Just wanted to post some more photos from the marriage equality rally in Melbourne yesterday, and take the chance to tell a couple of stories because there was so much love in my city and I’m so proud of everyone. Long post, sorry, but there’s a bit to cover - ye be warned.
I spotted this cute couple as I walked out of Melbourne Central (a shopping centre and train station all mashed together) and told them they looked fab. Spotted them again and asked for a photo - they were very happy to oblige when all of a sudden the ABC came up asking for an interview, and I took this pic. They were beautiful people.
I’d seen this guy post in the Facebook event just before I left home, and suddenly found myself standing right next to him! We had a quick chat about how many people had arrived and then waxed about how AMAZE it would be if Lady Gaga parachuted in to the masses. Really funny guy and I’m glad to have met him. I swear I’m so much more personable at these things.
I do love a simple home-made sign. I don’t have a story about this guy, sorry. Actually from here on in it’s all random stories of the day, assume the pics are unrelated.
The Greens senator Janet Rice got her rainbow family on stage while she was talking. Her wife is the Nobel Prize winning climatologist Penny Whetton, and she just happens to be trans. Senator Rice mentioned that in order for a married person to transition they must first divorce their partner. This information drew an audible gasp - fifteen thousand people had just heard this information for the first time and were disgusted.
A timely reminder that marriage equality doesn’t just effect the L and the G.
I spent my time during the speeches standing with the Greens, who I vote for (in the Senate at least) and who gave me a free shirt, so I felt obliged. They’ve been in this fight ever since former prime minister John Howard changed the marriage act - without the need for a plebiscite or survey - so I felt very comfortable chilling with them. I was about to take a photo for them when an organiser came up and announced that Senator Rice was about to do a press conference. They wanted representation in the shot, and as I was standing there and very obviously trans they asked if I wanted to be involved. I’m not a member yet, though, and declined. Besides, I am way too shy for that shit.
There were these two young girls - actually, side note, its amazing how many kids were not only there but openly passionate about the topic of the day - but these two girls couldn’t have been more than seven or eight, and they were leading a cheer as we marched:
One, two, three, four: equality is what we’re for! Five, six, seven, eight: rainbow families are so great!
They were incredible, and you better believe that people were chanting along with them, these two young cheerleaders who were so full of life and love.
When the speeches started, the organisers said there were, as I said, about 15,000 people in attendance. Trams were not able to travel on Swanston Street, because people were covering the tram tracks. The lawn and steps leading to the State LIbrary was covered in people, myself included. People stretched down the street and crowded nearby balconies and you couldn’t get out of Melbourne Central on the Swanston St side like, at all.
When we marched, we picked up a lot more people. And I noticed at one point that we covered three entire streets - Latrobe, Elizabeth and Burke - and that doesn’t include the people that had decided to wait on Swanston. By the time everyone got back to the State Library we numbered twenty thousand.
Twenty thousand beautiful, loving, amazing people. It was incredible.
Finally, just a pic of my free shit (and also the free ribbon I received). I had a great time at the rally. More importantly, I’m galvanised. I haven’t campaigned for a political cause since Howard tried to implement an industrial relations bill called WorkChoices, which cost him the 2007 election. I was kinda active then.
Nothing can stop me now.
I’ve signed up to drop leaflets in my neighbourhood. I’m going to as many rallies as I can. I’m going to try and get involved in planning sessions for further action. I’m going to fight for this.
But it’s supremely shitty that Australia even finds itself in this situation.
Back in 2004, as I mentioned, John Howard made changes to the Marriage Act so that the legal definition was exclusively between a man and a woman. This change happened in parliament. Politicians on both sides did not feel the need to formally consult the people before voting unanimously for the change.
In desperation a few years ago (because we queers had gotten very, very loud), then prime minister Tony Abbott (he of the many memes) proposed that if queer people really wanted to get married then they could vote for the right to do so, in a plebiscite. In Australia, if you want to change the Constitution then you hold a referendum, and the result of that is binding on parliament. Marriage, however, is not part of our constitution - furthermore, a plebiscite result does not bind the members of parliament to vote in accordance with the will of the people. It was a delaying tactic, nothing more.
A couple of months ago Minister for Immigration and Horrible Shitty Human Being Peter Dutton proposed a new idea if the plebiscite-enabling legislation was blocked once again by the Senate: a postal survey.
It is, again, non-binding. It’s not compulsory, unlike regular voting. And a survey doesn’t require legislation to acquire the funding. This idea really excited the badly-named Liberals. The expectation was that the No voters, overwhelmingly those who are over 50, would vote in droves while those who would be more inclined to vote Yes would fight each other over ideas of boycotting and have no time to persuade the most powerful group - young people between 18-24 who support marriage equality at a factor of 81% - to post their ballot forms.
That makes the twenty-thousand strong crowd at yesterday’s rally truly astounding. We’re not fighting about boycotts - those that have suggested it have been mostly convinced otherwise. We have all the time in the world to convince young people to vote and in fact the electoral roll has swelled with close to one hundred thousand new enrolments. In a small country like Australia (pop. 24 million) that’s a lot of new potential Yes votes.And queer Melbournians have never felt so much love before, we’re all a bit awed.
We could do with a little help though, especially from those of you who live in a country where marriage equality exists. We don’t need much. We just need you to tell stories. Talk about that big gay wedding you went to last week. Mention how your friends just got engaged and how you’re thrilled for them. Above all, share stories about how the world didn’t end, that people didn’t marry bridges, and that the only thing that really changed was that there is more love being openly celebrated.
We know that 70% of the country supports marriage equality. We also know that 1 in 5 of those people aren’t sure if they’re going to vote. So a little bit of convincing from internetionals will go a long, long way.
That’s all from me. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I love you all.
Your duties as maid of honour were fairly simple: maximise alcohol and minimise stress, keep an eye on the bride-to-be, and above all else, have things under control. You’ve promised yourself to keep this wedding a fuckup-free zone, anticipating smooth sailing from the moment you land in Antigua. When danger emerges on the horizon in the form of a denim-clad devil dressed in Gucci and gold, things take a turn—nothing in the MOH handbook has prepared you for what to do in the event that you unwittingly sleep with the best man.
Why don’t i like using plastic containers for caged birds? I hope the picture comparison is an obvious reason why.
As you can tell from the picture on the left, there is a clear, clean surface on the plastic. This is a new container.
The picture on the right shows a lining that makes the plastic container look cloudy, and have a whitish tinge called bio film. This container is roughly 4 months old. That lining is a major health hazard for your bird as it is full of bacterial growth. Even after scrubbing and cleaning once daily, the bacteria still grows over time and can cause upsets with digestion as the bacteria enters from the water/food into the body causing a bacteria infection and most likely a trip to the vet.
Plastic surfaces are porous, a breeding ground trapping bacteria. To keep a plastic container clean, soaking and through scrubbing in soapy hot water is the only way. Keeping them clean is certainly a challenge and don’t forget about getting those tight corners with a toothbrush.
This reason is why stainless steel and ceramic bowls are a better option for use as food containers - they are non porous.
Lou with his ceramic bowl
Louie has a cermaic bowl designed to hang in bird cages. Providing the cage is spotless and clean enough to eat from the floor, you can use weighted ceramic bowls via placing them on ground level in a ‘no poop’ zone. Placing a ‘dipping’ dish with water next to food will save your bird from climbing up and down to a from the water bowl.
Stainless steel bowls
Stainless steel bowls can come in hanging, screw on, or screw on coup holders.
*Important to note with metal bowls* Do not use galvanised metal bowls as they are coated with zinc to provide a damage proof layer. Zinc and Copper are heavy metal. Heavy metals are toxic to birds If they chew parts of metal cage wires, toys, bowls (even coins) made out of these materials, and the metal doesn’t pass throught the digestive tracts, the chewed pieces sit in their stomach toxins will leech in to the body.
Whatever you decide about which dishes you will use, before you give food or water to your birds, ask yourself, “Would I eat from this dish?”
where are my damaged Gryffindors at. the ones who know that bravery is the currency of the hurt, and it’s fool’s gold - until you believe in it, and then you can see the true shine. the ones who couldn’t choose why or when to be broken, could only choose where the cracks would run - whether it’d cut chasms through everyone around them, or only themselves, just one; and they made their choice as best they could. (it never feels like you did enough. it’s not supposed to. that’s who you are. but you don’t shout at your mother, and that counts for something.)
these are the ones who know each other by the eyes. the ones who are putting themselves back together, through the hurt-hand sighs. the ones speaking love and promises they’ll keep through lips all chapped and crimson dyes. (I know it’s blood underneath. you pick at them.) they won’t be shutting down their hearts to stop the feeling of the knives; don’t even know how, because red blood in the mind-heart is the only way to be alive - God, to be alive, full of blood. these ones have been burned, but carry fire. these ones care - a soft word for a pained thing, a dire thing; these ones will reach to catch you - the hands will have bones showing through - even still, rely. our word is good.
where are my damaged Gryffindors? the ones who know that bravery is the greatest truth and the greatest lie. it’s the edge of strength in your battle cry. it’s the won’t let you lay down here to die. it’s the only shine left in your eyes, here for you now, here forever, when the tears have all been cried - and cried - and cried again, yes, that’s alright. and all that’s left now is to try, and try, and try.
Nobody had given Damen a comforting hug, his whole adult life.
So even as his father was dying, Jokaste never hugged him. We read about her shagging him during that time - I believe the phrase was “he took solace wordlessly in her body” but apparently she never actually consoled him non-sexually. Not even with words, apparently.
Once I noticed that, it galvanised what i had been thinking already - I don’t think that the friendship, the understanding Laurent and Damen have in spite of absolutely everything, was there in Damen’s relationship with Jokaste. It’s a direct contrast to Damen going and finding Laurent and refusing to fuck him in Marlas when he was upset, insisting that wasn’t what he was there for; he was there for him – and to the scene above where Laurent hugs Damen because he’s upset.
I know CS Pacat was trying in this story to show a lot in the gaps, in the things she didn’t say, but right here I think we see a major difference between Laurent and Jokaste. Jokaste really is the cast iron bitch. Laurent only acts cold, and does cold things when he has to - he isn’t actually frozen to the core.
And it’s like interacting with Jokaste right before the scene pictured above melts something further in Laurent here; I’m still trying to work out what it is. Possibly he just doesn’t want to be her.
Thank you for saying that we'll be cringing about the Callout Brigade era of the internet in a few years? I honestly stopped seeing the light at the end of the tunnel until you put it that way
Take comfort, anonymous
friend: fandom has been sticking it to purity crusaders since long before tumblr
was even a twinkle in its developer’s eye. I came of age as a fangirl during a
period where bad writing – meaning technically underdeveloped, not morally
depraved – was widely felt to demean readers, undermine writers and besmirch
our collective reputation. Hardened troops of flamers used to patrol the pages
of fanfiction.net, singling out inexperienced authors whose typos and flawed
characterisation were a threat to community standards and driving them out with
abuse and ridicule. MST fic was all the rage. Entire groups devoted their
existence to Mary-Sue bashing and legitimately thought of it as a public
service. And yet, ten years on from those days, badfic still exists.
I don’t know if some
of you younger ones on tumblr really appreciate this, but there were times when
smutfic was just about impossible to come by. Mainstream websites refused to
host it; fanfiction.net outlawed it, and copyright owners actively prosecuted
it. At one point LiveJournal – at the time the biggest hub of fannish activity –
decided to ally with pro-censorship Christian groups to purge the site of “child
pornography, incest and rape”, which in practice meant arbitrary mass deletions
of everything from CSA support groups to Harry Potter smutfic communities to
random individual darkfic writers. That, by the way, is the reason AO3 exists
in the first place. Current-day fandom is incredibly lucky to have an archive
that supports and protects all kinds of fic – until very recently, we were all
at the mercy of capricious purges like Strikethrough, which you can read more
about here if you’re interested. Instead of putting an end to “inappropriate
content” in fandom, the purges galvanised us and we came back stronger than
You know how fandom
and slashfic are basically synonymous these days, and no one ever seems to
question it? Not all that long ago, ‘yaoi’ was considered a mandatory warning
label, and god help the innocent fourteen-year-old who posted anything
homoerotic without signposting the hell out of it so that right-thinking fans
could turn the other way. Nowadays talk show hosts like to pull up our m/m art
in front of actors and make gentle fun of us on national TV, but back in the
day, writing a pairing the creators disliked put you at very real risk of getting
flooded with nasty cease-and-desist letters.
I’m not trying to be
all ‘get off my lawn’ here. But when the current fandom climate starts to feel
exhausting, I think it’s important to remember our history. I’ve got material
for days on just the wanks I’ve
personally seen in my ten years of fandom, and more still that I wasn’t there
for but have heard about from older fans. The point is that there’s never been
a time when someone or other wasn’t trying to shut down segments of fandom they
didn’t like. It hasn’t worked yet. It’s not going to work this time.
Right now it’s gotten
trendy to pick apart everything that anyone ever does through an ultra-focused
social purity lens, singling out ‘problematic’ elements in source materials and
drumming up long lists of things fans are never allowed to do, say or make
contact with if they don’t want to be labelled shitty people. But like the days
of Strikethrough and Mary-Sue bashing and anti-yaoi sentiment, it’s going to
blow over. People will get bored. The troublemakers will move on to other
things, and their supporters will grow up and realise there’s more to life.
And we’ll still be
here, doing as we please just like we’ve always done.