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....
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....
My life in the Kings Cross ‘war-zone’

My life in the Kings Cross ‘war-zone’

When I returned to my home in Victoria Street, Potts Point, yesterday the neighbourhood was unusually quiet. Maybe it was an omen for what was about to happen. Within minutes I’d turned on my computer and received a message saying Daniel Christie has just died. My heart sank. How could another young man be cut down in our suburb, and in almost the same spot where Thomas Kelly was attacked in 2012? Daniel, like Thomas, had yet to live the life of an adult with all of its joys and possibilities. I am in regular contact Thomas’ father, Ralph, who has battled to stop alcohol fuelled violence since the death of his son. The decision by the Christie family to turn off life support brought back all the trauma of his own son’s death. Yesterday I felt sad and sorry, but today I feel anger. Anger at the tragic loss. Anger at the government inaction. And anger that my suburb has become a no-go zone. I have lived in Kings Cross for 20 years. I moved here because I like the vibrancy and the amazing community. If I wanted the quiet life I would have moved to Roseville! But in the last five years, there’s been a dramatic change in our suburb. In this time I have lost count at the number of brawls, acts of vandalism and general anti-social behaviour that I’ve seen on my street. In fact it’s so bad that the owners corporation in my building had to employ a security guard! Only last night this guy had to deal with a bunch of drunken men and women. One particular young man so intoxicated...
Congratulations Alex – you deserved to win

Congratulations Alex – you deserved to win

I have deliberately refused to publicly endorse or support a candidate for the by-election for the State seat of Sydney. That’s because I am a journalist with a slot on the biggest rating FM station in Sydney and it wouldn’t be fair to the other candidates. But now that my good friend Alex Greenwich has won I would like to congratulate him for a convincing win and support him in his policies on keeping the city of Sydney independent, lively, dynamic, and progressive on social policies such as equality. Of course most of you know Alex and I have worked together on Marriage Equality for years and have been part of countless initiatives aimed at giving gay and lesbian Australians the same rights as straight people. I was so happy a few months ago when he hinted to me that he would have a tilt at retaining Clover’s seat after Premier Barry O’Farrell passed a law forcing Clover to resign the seat of Sydney if she remained the Lord Mayoralship of Sydney. I believe the Premier was effectively punishing Clover for being so successful and now it’s come back to bite him. However, I am a human being and I care for others so I pass on my thoughts to Alex’s main opponent, Shayne Mallard from ther Liberal party, who faced an uphill battle to win the seat because of the anger directed at the Premier as a result of the way he treated Clover Moore. I’m confident Alex will represent the biggest city in Australia with a passion we can all be proud of. In the meantime I’m going...