Dan (Coby to his mates) is a writer and product manager who lives with his pooch in Surry Hills, Sydney. He represents NSW in men’s netball having recently competed at the Men’s and Mixed National Championships in Melbourne at Easter 2010. Raised in the northern suburbs of Adelaide, Dan moved to Sydney in 2004 following love and to pursue a career in the internet industry. At just 21, Dan was implementing changes at BigPond that tripled customer satisfaction and saved the company tens of millions of dollars. Dan credits his parents as his heroes for teaching him to embrace his individuality and be true to himself.
I jumped at the chance to represent such a positive campaign that celebrates real success for the community I’m part of. Usually you only hear about the law when it’s broken or not working in someone’s favour, so it’s refreshing to stop and celebrate these positive changes that will better serve our community.
I’m amazed at how many of my friends, even those who belong to the LGBT community, have no idea that this reform has happened. It’s a real achievement that the law is now recognising our love, so I’m proud to spread the word far and wide.
I hadn’t even really come to terms with my sexuality when I was "outed" at work by a colleague. They’d bumped into me at my very first trip to a gay venue a week prior. Much older and more comfortable with their sexuality, they spread the word around my workplace even though I’d explicitly requested otherwise.
It seems like nothing now, but as a confused 16-year-old whose conservative family and friends had no clue about their sexuality, it caused a lot of grief and turmoil.
On the whole though, I’ve been incredibly fortunate in the way my family, friends and colleagues have accepted my sexuality. But I know not everyone shares my story... I’ve heard some horrible stories which indicate discrimination is still rife.
It’s almost relieving knowing the law now validates my relationship as everyone else in my life does. And it’s comforting knowing my partner will be protected if anything were to happen to me and vice versa.
It’s now easier for my friends, who are some of the best parents I know, to raise their children – and it doesn’t matter that they’re the same sex.
With fewer things to worry about, it’s easier for LGBT people reach their full potential in the workplace.
It’s a celebration that times are changing.
Sometimes we can become so obsessed with what’s going wrong that we forget to stop and celebrate our success.
For me, it’s not only about being proud of what this law reform has achieved, but it’s about celebrating and acknowledging what our community has achieved over the last 30 years.
There’s still a way to go, but let’s take check and be proud at how far we’ve come.
It marks a significant step forward in our community’s effort for absolute acceptance – when the law no longer discriminates against us, there really is no reason for anyone else to either.
For such a multicultural country that sees itself so laid back and accepting, it’s crazy to think that it’s taken so long to change these laws. Slowly but surely though, we’re tearing down the barriers.
I love that the pencil is erasing laws in order to re-write them. If only it were actually that easy! I think it also represents that now people can be proud to write their own stories, knowing that the law sees love as they do.
I’m not sure if it’s artist Irene Teng’s intention, but I think the design also looks like a bicycle - a great metaphor for progression. We’re moving forward in breaking down discrimination in the community and the workplace. Let’s keep the pedals turning!