11 years ‘married’ today

11 years ‘married’ today

Tonight Jason and I will have a quiet dinner to celebrate the 11th anniversary of our so-called “illegal gay wedding”. It’s amazing how quickly the 11 years has passed since we very publicly tied the knot. We chose to make it public to raise awareness of the fact that we couldn’t legally marry, but in spite of that the ceremony was as real and important to us as any of our ‘straight’ friend’s weddings. So you might be surprised that we are not throwing a big party to celebrate the anniversary? Well, we don’t feel we can do that until the federal government legislates in favour of same-sex marriage. Yes, we’re still waiting! My good friend and the member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, says in many ways our wedding was the catalyst for the marriage equality campaign which today is still running across the country. Despite the fact that no government has had the guts to change the law, a lot has changed in more than a decade. Now almost 80% of the public support our right to marry. Slowly but surely we are making progress. When we tied the knot we were overwhelmed by support. The ceremony was broadcast on 2Day FM’s Kyle & Jackie O Show (when I was their out and proud newsreader) and replayed across the Austereo network. It was broadcast live on Seven’s Sunrise, covered in New Idea and the Sunday papers, and made the nightly TV news. We received over 20,000 emails of support! I can still remember the big day clearly. In the ‘congregation’ were family, friends, supporters and many celebrities including the Australian Idol hosts, Daryl Somers, Carlotta, Kate Fischer, Chris Bath...
My Kyle & Jackie O story – part 2

My Kyle & Jackie O story – part 2

I wondered why Jason was in the studio that morning. It dawned on me that he was probably taking part in one of the infamous “Scare Geoff” segments. I was asked to go across to the main studio where I found Jason sitting on a chair next to a stern looking Jackie. That made me even more nervous. What were they up to? Then after 3 minutes of silence while a song played, Kyle told me I was about to experience a life-changing moment. To be honest I was terrified, but then Jackie looked at me and told me Jason had something to say to me. With that Jason got down on one knee and said: “Geoff will you marry me?” Wow! I was in shock. It was the last thing I expected. Of course I said yes! The rest of the day remains blur, but my phone kept ringing all day with friends congratulating us. That night the enormity of what we were doing hit us. We were going to get married live on air. Would the gay community think it was a stunt to get ratings? Would our families attend? How could we do this, with same sex marriage not legal in Australia? The next four weeks were a whirlwind, and if it wasn’t for promotion’s supremo Chrissie Maus I would have gone mad. But everything came together. The gay community got right behind us, we decided to brand it Sydney’s first “illegal” gay wedding to highlight the ridiculous laws, our families wholeheartedly agreed to attend, and we were excited that listeners and supporters would attend the ceremony. The...
My ‘illegal gay wedding’ 10 years on

My ‘illegal gay wedding’ 10 years on

Last night Jason and I had a quiet dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our so-called “illegal gay wedding”. It’s amazing how quickly the decade has passed since we very publicly tied the knot. We chose to make it public to raise awareness of the fact that we couldn’t legally marry, but in spite of that the ceremony was as real and important to us as any of our ‘straight’ friend’s weddings. So you might be surprised that we didn’t throw a big party to celebrate the anniversary? Well, we don’t feel we can do that until the federal government legislates in favour of same-sex marriage. Yes, we’re still waiting! My good friend and the member for Sydney, Alex Greenwich, says in many ways our wedding was the catalyst for the marriage equality campaign which today is still running across the country. Despite the fact that no government has had the guts to change the law, a lot has changed in the decade. Now almost 80% of the public support our right to marry. Slowly but surely we are making progress. When we tied the knot we were overwhelmed by support. The ceremony was broadcast on 2Day FM’s Kyle & Jackie O Show (when I was their out and proud newsreader) and replayed across the Austereo network. It was broadcast live on Seven’s Sunrise, covered in New Idea and the Sunday papers, and made the nightly TV news. We received over 20,000 emails of support! I can still remember the big day clearly. In the ‘congregation’ were family, friends, supporters and many celebrities including the Australian Idol hosts, Daryl Somers, Carlotta, Kate Fischer, Chris Bath and Sonia Kruger....
Grow up, or go away!

Grow up, or go away!

When I was a kid my Dad played rugby league for the Nowra Warriors. I was never a huge fan of the game, but I used to go along to most of the matches and a few times a year we’d go to Kogarah Oval to watch the mighty St George! Back then it was all about the game and the skill of the players, and although I was and will never be a sports mad person, I used to look forward to heading to the big smoke to see the game live. Over the years I’ve watched the game from the sidelines, and in recent years read my news from State Of Origin matches in Sydney and Brisbane and from the  clubrooms of the team’s involved in the grand finals. Unfortunately over the last decade I have grown increasingly frustrated with the game, mainly because of the shameful antics of some of its highly paid and increasing arrogant players. While I do not want to lump everyone into the same basket, as a newsreader I am totally sick and tired of hearing about and then having to report on the hijinks and crimes of players off the field. Already this year we are hearing stories of players spitting and brawling in bars, and the season hasn’t even started! I’ve lost count of the amount of air time devoted to , brawls, cheating allegations, assaults, drug taking, drunkennness, drink driving etc etc. In fact the misbehaviour of rugby league players has spawned an entire industry, devoted to analysing the behaviour of grown men who are well paid, are supposed to be...
Coming Out And Being Gay, A Gift From God?

Coming Out And Being Gay, A Gift From God?

Apple’s chief executive has created headlines by coming out as gay! Timothy Cooke has become the most prominent executive of a public company to come out. In an essay Mr Cook says “Let me be clear, I’m proud to be gay” and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has even given me” While I may not necessarily about it being a “gift from God”, I think it’s great that a man is such a powerful position has made it clear there’s nothing to be ashamed of about your sexuality. My dream is that one day in the future there will be no need to “come out” because we will all be humans without labels, but at the moment it is still necessary, given the discrimination and fear many people in the LGBTI community still suffer. I remember when Ian Thorpe announced he was gay earlier this year, that some people asked whether it was really necessary? In my opinion it was, as it is in this case, because we need to show governments who are still pursuing policies that discriminate, that we are a force to be reckoned with, and will not tolerate being second-class citizens. High profile people coming out also helps young gay people with self-esteem issues, and will hopefully reduce the above average suicide rate. So the more people that “come out” the better in my opinion, because eventually it will become a non-issue and we can all live together, in what I hope is more accepting society. Only time will tell, but I think Timothy Cook’s “coming out” is a great move...
Does coming out still matter?

Does coming out still matter?

Before I give you my thoughts on this issue, may I wish Ian Thorpe all the best in the future and honour him for his decision to be true to himself. In spite of all the media attention over the ‘revelation’ in the interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, I know he will find a greater sense of peace in himself. That said I really believe a person’s private life is exactly that, private, but seeing Ian has previously stated he’s ‘heterosexual’ I think it was important he decided to be honest. This matters not only for his own sense of wellbeing, but also to countless other young gay and lesbian people who might now find the courage to no longer live a life in the shadows. I have been in Ian’s shoes. Back in 2004 when I began working on the nationally syndicated 2DayFM drive show I was asked by the hosts if I was happy to be “myself” on-air. At first I had no idea what this really meant, then it dawned on me that if they were talking about what they did on the weekend with their partners, I would have to be open about my life with Jason too. So, the following day hundreds of thousands got to hear about my relationship with Jason. The impact of that hit me the following week when a newspaper published an article about me being the first openly gay newsreader on Australian radio! I became known across the country as Geoff on radio, “the gay newsreader”. To be honest, although I had my reservations I’m glad I did all that because back in 2004 being gay was rarely mentioned on-air....