Thursday, March 08, 2007

SMH - letters to the editor. Your thoughts please


Not between rainbow flags
Sydney surf lifesavers, you are Aussie icons and young people look up to you. However, by participating in the homosexual Mardi Gras, your role model has been shattered, devalued and demeaned. How sad.
Judith Bond Glen Alpine
(taken from letters to the editor, Sydney Morning Herald 7 March 2007)
Please leave your thoughts to Judith by clicking on the comments link below.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

The only sad thing is that you cannot see the bigger picture. The world is becoming substantially more diverse and accepting and accordingly new and inspiring people are being heralded as the modern role models. If an age old, respected, Australian icon like the Surf Life Savers can evolve to celebrate such a wonderful occasion as the Mardi Gras, perhaps you too can open your mind to support those amazing people that each year save thousands of Australian lives- regardless of their sexual orientation. I couldn’t have been prouder.

Hazel Mellor, Mittagong, NSW said...

As well as homosexual lifesavers, there are homosexual doctors, lawyers, brickies labourers, oh, all kinds. Open your heart and your narrow mind, Judith Bond, and be careful who takes your blood pressure next time you visit your local GP.

Sandy Parkinson Hilton (WA) said...

Pardon my anger, but what the hell does a lifesaver's sexual orientation have to do with the performance of a great job? Or does Judith Bond plan to ask a bloke if he's gay before he pulls her from a rip

drewlambert said...

As one of the float organisers, the main reason I put so much effort and energy into this activity was to bring about change. I'm overwhelmed that after the many months of organising this float, dealing with media etc (I'm the float's publicist), this is the only negative comment we have received in the media. To all our supporters - thank you. You are well and truly the majority of Australia!

A negative comment like this gives us the energy to continue our fight. Remember this; while the Mardi Gras Parade is indeed a lot of fun with lots of flesh, sequins and loud pumping dance music, it still is fundamentally a political protest. As an out gay lifesaver who has never shied away from being myself around my straight lifesaver mates, it's important for my friends to realise not everyone shares their liberal views. This is why we march - for change. Viva la difference!

brenton said...

This was my response, sent to the SMH.
I was a very proud member of the lifesavers float that marched in Saturday's Mardi Gras parade. Proud to be a part of such an iconic institution, and proud to be a gay man.
The only role model that has been shattered is the old fashioned, prejudiced model of the days when Australia had a white Australia policy and women didn't have the vote.
Our inclusion in the Mardi Gras represented the modern open minded way of thinking that has to be taken up in this modern world we live in. Gay men and women are all around you Judith and we are here to prove that you can't tell from looking at us what our sexuality is. When your child gets caught in a rip at the beach or are howling in pain after a blue bottle sting, will you be checking that the volunteer helping is straight before letting us help your child?

Lindy said...

As a proud participant in our parade I can only say how wonderful the positive and loving response from the audience was to us. We can only be truly a caring Australian community when we start to show tolerance and acceptance to everyone, regardless of race, sex, etc. I was in such disbelief when I read Judith's comments-can you belief that type of attitude in this day and age? But then I'm reminded that of course we have to almost expect that type of comment, and just ignore it. Please continue on with our work with pride, I'm confident we are doing a great job as positive role models in our society. I almost feel a bit sorry for Judith-she is, of course, missing out on experiencing the wonderful world that we live in with that type of attitude.

Lindy said...

As a proud participant in our parade I can only say how wonderful the positive and loving response from the audience was to us. We can only be truly a caring Australian community when we start to show tolerance and acceptance to everyone, regardless of race, sex, etc. I was in such disbelief when I read Judith's comments-can you belief that type of attitude in this day and age? But then I'm reminded that of course we have to almost expect that type of comment, and just ignore it. Please continue on with our work with pride, I'm confident we are doing a great job as positive role models in our society. I almost feel a bit sorry for Judith-she is, of course, missing out on experiencing the wonderful world that we live in with that type of attitude.

Mikey1971 said...

Judith

While I am not surprised that narrow minded attitudes still exist I am saddened. Comments such as yours have a very negative effect on young people struggling with their sexuality.

I have been a surf life saver for over 15 years and been a Director and Treasurer of a Surf Club for over 10 years. I chose to march in this years MG parade to celebrate my Club's acceptance of me as a Gay man and also because I knew it would be heaps of fun!

At our Club's next years AGM I would be grateful if you could come along and tell the members that I am somehow unfit for office because of the way I was born.

Congratulations to the organisers of this years MG parade for showing that gay lifesavers are part of the broad Australian community.

Michael S

aaron, east london (uk) said...

As i walked along Elizabeth street only one night after MG arm in arm with another man we were verbally abused with a tirade of vile language by the occupant of a car passing by. This was the first time in my life (having lived/living OS for a long time and Oz) that i have experienced homophobia personally in such a way. After reading your comments, Judith Bond, i regard your attack on homosexuality/homosexuals (and it has nothing to do with surf lifesaving really does it?) just as offensively as my experience in the street.
Shame on you for your lack of tolerance towards people different to yourself (especially to those who do much good in the community-and i am not a lifesaver). Your views will only encourage myself and others to get out there even more to show that we should be valued in society as much as anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Judith when you come into intensive care and i have to nurse you i will try to abide by Florence Nightingale's oath and try put out of my mind your insular bigotry, but i can't guarantee it !

Anonymous said...

Well done all of you. Be proud, Be diverse, Be Australian ... but most of all keep rising above the ancient views that some people in society still desperately hold on to.

Coming to you all the way from Tokyo.

craig said...

there are gays and lesbians throughout communities all around the world, in numerous fields and professions, both paid and unpaid.
Did my being part of a Road Accident Rescue Team as a Gay man demean the service I was providing as an unpaid volunteer?

Sexuality is NOT and SHOULD NOT be a measurement of character.

Keep up the goodwork. :)

Peter said...

I totally agree with Craig, would she react like that too in a hospital? "Oh God I'm dying... but you cannot help me!"

Is all the GLBT people in the care industry or any other profession would go on strike, nations would come to a standstill.

paste101 said...

The sad thing is that probably Judith has never experienced motherhood and this has made her bitter. If she is religious then she forgets that we are all made in the image of God and who is she to say what is and what is not perfect. I dont remember God's other name being 'Judith'.

timldn said...

we must never do things if we are scared of the reactions of people like Judith. I cannot believe that there are still people in Australia (or anywhere)who have that attitude when events like Mardi Gras are such beacons of an inclusive world. If everyone of us takes a small step and changes the attitude of one person we can win this.

dave_oz said...

"Don't save me if you are gay" armbands on sale at patrolled beaches! I don't think so.

It looks like the Sydney surf lifesavers will no longer be a role model for Judith.

Googling Judith shows her opinions and her willingness to express them.

A gay Harry Potter type, practicing witchcraft while training for surf lifesaving would cause Judith to implode I suspect.

Sue said...

That is so sad that she feels that way. I would never dream of asking the sexual orientation of someone that was helping me; or for that matter, their race, religion or what have you. She just sees the whole world in black and white, right and wrong. It must be a boring world. Poor Judith.

pointer1952 said...

there exists homophobia everywhere in the world from one extreme where you will be murdered if you are gay ...to very subliminal levels where it exists but is tolerated by that society...having been to Australia 6 times at one month stays ..I have to say it's a subliminal level & every once in a while you hear about the bashings and statements(like this article) that fuels the bashings......in this country(USA) because we are fighting for equal rights...the amount of hate crimes against gay people has risen since the Republicans came into office and will continue until we have the same rights as the straight person that lives next door to you......and that goes for almost any gay person in the world!

howard said...

i am quite sure she wouldn't refuse service from a gay waiter let alone someone as important as a lifesaver. hope someday when her car breaksdown a Gay NRMA tech is the first on the scene so he can smash the rickety soapbox she will be waving her white flag from.

tom cat said...

the good news is there were 2 letters from people in the Sydney Morning Herald the next day deploring her stupid views.

As has been said above would she really ever know if her doctor, nurse, priest, accountant, lawyer, plumber, etc. were gay - porbably not. One day hopefully a light bulb will finally turn on over her head and she will join the real world.

Anonymous said...

Dear Judith

I know a number of gay people and only because they have told me. There is no mark on them like we had in former times. And anyway, how many of the people taking part in the SLSC float were gay? Only you, Judith, can answer that, because only you know!!!

Gay, straight, black, white, male, female, honours Uni graduate or grade 10 drop-out - they are all people living their life with whatever their God gave them and who are you or I to critcise that.

I, too, won't be asking about the person risking their life to save me, if ever it happens. I'll be singing their praises.

Anonymous said...

What a narrow minded person Judith is. I feel really sorry for her. She needs to start living her life and to move with the times. Surf Life Saving is a fantastic organisation and welcomes everyone into its ranks, (luckly?)

Anonymous said...

Get over yourself - life's too short to judge people by who they choose to get close to. And yes, gay or straight, it's an amazing community service. Go the life savers!

The national group of gay and lesbian Australian surf lifesavers and their friends