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I am in the This Is Oz ad campaign!

My sister sent me a text message from Sydney: “Saw your ‘take the blinkers off’ picture in the SX magazine!”

I was wondering what she meant.

A few months ago, the spokesperson for This Is Oz turned up at RTR FM to be interviewed. Turns out that they were asking people to write messages on pieces of paper, take photographs of them holding these messages and send them in to the This Is Oz site. The messages were supposed to be all about supporting equality between genders, sexual choice, ethnicities and so on.

So suddenly there was a flurry of excitement as cardboard boxes were broken apart and I was handed the job of writing said witty slogans and messages down for all the RTR FM people to take pictures with. The station manager made me pose as well. My message was my usual direct self: “Take the blinkers off!” with a few hearts to tone down the yelling a bit.

The station manager sent them in and they showed up on the This Is Oz website and on the RTR FM flickr group. The station manager likes bugging me with that camera.

Anyway, after collecting enough photos, This Is Oz is running ad campaigns in all sorts of publications. Apparently I am one of the shots chosen. You can see the shot as part of the ad campaign here.

But here I am, dorky as ever but that’s Graeme Watson’s fault:

Me at RTR FM with my submission for This Is Oz
Me at RTR FM with my submission for This Is Oz

So to all those who are homophobic and are not very comfortable with me discussing this:

You might be wondering why I don’t care about people’s sexual preferences or at least why I support equal rights. Male homosexuality (but not female homosexuality surprisingly enough) is illegal in Sri Lanka. The law dates from Queen Victoria’s time. We are an independent nation now and we have all sorts of other problems to solve but I don’t see why we can’t add homophobia to the list of issues we have to address. It’s mostly the guys I have come across who freak out about homosexuality because they are afraid that they will be called gay by their friends if they sympathise or that they will get hit on.

The point is this: you may not want to be hit on by a gay or lesbian, fair enough, though the likelihood of the people I know who do fear that actually getting hit on by such people is very very small indeed, mostly because the groups people socialise in are different. But you don’t need to hate them and you don’t need to think that they are awful or that they conform to stereotypes.

Because guess what? What happens in other people’s bedrooms is none of your business and it is none of the state’s business unless something is happening to someone under age, without consent or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Nobody wants to know what’s going on in your bedroom, so leave your nose out of other people’s. You don’t need to know and it doesn’t matter.

People aren’t solely defined by their sexual choice, their gender, their ethnicity or their religious beliefs. If you had to pick one thing to define people by, make it the way that they treat other people. And then turn that onto yourself – if you are willing to ostracize people because you define them as different (and therefore unworthy) because of one characteristic well then, how shallow are you? How badly are you treating people?

Grow a brain, grow a spine and grow up already. People are different in many different ways but that doesn’t give you the right to treat them badly.

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is usually based in Melbourne but is currently flouncing around in Perth for a week for the Inaugural 2018 KSP - Varuna Foundation Fellowship. She will be at Melbourne's Continuum and online running a Writers' Bloc course in the coming weeks.

5 Comments

  • Champika De Silva

    Wow, young lady, You are talking about some big things. That is why I like your writing.

    Now, I am agree that we must stay away from other’s bed rooms. However, I think if a person who may be making big decision about a community or a anything on behalf large group, he should have a clear mind.

    Therefore if a person is, suffering from homosexuality, or sleeping with more women / men, then it is a big issue. Eventhough he is not a big person (I mean not the size), he is a intergral part of a society. So if one pollluted person living around us means a problem. It is property of human nature to identify the polluted person even without checking their beds. So if you follow the Buddhism it clearly says u should have sex with one woman and she should be your wife as well. Therefore you might feel, buddhism says about you can have sex with one person. not one woman. (dont change the Silpada’s in your way, when you want to defend your thoughts)

    I hope u understand what I am saying.

  • Champika De Silva

    And I forget something to tell you. Don’t forget every human being is different from each other. It is due to our Karma. That is why Lord Buddha wanted to find the correct way to live and find the Nirvana. After a long journey on life he found what he searched. That is how Buddism became the prominent truth about life and world. Therefore what we should understand is the law is their which is the budddism. Eventually I felt, that we try to leave or forget the thing that we all are searching for ultimate truth.By doing so, we try to beat it (Buddhism), which won’t happen. As a result of trying to beat it, we find problems, which arised due to the mind failures. Coz we are trying to beat the greatest mind – set of the world. So, since you try to beat it – and result is you lose. Since it is a mind game. Your mind get lost. Actually speaking I have expeienced that, as a result of went to find the evil. Ha ha ha ha haha ha……………..

    So dont try to beat it…….. I still with you about sitting away from other’s bed…….

  • Champika De Silva

    And dont forget Homosexuality and sleeping with more is a Serious disorder. But if you think in his way u will undersatnd how cunny he is. But wat won’t happen is, we won’t or don’t think in his way. Coz from the begining we know he is wrong. even u said it is a big issue. You never go to think like them. Coz it is crazy….Or lost mind…………

    To do so u need to have a Strong mind set………… Like lord Buddha had…………. So try to learn the truth. Dont waste tour time on wrong. It cosumes your valuable time. Always try to think the truth. Then you know the wrong. Coz it is the other side of the coin. But you have to see carefully both other wise you will get lost in wrong thinking it is the truth.

  • Tim

    they’re some pretty disturbing, and somewhat confusing, comments.

    you have a nice website by the way, and I enjoyed reading your tips on how to become a writer.

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