Kym has worked for various charity organisations since moving to Sydney at age 18, including Amnesty International and Medicins Sans Frontiers. With the Australian Red Cross she was the recognised and awarded for outstanding achievement for signing up 11 sponsors in one day; and with Plan International for acquiring sponsorship of 14 children, also in a single day. Later in her career path as a security officer, she worked at the Sydney Opera House; Metro, Enmore & State theatres; and at the Overseas Passenger Terminal for cruise liners, including the QE2. She appeared in a political skit satirising the Bush/Howard administration for the ABC’s CNNNN prior to gaining permanent employment with Housing NSW in 2007. Kym was a proud participant in Housing NSW’s first Mardi Gras float in 2009. In her current position, she assists people most in need with access to government funds into the private rental market.
My partner & I met at Housing NSW three years ago and she comes from an ethnic background where homosexuality is not easily accepted. It has been extremely difficult for her going against her family and everything she has ever known to be with me. She has had to fight for our love on a daily basis. She understands the personal loss of having to hide who she is in order to appease the ones she loves the most – some whom aren’t willing to accept our relationship.
I have chosen to represent this campaign because there are many others in our situation who deserve to know that there are those like us out there putting up the good fight everyday. Now it’s my turn to stand up for our love, for what I know in my heart is right. All love is equal and love can’t possibly be wrong.
I grew up in Sydney’s Western suburbs and was attacked by a group of boys from the local religious private high school when I was 18. They said, “If you can sleep with girls like a guy… then you can get beaten like one”. I had to go home to my parents bleeding and bruised, and to tell them what had happened to me. My parents were devastated. It was at that point that I decided to move to the Sydney’s inner city to meet others like me. I soon realised that you cannot cure ignorance, but I was determined to choose professions from that moment on that allowed me to help other minority groups in society who are struggling; and to educate the public about what they are often forced to endure, due to lack of understanding or exposure from the vast majority.
These reforms are not only going to make a difference to our lives but are opening the eyes up of everyone else in Australia. A new trend has formed where the use of the word gay (to describe anything derogatory) is used. People keep dismissing it as ‘just a word’ or they say ‘I don’t mean it like that’. Little do they know that they are being homophobic: the very use of the word in that way is communicating to others that gay means something bad, and that in itself, it is setting us back from what we are trying to achieve. That is, a global consciousness in which all of us react in the same way when we hear the word ‘gay’ just like we do when we hear the word ‘straight’.
If only everyone could be as open minded and supportive as our best friend Diane has been for us (or my 2 year old god-daughter Halayna, who is so innocent and just knows that when she sees me, she sees my partner too and often goes to her more than me!). The world would be a much happier, safer place for us to thrive in.
That’s easy: Anyone who loves/has loved someone in the LGBT community needs to buy these shirts and to wear them with pride – not just us. As a nation we can be so proud to stand up and say that not only are we modifying these outdated laws, but now the Australian government perceives same-sex relationships like any other and appreciates where we have come from all those years ago, including the protest that was the original Mardi Gras. We have fought and screamed for equality until our voices croaked with our hearts so heavy. Now it is absolutely paying off.
Prior to these reforms LGBT couples could not receive things like bereavement or partnered benefits, which would greatly impact any couple. It’s not just the 85 reforms that will make a difference though. It’s also this campaign which make it publicly known through advertising/promoting, that our government is starting to recognise us as couples legally. Housing NSW does not discriminate and now neither does any other government agency thanks to these new law reforms. It’s a massive leap forward. It makes me excited to know that homosexual love is finally starting to be acknowledged and validated as heterosexual love. The next step is to legalise gay marriage.
This design incorporates the different backgrounds that my partner & I come from. The numeral 6 represents the merging/uniting of our love, cultures, history, hearts and hands. To me, it also resurfaces a lot of emotion of what my partner and I have gone through in order to be together. If it hadn’t of been so hard, we probably would have never known what we were capable of or how much we truly loved one another. Being a self proclaimed MJ [Michael Jackson] fan too every time I see it ‘Black or White’ starts playing in my head. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, bi, transgendered, black, white, yellow or green. Everyone – no matter who you are or where you come from, deserves the same basic rights and respect.
I have found it upsetting that every year the Mardi Gras parade brings more tourism/funds into Australia than any other event, yet in our daily lives we have been restricted, not able to enjoy the same freedoms as other Aussie couples. It’s time for a long overdue change, time to show the rest of the world that we are catching up when it comes to equality for the LGBT community in this country; and time to be recognised for who we are and for whom we love for more than just one night per year.