Victoria welcomes LGBT champion of rights.

A round of applause for the Victorian state government who have appointed a gender and sexuality commissioner to fight LGBTI discrimination.

Rowena Allen will “champion the rights” of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Victorians.

Only 5 per cent of transgender people kept their jobs after changing gender, Ms Allen said. “I’m looking forward to increasing that number,” she said, adding that she planned to work with company boards to create workplace policies and cultures to help transgender people retain their jobs.

In May the state government announced it would commit $3.2 million to establish Australia’s first equality portfolio within cabinet.

Equality Minister Martin Foley said Ms Allen’s appointment to the role was a “first for Australia”.

Well done Victoria for leading the way.

Reported on Daily Life >

A reminder inequality is still everywhere.

With the celebrations of the last few days, it’s easy to forget that there is still a giant, treacherous mountain in front of us when it comes to equality for all.

While Friday’s ruling for same sex marriage is a giant win in a long and tiring fight for equal rights, there are still big fights to fight:

Whether I am legally married or not, the rainbow flag of LGBTQ equality will never shield my black body from a reckless police officer’s bullet. I cannot summon enough pride to prevent my black, gay body from being the target of white racial supremacy. I cannot selectively choose which fight I can show up for, because mere survival requires me to fight for racial, sexual, gender, economic and social justice at once.

I slightly disagree with the below – I think even with the passiveness of the ‘slacktavist’, clicking a button to change their profile showing their support and celebrating what is a major win for equality spreads awareness and acceptance – however, I think it’s important to point out that this can’t be seen as the end point of our fight, merely another tick on a long list of changes that must happen in our society.

LGBTQ celebration should not overshadow the tragedy of black death and inequity. Not while white LGBTQ people refuse to confront the anti-black racism within their liberal communities. Not while marriage equality work can amass more money than programming for trans women of color and LGBTQ youth. Not while undocumented LGBTQ people continue to be detained and abused by the state. Not while I must daily argue for the mattering of black lives.

Read more >

Spread the rainbow of love.

What a great, great, last few days this has been. Rather than include another announcement of the Supreme Court ruling on Friday making gay marriage a constitutional right – the rainbow waterfall that was my newsfeed over the weekend thanks in most part to facebook.com/celebratepride shows me majority of my social circle are pro-equality – instead I thought I’d share this beautiful article of  landmarks around America rainbowing it up!

Enjoy!

http://mic.com/articles/121446/10-photos-of-historic-landmarks-proudly-going-rainbow-for-yesterday-s-scotus-ruling

Two small steps for women and LGBT, two giant leaps for humanity (hopefully).

It’s been an exciting 24 hours in Australian politics with two movements for equality slowly starting to gain some traction for change:

  1. Joe Hockey (Federal Treasurer) has agreed to lobby the states and territories to make sanitary products exempt from GST thanks to an online petition with over 90,000 signatures (originally shared on this blog two and a half weeks ago at which time their were approximately 12,000 signatures). While this is a great first step in the right direction, historically similar past campaigns have not resulted in change. Let’s keep our fingers and toes crossed and keep sharing and encouraging sign ups to the petition here.
  2. Bill Shorten (Opposition Leader) has confirmed Labor will move a bill to legalise same-sex marriage next week after the Greens stated they would bring marriage equality up for debate in the Senate later this year.

Exciting times, it’s just about a decade late. Read more at ABC.net.au on the tampon tax and marriage equality.

No chance of Australia playing copycat to Ireland.

As Ireland celebrates the legalisation of same sex marriage, our Prime Minister continues to stick his head in the sand with his ancient ideals and has dismissed the idea of Australia following suit.

Ireland is the 19th country in the world to legalise gay marriage and the 14th in Europe.

Australia is now the only developed, English-speaking country that doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry.
– Australian Marriage Equality national convener Rodney Croome

Read more here >

Stop taxing my period.

CR_tampon_330pxX184px_v6This is something I’ve been frustrated about since its inception. The fact that pads and tampons incur GST, meanwhile condoms and lube are considered a health necessity and are GST free. Mmm…k, nothing sexist going on here.

I was so excited when I found out that student activist Subeta Vimalarajah has started a petition to remove the discriminatory tax from female necessities and I encourage everyone who believes in removing this unfair and discriminatory tax to sign.

The Australian Government taxes every menstruating Australian 10% every time we get our period. It is estimated that our periods earn the government a whopping $25 million each year.

Sign the petition and tell Mr Hockey loud and clear that a period is not a luxury or societal burden, it is an aspect of reproductive health.

Sign the petition >