The furore over a star-studded letter calling for a version of the Safe Schools anti-bullying program Australia could "tolerate" was a flash in the pan, but it raised some questions about queers' capacity for disagreement. Simon and Benjamin wonder what's served by robust debate within our communities, and question the value of all of us just getting along.
The original letter and petition has since been removed, but here's a news story: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/may/02/troye-sivan-guy-pearce-and-missy-higgins-push-for-safe-schools-replacement
Ben Grubb's apology: https://medium.com/@bengrubb/an-apology-4c5c530d4a8d
The recent arrest of a journalist charged with offences relating to child pornography gets Benjamin and Simon thinking about the long-standing association made in public debate between queers and pedophilia. Are we as past this sort of fear mongering as we'd like to imagine, or has the moral panic never really gone away?
News story about Ben McCormack's arrest: http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/a-current-affair-reporter-ben-mccormack-charged-over-child-porn-allegations-20170406-gvf2rx.html
Sarah Schulman Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/sarah.schulman.56/posts/10158279914035188
When it comes to political debates, queer communities are increasingly framing ourselves as "vulnerable". In the face of an often hostile world, Simon and Benjamin wonder what is gained (and perhaps what is lost) when we talk about ourselves as vulnerable communities in need of protection.
'Religion versus queers' has reared its ugly head again in the debate over the Coopers beer boycott, so Benjamin and Simon decide to dive into that most inappropriate of dinner-party conversation topics: religion. How do we weigh the rights of LGBTI communities against religious freedom? What does it even mean to ask that question?
Although "born this way" has become a rallying cry for queers, Simon and Benjamin are pretty sure it's the wrong way to fight for the political change we want. But when you feel like you were born this way, what happens when our politics crash headfirst into our experiences?
A new (and very sexually explicit) music video has a lot of queers asking: does this represent me? Benjamin and Simon respond with cries of "respectability politics", and dig into why marriage equality—what else—seems to bring out some pretty awful homophobia in gays everywhere.
'House of Air', by Brendan Maclean: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2uZyTm_w0M
'Queer art pushes boundaries: why I made my explicit gay porn music video', by Brendan Maclean: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/feb/07/queer-art-pushes-boundaries-why-i-made-my-explicit-gay-porn-music-video
'It's Time', by GetUp! Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TBd-UCwVAY
Homophobia. It's everywhere! But what happens when we struggle to actually point to examples of it in our day-to-day lives? Simon and Benjamin wonder whether we need to find new ways to talk about homophobia.
Queers is back for 2017, and Benjamin and Simon decide to kick off the year with a serious look at identity politics. After all, if we're going to spend so much time talking about it, we should probably figure out what it means.
'A queer take on Safe Schools and identity politics', published in Overland: https://overland.org.au/2016/06/a-queer-take-on-safe-schools-and-identity-politics/
It's been a big year! From Safe Schools and the marriage plebiscite to Brexit, Trump and the Orlando shooting, Simon and Benjamin reflect on what's changed for queers in 2016. And almost a year since the podcast started, we take a look at how we're doing so far, and at what comes next.
In late November Simon presented a talk at the Homosexual Histories Conference in Melbourne, organised by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives. In this recording of his talk, Simon presents research he has been working on for his first book, Sexy Capitalism.