capacity assuming I am straight. It bothers me that the pervading assumptions of mainstream service providers believe that straight is normal and therefore somehow the needs of people from the Rainbow Community are somehow less valid. When the eyes avert and a fluster is caused when I correct their assumptions my heart sinks, their intentional or accidental invalidation of my life as equal to theirs annoys me. It is no secret that people from our community have to come out so many times in our lives. It is concerning that 74% of people who engage in professional counselling services will not come out until they feel safe with their counsellor, often after quite a few sessions. Advice given to one gay man I know of from their counsellor was that maybe when he feels attracted to another man that he try to change his mental images to a woman instead – this was not in the dark ages of the 1980's, this was last month. Not good enough. Many people get confused over what equality means. In the context of service provision and delivery it does not mean being treated the same; it means having the same rights of service. Our relationships are equal; our lives have the same value; our contribution to society is valid; our voice is to be heard; our problems are just as important. Equality is not about democracy, it never has been, it never will be. The power of the many should never be allowed to invalidate the lives of the few. And so as we move into summer and the people who share our slice of paradise relax with times at the barbie and the beach, it is time for us to start flourishing. We have a vision of a life where all people are respected and nurtured, not in spite of who we are, but because of who we are. “Flourish” is the name of our new campaign to celebrate the fullness of our lives and build on our strengths. Flourish is an acronym of 8 major themes that underlay the essence of what it means to get along and thrive in this world. Friendship, Love, Options, Unity, Relationships, Identity, Sexuality, and Hope. Have an awesome time this summer, and take time out to enjoy the things that make you shine. - Vaughan Meneses is the General Manager of OUTLine Vaughan Meneses - 15th December 2010    

Credit: Vaughan Meneses

First published: Wednesday, 15th December 2010 - 9:57am

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