wear it with pride

Communicating the continuing need for social change until we achieve equality.

LUKAS PICTON

Lukas Picton is a senior public relations executive and corporate communications consultant. He has executed public relations campaigns for some of the world’s most recognised technology brands, including Adobe, IBM, Lenovo and Cisco. His campaigns have won awards and been recognised by the PR industry body PRIA. As a passionate advocate for social media, he has worked in educating the PR community about its value and use. Lukas is a strong proponent of PR and social media to reach, inform and educate the GLBT community. He highlights its effective use in lobbying, activism and enabling social change. Lukas lives in Marrickville with his fiancé Greg Stone (who is photographed with him). Greg Stone is the Director of GJS Machinery, one of Australia's largest distributors of printing equipment and supplies. They plan to marry in November, 2011.

Why have you chosen to represent this same-sex law reform campaign?

This same-sex law reform campaign symbolises the next step down the road to removing all legal inequality against the GLBT community. Today we have more rights than ever before, but like so many crusaders before us, it’s imperative that we continue this fight until we have the same, unconditional and equal treatment in society as our heterosexual peers.

What sorts of same-sex discrimination have you as / anyone you know experienced?

Like many gay Australians, I’ve experienced many forms of discrimination – including verbal abuse and even workplace discrimination. I also know many people who have been physically abused, either at school or in the community.

How do you think these reforms will make a difference to your life, or to the lives of those close to you?

I’ve recently met the love of my life and we intend to “marry” next year. These reforms mean that down the track there will be fewer issues regarding our finances and superannuation. For our [same-sex couple] friends who wish to have children, this means fairer access to child support services and benefits.

Why do you think people should wear these 85 law reforms with pride?

It’s important that we wear and celebrate these 85 law reforms with pride because unlike our heterosexual peers who are afforded these rights unequivocally, we have to fight hard for them and each of the 85 reforms is a small victory in itself. It’s also about education. We need everyone in the GLBT community to know that the laws have changed so they can make sure they take advantage of their new rights and entitlements.

Why do you think this is a huge step forward for Australia?

It’s a huge step as it marks continual law and societal change which will hopefully and ultimately result in a fair and equitable society for both gay and straight people alike.

What do you like about your T-shirt design?

I love my t-shirt design. The designer, Thi Minh Duong, has really captured the essence of what this entire movement is about - a constant, upward movement to equality and the gradual melting away of past predujices. I especially like the fact that although the t-shirt depicts the inequalities that have been removed by the recent changes in legislation, that there is still some steps to climb, and that full equality is something to continue fighting for.

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