Bad fairy at the wedding: @burgewords on the curse of #MarriageEquality activism

I’D like to briefly hold your attention in this short period before marriage equality is legislated in Australia, because nobody will ever give a second thought to the years of struggle that led to this week’s resounding public vote for same-sex dignity. The concept of marriage equality first hit me like a bullet in 2004, in the moment I realised I’d been completely and utterly duped by this ‘lucky country’. My partner Jono had died suddenly just weeks before, and I was struggling with acute, identity-killing grief. I had no idea that this profound amputation would come to be treated as though it was a paper cut. Unbeknownst to me, […]

I am my first book: @burgewords reports from #bwf16

We were inside the building. We belonged, inasmuch as new students belong in new classrooms when they change schools UNDER the general theme of ‘belonging’, the 2016 Brisbane Writer’s Festival (BWF) set itself up with few boundaries, and writers have been rushing to traverse the intentionally unfenced territory across the city. As an independently published author, I was pleased to find the door open to my memoir, which has national significance for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex (LGBTI) equality movement. It was written in Queensland about the battle to maintain my next-of-kin status after the death of my same-sex spouse in New South Wales in 2004. But my indie book about […]

Divorced from reality: @burgewords comments on the Coalition’s #MarriageEquality problem

The Coalition will just have to take care of itself, because the political wedge has finally hit its target. AFTER the Coalition’s narrow win, the plebiscite on Marriage Equality should be getting ready to kick off, yet the same election promise has been blamed for the major swing against Malcolm Turnbull. And the paradox has all the hallmarks of failure. In one of his delayed post-victory interviews, Malcolm Turnbull conceded the plebiscite would have to be pushed ahead to 2017. His reason: “My commitment to have it dealt with as soon as practicable is there, but we… have to obtain the support of the Senate,” Mr Turnbull told Leigh Sales […]

Keeping #MarriageEquality off the record: @burgewords comments on #NeverMarried

It felt like a cold label for what was a beautiful love affair. WHEN the South Australian government was caught out by the world’s media for its lax approach to recognising overseas same-sex marriages on death certificates, the justifiable outrage about Marco Bulmer-Rizzi being documented as “never married” to husband David resonated with many readers. One small voice of disagreement came from Marriage Alliance, a grassroots anti-marriage equality movement with a presence in Australia, in the form of a tweet defining the Bulmer-Rizzi disenfranchisement as “unusual” and criticising Australian Marriage Equality for politicising the issue. Why do @AMEQUALITY & @BuzzFeed have to exploit the unusual & sad circumstances of a death for political motives? […]

#Homophobia for the holidays: @burgewords on creating #LGBT characters

It would surprise most people to see what a strong thread of prejudice runs through families. Spending time with family over Christmas and New Year can be a challenge for anyone, but journalist and author Michael Burge explains how his first collection of short stories grew in the fertile ground of familial homophobia. WHEN I began writing fiction, I didn’t understand at first that the theme I was really exploring was homophobia. After years of churning out scripts in the corporate world, which was not sustaining me in any kind of career, I decided to turn my hand to short stories. Over the course of about ten weeks in late 2009, I started […]

Two books, one story: @burgewords reviews @RodneyCroome on #MarriageEquality

IN every writer’s life there comes a time when a piece written by someone else renders our own contribution unnecessary. After exploring the issue of marriage equality in my country for more than a decade, Rodney Croome’s new book has finally done this for me. From This Day Forward: Marriage Equality in Australia is an aggregation of Croome’s major writing on the marriage equality debate to date, including updates on his 2010 contribution to Why Vs. Why: Bill Muehlenberg and Rodney Croome debate Gay Marriage (Pantera Press). But Croome’s collection is much more that; it’s the best document Australia has to move the debate – finally – into legislation. The […]

#QuestionableDeeds in action: @burgewords in conversation with @margokingston1

WHEN I asked Margo to help me launch my non-fiction debut Questionable Deeds: Making a stand for equal love and my first collection of short stories Closet His, Closet Hers, Tony Abbott was still Prime Minister and marriage equality remained on the never never. When we met this week at Avid Reader bookshop in West End, Brisbane, I remarked to Margo that much had changed, although a free vote on marriage equality for same-sex attracted Australians had been traded for power by yet another prime minister. What ensued was a fascinating night of insights into the ongoing debate, the changing of hearts and minds, and the nature of writing about pain, loss and politics. […]

The making of a #MarriageEquality advocate: @burgewords extract

IRELAND’S yes vote for marriage equality kicked a rainbow-coloured goal for LGBTQI people around the globe, and while the major Australian political parties fight for ownership of the ball, this extract from an upcoming non-fiction podcast and book by MICHAEL BURGE is a reminder of how far we’ve come. Marriage, like a seed, was planted within me as a concept. IN the lead up to the 2004 federal election the issue of same-sex marriage hit the media. The year prior, various provinces followed Ontario’s lead in Canada and allowed same-sex marriages to take place. Many Australians availed themselves of this legislation since it did not require the couples to be residents, but […]

Margo’s live twitter report from #leardblockade Day 8 and 9

Storify by The Geek Fri, Jan 24 2014 02:53:20 Margo’s live twitter report from #leardblockade Day 8 and 9 Add to story or collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on Linkedin Share by email No [email protected] Get tough on environmental extremists: miners’ case against #leardblockade: Like to respond?  http://nofibs.com.au/2014/01/22/miners-case-leardblockade-anyone-like-respond/#sthash.BtM9BBnj.dpuf … #auspol @margokingston1 @margokingston1 · Wed, Jan 22 2014 02:24:48 ReplyRetweetFavorite Add to story or collection Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on Google+ Share on Linkedin Share by email Meredith [email protected] Leard State Forest – Get Involved #leardblockade  http://leardstateforest.tumblr.com/get-involved  The only thing left is community action – Take the pledge! @margokingston1 · Wed, Jan 22 […]

Long live The Yartz! @burgewords column

When Margo Kingston asked me to consider writing a regular arts column for No Fibs, I thought she was pulling my leg, simply because art and politics didn’t seem like a natural blend. Aren’t artists a government’s greatest nightmare, grudgingly budgeted-for, the black sheep’s back on which Australia’s great nation couldn’t possibly be built? The one time I was part of a policy discussion for a state election campaign, when we got around to considering the arts, someone reminded us of Sir Les Patterson, Cultural Attache and Minister for ‘The Yartz’. We all had a laugh, and The Yartz got slotted under some other subheading, which is why I have […]