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Queer resources online

General resources

National Coming Out Day

White Ribbon Campaign

Raising Awareness about Gay-Teen Suicide
And remembering those who we've lost

The cool page for queer teens
This is a good place to go first if you think you might be gay as there is a lot of useful information, as well as links to other sites.
A Dyke's World
Everything you wanted to know about being a lesbian, plus links. This is one of the best sites I've been to, but it requires a slightly deeper knowledge of lesbianism.
One out of every ten
Fantastic- you have to visit it and then you will know what I mean.
Rainbow Icons Archive
Ever wondered about why the rainbow flag is a queer symbol? What about the Pink Triangle? This site has info on the use and history of many gay and lesbian symbols.

Australian resources

Queer Sexuality Collective
The queer students group at the University of Queensland. Members like myself are usually pretty happy to help anyone in the process of coming out.
Queensland Association for Gay and Lesbian Rights
Here you can find links, information on free phone counselling, and information on Gay and Lesbian rights.
Rainbow Community Centre
If you are based in Brisbane, the Rainbow centre can help you. They offer counselling, information on venues and events, drop in evenings so that you can meet people, and lots of other things too.
Gay and Lesbian Welfare Association
Links, Counselling, Phone Counselling, and WWWilma's Online Counselling and help page.
Australian Bisexual Network
More specific information about meetings and group activities for bisexual and questioning Australians.
This site has online bulletin boards, "graffiti walls" and personal ads. There is a graffiti wall especially for people who are coming out, and lots of friendly people to give advice.
Michael Carden's Page
Michael is a friend of mine. On his phenomenal page there is (among other things) a huge list of online queer resources.
Brisbane Lesbian and Gay Pride Choir
This is a non-auditioning choir for all Queer people in the Brisbane area. I'm a member, and we have a lot of fun singing together. To find out how to join, follow the link.

I've got something important to tell you...

...I'm gay. This is one of those things that I'm learning to say to a lot of people, so I thought I might as well make it digital as well. This page is dedicated to Queer Sexuality issues, and coming out.

News Flash: DRU1D Comes Out to her Parents!

Some common questions:

What does "Gay" mean?
Is the DRU1D gay?
How does the DRU1D know she is gay?
How does it happen?
Who is gay, and how can I tell?
What is "Coming Out"?
The DRU1D's coming out story
Something to remember

What Does "Gay" Mean?

It means lots of different things to different people. When I use the word gay, I mean anyone who is not heterosexual. This includes lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgenders, and anyone else who just doesn't fit into the standard "man with woman" relationship. Words that other people use to describe this group of people are Queer and Bent. A gay man is a man who loves other men. A lesbian is a woman who loves other women. A bisexual is a person who loves both men and women. A transgendered person is someone who feels that they were born into the wrong sex (ie they may have a male body but feel that they are supposed to be female). A straight person is a heterosexual person (someone who loves people of the opposite gender to themselves). Straight people are not queer. It's important to remember that "love" is both physical AND emotional attraction- you can be gay if you find people of the same sex emotionally attractive but not physically attractive, and vice versa. Gay people are often called dykes, faggots, poofters, fairies and fruits, however these terms are percieved as derogatory (ie rude) by some people, so use them with caution.

Is the DRU1D Gay?

In a word, yes. I'm not quite sure exactly where in the spectrum of Queer Sexuality I fit, but I'm there somewhere. I haven't had very long to explore my queer identity, which is why I'm not sure. At the moment I would refer to myself as bisexual. This means that when I love somebody, it doesn't really matter to me if it's a man or a woman- it's more who the person is that matters.

How does the DRU1D know she is gay?

It's difficult to know. Some gay people know that they are somehow different from a very young age, and then lable this as being gay at puberty. Some people are grandparents by the time they realise. I realised when I started falling in love with girls at my school as well as guys. I was 16 at the time, although looking back, I can recognise having gay feelings as far back as when I was 10 years old. Many people realise that they are gay while in high school, but wait to express this feeling until University or College where there is more freedom. If you think you might be gay, check out the links on this page. They can take you to places which can expain fully your feelings, problems and answer your questions. No one but you can ever tell you whether or not you are gay.

How does it happen?

Contrary to previous thought, being gay is not a disease. Current evidence shows that it is likely that people who are gay are born that way, which is why there is no use in taking a gay person to a psychiatrist, or thinking that they will "get over" or "snap out of" it. It is not a choice- why would anyone deliberatly choose a harder way of life? There is still a large amount of debate over whether childhood experiences are an important factor, but as the jury is still out on this issue, I'll leave it alone. The links at the top left of this page can give you more information in this area. A recent theory is that you are genetically predisposed, and environmental triggers activate this predisposition. Another theory is that everyone is gay to some degree- there are just varying degrees of gayness and straightness (for example, a "Straight" person might be 85% straight, 15% gay; a "Bisexual" person 50% straight, 50% gay; and a "gay" person 85% gay, 15% straight).

Who is gay, and how can I tell?

Research undertaken in the USA suggests that as many as one in every ten people is gay. Gay people are from all countries, ethnic groups, religions and classes. We do all jobs and are in all professions. We are everywhere. Some famous gay people from the past and present include Piotr Ill'yich Tchaikovsky (composer), James Dean (actor), Doris Day (actress), Martina Navratillova (tennis player), Amelie Mauresmo (tennis player), k.d. lang (singer), Ellen DeGeneres (actress), Elton John (entertainer), and Sparky the Dog from South Park (cartoon character). This is a very incomplete list! As to telling who is gay, the short answer is you can't. Some people wear rainbow flag pins, some people adopt mannerisms or dress styles which are stereotypically gay, but unless you have been told, there is no reliable way to tell if someone is gay or not.

What is "Coming Out"?

"Coming out" is a shorter version of the phrase "coming out of the closet". When you "come out", you reveal your sexuality to whomever you are coming out to. Being "in the closet" or "closeted" means that you are hiding your queer sexuality. Coming out is a very difficult thing to do, which requires great self strength and confidence. No-one has to come out if they don't want to and you should never let someone force you into coming out if it is not safe or you are not ready.
If you do want to come out:
The most important thing to remember about coming out is that to successfully come out to other people, you must first have come out to yourself. You can only help other people to understand that this is the way you are if you are sure about it and comfortable with it yourself. If you are considering coming out, consult some of the links on this page for advice, or see a counsellor, or consult your local council library for books on the subject. National Coming Out Day on October 11th is a day when formerly closeted people can tell the world in a supportive and caring environment about their sexuality. Some people think that coming out is something that you do once and then it's over with. Unfortunately this is untrue. Suppose the first people that you tell are your parents. Once you've got them used to the idea, then you have to tell the rest of your family. Then you have to decide if your friends need to know. Every day for the rest of your life, you will have to decide whether or not to tell someone, whether it's the milkman, or your new friend you met at a bar. Fortunately, as you and everyone else get used to the idea, it gets easier. Not everyone reacts well when you come out to them. You have to realise that you may lose a few "friends" along the way... but if these people can't cope with the person you are, they are not your real friends anyway.

The DRU1D's Coming Out Story

I first realised that I might be gay when I was about 12. I had this hero-worship style crush on an older girl at my school. She was very nice to me, and we parted as friends. What got me thinking that I was gay was that when I thought about her, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her- to be with her always. The thought of sex didn't enter into it very much at all. I was heartbroken when she finished school and moved away. I had similar experiences with a couple of other people before I met the person who convinced me for sure that I was gay. I had actually known her for four years when suddenly, one day, right out of the blue, it hit me. It was like being whacked with a sledgehammer. I was totally unprepared for falling in love. By this stage I had started to realise that crushes on other girls were becoming more than a passing phase, and that I found pictures of women quite arousing. What really confused me was that I had also had crushes on quite a few guys during this time. I talked to a few people, read a few books, and managed to sort myself out. When I was totally sure that this was the way I was going to be for life, I told some of my friends. They were a little surprised at first, but they got used to the idea. I've accepted that some people, for religious or personal reasons, are not going to be able to cope with my sexuality, and I've learnt how to deal with this and other prejudices. Coming out has made me a stronger person, and has helped my friends to respect me for who I really am. I still haven't told some of my friends. I'm taking it one day at a time.

News Flash! DRU1D Comes Out to Parents!

August 23rd 1999, Brisbane. Yes people, I have come out to my parents at last. On that fateful evening, they were both at home (unusual), neither of them had work to do (very unusual) and they were both in good moods (downright strange). Having worked up my courage, I printed out two copies of a letter to them that I had written, and handed it to them casually, as I do with assignments, and asked them could they just read this for me and tell me what they thought. Then I went into the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee, because I was really shaky. I came back, and they were just sitting there. Neither of them wanted to talk about it, but they both seem to be OK, if not completely accepting. I hope that eventually they will completely accept and understand the way I am, and be happy to let me live my own life.

Something to remember-

The fact that I'm gay does not mean that I am out to seduce every woman in sight. Just because I find both women and men attractive does not mean that I find all women attractive. That would be like saying that all straight women are attracted to all men. Just like every straight (non-queer) person, I have my preferences and ideals.

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