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She’s sexy, she’s talented, she’s gay Canberra’s own darling. Nelida Contreras talks to the very fabulous Yas Element.

10 History of burlesque and drag. 14

We talk to the musically ambidextrous Kim Churchill about his many talents and his obsession with the sea.

30 One of the hardest things for a parent to do. Debbie Tonkin talks about coming out to your kids. 34 Fuse Launch photos. 45 It’s not really romantic : Darling, will you civil untion me?




FUSE02 JUNE 2009

28 Have you been stimulated yet? How the gay & lesbian community is saving us from economic doom.




We all have different ideas on what a relationship should be. Two local Canberrans give us their points of view.

38 Tales of a Mardi Gras virgin.



PUBLISHER & DESIGN Lithium Innovation Pty Ltd {} EDITOR Alexander Thatcher {}




CONTRIBUTORS Nelida Contreras Scott Malcolm Abbey Jane Alexander Abbey Yvonne Wigman Snezan Saravovska Jan Halligan

Tony Hamlyn Stuart Poole Lanny K Rose Pappalardo Phil Schubert Damien Pratt

Jason Roses Kristy Janszen Brendan Farnhil Daria Sigma Fatherspirit Jon Marco


Nik Studio

Tom Roberts

02 04 07 12 16 20 22 28 32 33 37 39 41 42 44 46 48

Editor’s Rant Your Say : Fuse Readers Letters What’s On in Canberra The Buzz : News & Gossip Fitness & Body Shape Fabulous Things We Love! Out & About in Canberra Money Shot : Spending Habits Profile : OzCots helping kids Property : Is it time to buy? Top Queer : New Wheels Grooming : Wax, Putty or Gel? Film & DVD Reviews Ear Candy : Music Gender Talk : Going Public Fuse Business Directory Dear Rose

CONTACT Advertising, editorial enquiries or letters Telephone: +61 2 6287 7125 • Email: Mail: PO Box 44 Waramanga ACT 2611 • ISSN 1836-8387 All rights reserved. No part of the magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. The appearance, mention or likeness of any person or organisation in editorial or advertising in no way suggests sexual or political orientation. Photographs used to illustrate editorial do not depict the real lives, behaviour or sexuality of the models. Opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher. Submissions of text, photographs or any other material will be taken as consent to publish said material. So there!



Oh yeah baby’s issue 02 I reckon I could only be happier if I was two inches taller and looked like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.

Alexander Thatcher Fuse Editor and Fight Club wannabe

It’s been quite a ride. The first edition of Fuse was a huge success and the launch at Hush Lounge and Cube went off. The support we received has been nothing less than bloody awesome. After issue one hit the streets we had a month full of fantastic media coverage, including awesome radio and web exposure, and then on April 15th The Canberra Times ran a full-page story on us — which was quite a surprise (you can read it on the Fuse website). But, of course, the most rewarding praise and feedback came from you. We have printed a selection of letters on page 04, and on that note I encourage all of you to email your thoughts, good and bad — your comments are always welcome. Issue two has two great cover features: A spicy interview with our very own Yasmin Element — aka Heidi Von Hottentot. Did you see that cover shot girls? Damn she’s sexy! Yas talks about burlesque, wobbly bits and her fascination with Madonna (p08). We also talk to the very cute, very musically talented ‘surfer dude’ Kim Churchill — who can do more things with his mouth, hands and feet (all at the same time) than a boy probably should — and what a nice guy he is too (p14). We’ve got gays saving the economy, relationship and coming out stories, same sex marriage — or not, more to the point. Plus some great regulars: Fabulous Things (p20), Top Queer (p37), Grooming (p39), and one of my favourite bits of the mag, The Buzz, which is now written by Tony Hamlyn — possibly one of the gayest men I know! If it’s pop culture, theatre or celebrity related, then he’s your queer answer to google…. Let’s just call him queergle (p12).

Christopher with his bunny Sam

And just before I sign off. Fuse Magazine exists largely because of our advertisers. They ALL proudly support the GLBTQ community in Canberra. So... if you need a service, something or somebody, please consider using these businesses first. Oh, and remember to check out the Business Directory (p46) at the back. Enjoy! Alexander Thatcher

Yasmin Element burlesque dancer, hot chickie babe and Associate Editor

PS. My boyfriend Christopher reckons that he too might be just a smidge happier if I looked like Brad Pitt in Fight Club! PPS. After careful consideration, Yas also confirmed that she would indeed be happier if her editor looked like Brad Pitt in Fight Club!! PPPS. Remember, the first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club... Ahhhh, happy days :-) Send all letters to the editor to



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LETTERS Delighted I work within the walls of Gorman House and found a copy of your first Issue at reception. What a great magazine! I was delighted to read it. Being very new to Canberra (from NZ), single and working in a small environment, it has been difficult to break into any social groups. It was good to read that there are activities going on in Canberra. All the best, Andrew Very STRAIGHT forward I am looking forward to reading FUSE02. I was visiting Canberra (from Sydney) for two days and the first issue was announced in the Canberra Times 15th April 2009 and I read the article in a cafe. I thought the article was great... thank you to the editor who was interviewed... very STRAIGHT forward! I visit Canberra now and then as I am completing a course in the city and hope to be able to pick up Fuse Magazine and find all the gay friendly places and contacts. All the best with the publication! It will be so good to have that information available for visiting GLBTIQ folk. Obviously it will save asking the hotel manager where the gay venues are! Robert Ryan Hi Robert — Thanks for all the support, glad you liked the Canberra Times article. See page 07 for what’s on in Canberra. Oh and if you can’t pick up a copy of the mag you can subscribe to Fuse at


More young content please I recently picked up the first edition of Fuse Magazine and found it interesting and provocative. Fuse evoked not only positive, but indeed negative opinions (within my own consciousness) regarding the particular ideologies being displayed in the articles. What first struck me was the professional presentation of the magazine — naturally this is something that you should be commended for. However, when reading the articles I felt the presence of a certain bias that might be indicative of an older generation of homosexual contributor. I found this bias to conflict with me personally because I do not share the same perspective. In order to present a holistic, encapsulating view of gay lifestyle to the wider community, I feel it would be appropriate to include contributions from younger members of the GLBTQ community. Alexander Abbey

Community content Congratulations on FUSE01, I enjoyed it. Just something that we have been talking about is the inclusion of a gay community groups section — somewhere that local gay community groups can tell people what they are about, what they do and how to join with relevant contact details etc. It could take up say half a page and be a community service for gay Canberra. The community groups could change their section as required if upcoming events are happening and would be a good starting point for many people looking for others with similar interests. Keep up the good work. Jon Daniels (JD)

Hi Alexander — We are very keen on having Fuse Magazine as balanced as possible when it comes to content and hope there will always be something in it for everyone. We would love you to contribute your youth perspectives for everyone to read. (See Alexander’s first contribution to Fuse Magazine on page 18)

Well Done! The girls @ Down Dere Films would like to thank Fuse for their wonderful support of their film, Lightswitch, and queer filmmaking in the ACT. Fuse has done a fantastic job of giving a voice to the queer community in the region and we will continue to support the magazine and those who have worked tirelessly on it. Well done guys and gals and we can’t wait to read the next issue!! Natalie Krikowa Producer — Down Dere Films

Loved Ian Roberts I thought your first issue of Fuse Magazine was very good, especially the artistic depiction of Ian Roberts. I also enjoyed your articles. Ciao, David

Hi Jon — Great idea, see page 07, and you’ll also find a weekly updated What’s On section on the Fuse website Can’t wait for FUSE02 Hi Fuse, I was at the launch and have issue one and love it.




What’s On June09 { Theatre at HUSH: Hard On

Vanity Fair Portrait Photographs

3 Nights Only! 3rd, 4th, 5th June. Starts at 8pm! Mardi Gras Gay & Lesbian play comes to Canberra. See ad p06. More details p24.

Girl Thing at Cube Friday 5 June 9pm til 1pm A girls only night of electro & house music just for the girls with DJ Tori Mac. More details p22.

Legal Advice Service Thursday 11 June 2009 The AIDS Action Council is providing a new legal service for advice and referrals on a variety of legal matters. Call 02 6257 2855. Sponsored by Goodman Law.

5 June – 30 August 2009 National Portrait Gallery Traces the birth and evolution of photographic portraiture through the archives of Vanity Fair magazine. Expect to see many familiar and famous faces in this exhibition depicting the history of celebrity portraiture 1913–2008.

Camo Party at Cube Friday 12 June 9pm til 5am For one night only Cube’s getting the camouflage treatment. Unless you want to be counted as AWOL, you’ll be pulling on your camo gear and making your way to base camp Cube for your tour of duty. More details p22.

To have your event included here email

REGULAR QUEER EVENTS! Mondays Gay & Lesbian Tennis 6pm – 9pm Turner Tennis Club, Cnr McCaughey and Condamine Streets. Bring a tennis racquet, sports shoes and $5. Tuesdays Dyke Dinner & Movie More info at ACTQueer, Canberra Lesbians on Facebook. Wednesdays Queer Card Night Nothing to do on a Wednesday nite, then join us at Hush. Details on p24. Wednesdays Gay & Lesbian Squash 6:00pm - 7:30pm National Sports Club, Mouat Street Lyneham. All Welcome. Thursdays Uni Night at Bar32 We’ve got your Thursday nights covered!! More details p27. Sunday Gay & Lesbian Breakfast Hush Lounge from 9am to 2pm More details on p24.

Check out for a full list of what’s happening in Canberra including local and national GLBTQ events

Saturdays Q Radio 7pm – 9pm 2XX, 98.3FM Canberra’s own GLBTQ radio show. Sundays Live Bands at Hush Chill out on Sunday arvos with friends. More details on p24. RAW FM: Girl Thing Wednesdays & Sundays from 7pm For girls who like girls. Presented by Tori Mac, Girl Thing is an hour of sexy house and electro served up girly style. RAW FM 87.6 or hear it through or Bears in Canberra Bears in the Bar: Sunday afternoons at O’Neill’s Irish Pub Woolley Street in Dickson on the first Sunday of the month from 3pm. Bears Dinners: third Friday of the month, a dinner and social evening for ‘Bears’ and like-minded men. Coming up Bears Xmas in July see ad p31.

Bit Bent: Youth Group For Canberra youth (12–25). A great place to meet other young people and get support and information if needed. It is also a great place to hang out. Every Monday at Uturn in Belconnen (6pm to 8pm) and Thursday at the Woden Youth Centre (5pm to 6.30pm). ACTOUT ACTOUT is an informal outdoorsie activities group for Canberra’s gay and lesbian community. More details on the Fuse website.

HANGOUTS Cube Nightclub Canberra’s premier gay night club. More details p22. The Hush Lounge A chilled bar for the whole GLBTQ community. More details p24. Bar32 Alternative gay friendly bar in Civic. More details p27.


Yasmin Element

Heidi Von Hottentot



Eurotrash, beer-wench, dumb-blonde from the Alps

If you were at the Fuse launch a couple of months ago then you would’ve seen her on stage, and maybe even rubbed shoulders (or tassels) with her afterwards... Or maybe you were one of the many in the audience who couldn’t resist but have your photo taken with her? Heidi likes old music, the kind you bop to. She may not be a great dancer, but she’s really good at bumping and grinding. Be careful though, because she will fall flat on her face if you ask her to do an arabesque. Heidi’s inspirations include Marilyn Monroe, Betty Boop, Liza Minnelli, and anyone kooky and offbeat. She also loves a good chase scene from the Benny Hill shows and any kind of booby grabbing. In fact, when it comes to booby grabbing Heidi says, ‘the more the merrier’. I think that just might be a challenge girls! Heidi is the brainchild of local performance artist, Yasmin Element. She brings a life-long passion for dancing, showing-off, and Madonna to her burlesque creation. And in return, Heidi’s performances bring Yasmin great joy, a big dollop of fun, and the opportunity to express her kooky and fun side. Yasmin has been drawn to sparkly, shiny things from a young age. As a member of a loud, attentionseeking family — which includes two professionally trained actors and an adult party plan hostess — she had to be “out there” to be seen and heard. ‘Entertainment is in my blood,’ Yasmin says, proudly. For the past 15 years Yasmin has been earning her living by taking her clothes off. For her, stripping came naturally. As a youngster, she was obsessed with Madonna. ‘Every bit of pocket money went into buying Madonna stuff’ and Yasmin spent hours and hours after school watching Madonna videos and practising all the dance moves with her (yet to emerge from the closet) school mates. So by the time she stood up to strip for the first time, it all came naturally to her. She also had a very open minded upbringing. ‘I grew up in a very open household with regards to nudity. Mum ran a party plan business selling lingerie and sex toys, and I’ve grown up around strippers and loud, sexually confident women all my life.’


Much to her dismay though, these days stripping has become less about entertainment and more about sleaze. Missing the old days as a stripper who would be in character and entertain a crowd, Yasmin found herself drawn to burlesque. As an art-form, burlesque allows the performers to create a character, entertain, and do a bit of stripping. Looking for a burlesque school in Canberra, Yasmin found Miss Kitka’s House of Burlesque, and signed up for her beginners course. It was just like stripping but more fun. Yasmin wants to dispel burlesque’s association with stripping, and show that it’s a funny thing, a comedic form of self expression and entertainment in which the artists express themselves in different ways. ‘It was a conscious decision to move out of sexy and into funny’, Yasmin says, ‘Miss Kitka really pushes her girls to move into kooky and funny, not just sexy’. But back to Heidi Von Hottentot... How did she come about? In the very complicated and complex world of entertainment, Heidi came about simply because of a beer-wench costume that Yasmin had just been given. From that day on, the character of Heidi kind of stuck. Heidi is always pretty much the same character played out in different scenarios. Her signature acts include two cowgirl acts — one which includes a pubic hair scalping from a sexy American Indian girl; a classical skirt dance; a gorilla act — where she strips out of a full fake-fur gorilla costume; a fan dance; and a 1920’s style flapper girl who tries to seduce her disinterested and rather unusual boyfriend. Even in her Hollywood-esque, glamour-girl persona on the cover of this issue of Fuse, you can’t help but detect a glimmer of Heidi’s kookiness. And her favourite act? A magic act, where performance partner, The Magnificent Liberté Belle (aka Lani Gerrish who produced A Stacked Deck, three day burlesque spectacular at this year’s Fringe Festival) is the magician and Heidi Von Hottentot her ditsy assistant. The two met at Miss Kitka’s School of Burlesque, and had an instant rapport due to their similarly bizarre sense of humour. They regularly perform together and anyone familiar with the Canberra burlesque scene knows that these two are some of the hardest working strippers in town. ‘It’s a hobby and can be tiring and expensive’ Yasmin says, ‘Fake eyelashes alone are very expensive, you know!’ But she loves getting dressed up in the burlesque garb.

‘Putting on a costume gives you a license to be incredibly feminine and to wear clothes that you wouldn’t normally wear. It’s like a dream come true for any person that likes fashion. And it heightens my fun side. At home I’m very grumpy and serious most of the time,’ Yasmin explains. As a person with depression, she finds that performing burlesque gets her outside of herself and brings out the comedian and entertainer. She finds it a very powerful tool for ridding herself of the lows of depression because when she is performing the whole focus is on Heidi and her silliness... and on having fun. ‘Yasmin may suffer from depression but Heidi doesn’t — Ever! Once Heidi is dolled up and in costume, my depression disappears.’ For the past three years, Yasmin has been entertaining Canberra audiences with her unique brand of burlesque. Interestingly, it’s been in the last six months that she has found herself inundated with requests to perform. Perhaps a sign that burlesque is enjoying a revival in Canberra and surrounding areas too? According to Yasmin, the mostly female audiences love burlesque because we love to see feminist satires of ourselves at our best, and at our worst. ‘Women love burlesque because the women are real and have all their faults and wobbly bits — the wobblier the better!’ And what about lesbian audiences? ‘They are very good for the ego. Everybody wants photos at the end… Lots of grabby, sitting-in-your-lap photos,’ Yasmin chuckles, ‘they think Heidi’s a hottie!’ And who can blame them? Gay men are infatuated with her too, yelling out ‘Heidi we love you!’ during her shows. But surprisingly, Yasmin says, ‘Heterosexual men are a little bit scared of Heidi ‘cause she’s so over the top. Men often turn up to see me perform thinking it’s gonna be like a regular sexy strip show and then feel threatened when they realise it isn’t.’ Burlesque has been part of the fringes of society for a long time but only recently has become mainstream popular. The burlesque revival, which started in the 90s in America, has made its way to Australia. It’s branched out to include other sub cultures — drag, goth, fetish, rockabilly, and punk burlesque such as The Suicide Girls. You may be more familiar with better known, more classical style burlesque acts like Dita Von Teese or even pop burlesque act such as The Pussy Cat Dolls. Even Britney’s new concert has a burlesque flavor to it. But don’t forget our very own Heidi Von Hottentot: traditional comic and way more funny than sexy. Eurotrash, beer wench, dumb-blonde-fromthe-Alps — whoever she is and however she entertains us, we love it!


By Nelida Contreras. A self confessed facebook junkie. She loves a good laugh, a good bit of dark chocolate and is madly in love with Uber Dyke. Photo by Nik Studio




{By Yasmin Element

BURLESQUE & DRAG Most people associate burlesque with stripping — but burlesque actually refers to a variety of performance styles including music, singing, dancing, comedy, tableaux, male/female impersonators, a whole lot of raunchy innuendo and, yes, the occasional striptease. The word burlesque comes from the Italian word burla, meaning joke or gag. Prior to burlesque becoming associated with striptease, it was a form of musical and theatrical parody in which an opera or piece of classical theatre was adapted in a humorous and often risqué style. The term “burlesque” was first used in ancient Europe to describe bawdy theatrical satires, with men playing the roles of both the male and female characters. Then in the early Victorian era — a time of culture clashes between the established aristocracy and a working class society — the burlesque halls featured shows that included comic sketches that made fun of the upper classes.



Cross dressing was a staple act in the burlesque halls with both men ...drag transcends both gender playing women’s roles and women and sexuality stereotypes... playing men. However, female performers were never trying to Modern burlesque is much the same with present a realistic portrayal of a man onstage. Instead, performers, usually female, often creating elaborate they were utilizing their masculine attire as a sort of fetish sets with colourful costumes, appropriate music object, emphasising their feminine sexuality by contrasting and dramatic lighting — and may even include it with symbols of masculinity. These practices ultimately novelty acts, such as aerial work or fire breathing, highlighted the constructed nature of both genders, to enhance the impact of their performance. It is calling into question accepted gender roles themselves. live entertainment that still encompasses pastiche, Adah Isaacs Menken was an important progenitor of cross-dressing performers. And while many actresses who played male roles would usually seek to reassure their public by conducting themselves with extreme femininity in their personal lives, Menken instead chose to embrace the controversy and exploit her androgynous appeal. To this day, although most burlesque involves women impersonating women, the burlesque performer still has a licence to act in a very unladylike fashion. She is able to transcend the social boundaries of her own gender, and therefore can do and say things other men and women only dream of. Popular burlesque as we know it today has its origins in the American form of burlesque. Lydia Thomson and her troupe of “British Blondes” introduced burlesque to New York in 1868 and American burlesque re-emerged as a populist blend of satire, performance art and adult entertainment. The term “burlesque” was used loosely to describe the adult revue shows in which striptease acts would perform — often with themes, characters or gimmicks.


parody and wit, with a variety of acts — all satirical and with a saucy edge. The cross dressing tradition has continued in contemporary or neo-burlesque. In some respects the gay and transgender community has kept the burlesque tradition alive in the decades between burlesque’s demise in the 1960’s and the current burlesque revival. Drag queens and kings have reigned in gay nightclub venues all over the world with their bawdy and exaggerated impersonations and their sexual innuendos. Drag kings have kept the art of women impersonating men alive and the Gurlesque lesbian strip shows in Sydney practically pioneered the burlesque revival in Oz. Burlesque is becoming increasingly popular in the Gay scene and it will probably continue to be popular long after the mainstream trend has died out, as it is an art and entertainment form that transcends both gender and sexuality stereotypes. If you wish to know more about learning and performing burlesque in Canberra email




By Tony Hamlyn

The Buzz* ATTENTION ALL THEATRE QUEENS! Prepare yourselves for an onslaught of living legends who are touring our shores this year. First to arrive is Bernadette Peters, who will be playing two exclusive nights in Adelaide for their annual Arts Festival in early June. Widely regarded as Stephen Sondheim’s muse, Ms Peters possesses a voice of an angel and a Broadway career that is completely unflinching. In July, stage juggernauts Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lupone (kids, ask your gay dads about these two!) hit the East Coast capital cities on their “An Evening With…” tour. Having starred in the original Evita together, this should be an amazing evening of theatre old and new. And then, in October, (drum roll please…) the great Liza Minnelli performs at The Sydney Opera House and a number of other capital cities. Now, it’s true Liza ain’t what she used to be, but the show got rave reviews during its Broadway season earlier this year, and who wouldn’t pay top dollar to be there as she bares her soul onstage to a swooning audience of gay men and middle-aged Mosman housewives? Count me in! Tickets available at

THE MISS USA PAGEANT Not always the most obvious platform for political debate... Until recently when guest judge, Perez Hilton, posed the question to Miss California as to whether all US states should legalise same-sex marriage. She politely, but undiplomatically, came back with the old chestnut “…marriage should be between a man and a woman” and now the US media are predictably going nuts over the issue. As far as I’m concerned, the more baffling and salient issue of course is how the hell celebrity Blog-Trog, Perez Hilton, could ever be considered qualified to judge a beauty pageant. Nonetheless the incident has put Carrie Prejean, who finished runner-up, well and truly into the spotlight — which no doubt annoys the hell out of Miss North Carolina who actually won the title but hasn’t had half the publicity. With the finest political, societal and legal of minds wrestling with this topic, how nice to see young Miley Cyrus, when asked the same question, come back with this perfectly simple comment: “I believe that EVERYONE deserves to be happy. That’s all I’m saying.” From the mouths of babes!


STAR TREK Movie buffs are in for such a huge treat this month with the release of both the new Star Trek and the new Wolverine movie. If you have not seen Star Trek yet, a friend of a friend of a friend saw it, and to use his words, “Imagine the most awesome thing you can think of... well, this is more awesome than that!” High praise, indeed! JJ. Abrahms who brought us Lost and Alias on the small screen, has taken the Enterprise back to its very young, very innocent beginnings of Starfleet — and this film looks like it could very well go on to be the highest grossing of all the Star Trek series.

HUGH JACKMAN IS WOLVERINE Wolverine is a gem of an idea, looking at what made the mysterious X Man into the mutant hero we know today. Three words for this one: Hugh Jackman’s body! Strike a light, this boy is white hot and this film is a must for all X Men fans out there. But don’t worry if you’re new to the franchise as this won’t require any prior knowledge and you won’t be tested afterwards.

POOR LINDSAY LOHAN The relentless and oh so public demise of Lindsay Lohan’s relationship with rough trade DJ Samantha Ronson is the train-wreck you simply can’t turn away from. For those who haven’t been keeping up, a few weeks back reports began surfacing that Linds was refused entry to a party for Samantha’s sister at LA’s fabulous Chateau Marmont and went ballistic, storming off to another venue with her mother and downing vodka straight from the bottle. This all depends on which celebrity website you actually subscribe to, but the image really is too fabulously Hollywood not to mention, right? Samantha then apparently changed the locks on their Hollywood Hills love nest, and the Ronson family approached the authorities to have a restraining order put on the poor girl. Lindsay jumped straight onto Twitter and publicly chastised Ronson for breaking her heart — ordinary behaviour for most inconsolable, messed-up youths, except of course tabloids don’t follow your little sister’s Twitter entries the way they do Lindsay Lohan’s. Ouch! Next came her appearance on Ellen where she tearfully confessed to being hurt and heartbroken and all but begged the film-making community to re-hire her, regardless of her looking like a stick insect in a Raquel Welch wig. Taking Ellen’s heartfelt advice, Linds got away to Hawaii with her sister where she (you guessed it…) hooked up with a number of male suitors and got herself a hell of a tan in the meantime. It’s unending and playing out like text-book ‘my first lesbian relationship’ really. I mean who hasn’t called for a restraining order when things get out of hand? See, celebrities even us all out. One thing’s for sure, Linds won’t be the poster girl for same-sex relationships any time soon.

ROBERT PATTINSON’S GAY SEX SCENES Twilight heartthrob, Robert Pattinson will play a gay, eighteen year old Salvador Dalí in a new British film called Little Ashes. The film is about the strange, complex and forbidden love between the Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca and surrealist painter Salvador Dalí. The two men meet at University in Madrid in 1922 and are drawn to each other through their mutual love of art and the avantgarde. Their friendship becomes a meeting of minds and souls and reaches a climax in two very raunchy gay underwater sex scenes. The film is due for release in Australia in December 2009.





By Alex Thatcher & Christopher Powell Photo by Tom Roberts

Welcome to my


Born in Canberra, the musically ambidextrous

Kim Churchill

Hot blues and roots artist and self confessed Merimbula surfer bum

Kim’s distinct blues and roots sound was unfamiliar to me ...but somehow comforting to my soul. Even though I’m a hardcore “hand bag” music fan, when I first saw Kim Churchill perform I couldn’t drag myself away. I have been playing his album non-stop ever since. Kim, although young, is a true master of his own music. He describes his sound as a hybrid of all his influences: roots, blues and classical. If you listen carefully you can’t help but notice that his special brand of music is also heavily influenced by his other passion, the Australian surf. Kim has certainly received some high praise. His music style and guitar technique have been compared to John Butler and Xavier Rudd. He recently performed with Australian blues legend, Lloyd Spiegel, who said, “Kim’s a great young guitarist... it’s his ability to create new techniques and sounds from the instrument that stands out and will ultimately carry him to leaving his stamp on the Australian [music] scene.” We caught up with Kim this month and had a quick chat about his music, his life and his ambitions.


Fuse: The first time I heard you it was at Canberra’s Old Bus Depot Markets. I, along with many other people there, were totally mesmerised by your music. Do you find you always have that effect on people?

So where did you grow up? I was actually born in Canberra, then moved to the small coastal town of Merimbula later on. I do have a lot of memories from my early years in Canberra and find that I fondly reminisce about a lot of my childhood. But the coast and the beach is certainly my life and I find now that even after a few days inland I begin to become homesick. It’s kind of like a drug. When I think of the Australian beach culture it conjures up wonderful images of a sand, surfies and a laidback lifestyle. Has this had any impact on your music? Totally! Surfing is not a sport, it’s a lifestyle and I find that it is present in all aspects of my music and my life. I mean, I travel around in a hi–top van from surf break to surf break, it’s everything to me. Music is not only my passion but my medium for living this life. It’s a bloody joke how much fun it is. You seem to be a classic good looking Aussie beach boy, do you think that helps your popularity? Ha ha…thanks. I think that music is something that you listen to and feel — and no matter what someone looks like, in the end it’s their music and the vibe they can create that will lead them to where they are most happy. I mean, I know that there are many artists who have strongly pushed their image and that this is also pretty important in making a mark on the industry. I try to stay healthy and try to be myself as much as I can, and I hope that I create an image that is a true representation of who I am. What would you like to accomplish in your life and with your music? I just want to have a blast, and I want to make as many people as I can feel good. I mean, hell, I wouldn’t mind buying a couple of killer surf boards and guitars along the way. I just want to have enough money to fund myself to surf and play music until I am too old to move. It would be pretty wicked to play to thousands of people at a time, but, I guess that’s a bit of dream. If you couldn’t be a singer what would you be? A surfer…der. Ha ha, as I was growing up I always put surfing and music hand in hand as what I wanted to do. After getting flogged at a couple of big surf comps when I was younger I realised pretty quick that it wouldn’t make me a living. So music drew the short straw as my job whereas surfing is more like my hobby.

You seem to be very talented at playing several  instruments, and all at once I see... Yeah, I seem to have slowly acquired more and more instruments. I have been heavily influenced by guys like Xavier Rudd and Juzzie Smith, and it’s certainly taken its toll. I play the guitar essentially, and for a long time I was conscious to not let other instruments take away from that. Since then I have sorta decided that I would rather make the best sound that I can — so now I have a stomp box (which is like a kick drum) under one foot, a tambourine under the other foot, the guitar, harmonica and singing. I gather you write your own music. How does your song writing process work? Man, song writing is a fickle thing. I spend weeks without writing a thing, and then smash four songs out in a day. I guess it’s about emotions, vibe and energy. If they all match up, then you just gotta sit down and go for it. It’s a great way to express, and even to work out things and feelings within you that you didn’t understand. Have you won any awards, I noticed you have been nominated for a few things? Yeah I was announced youth folk artist of the year at this year’s National Folk Festival in Canberra — that was pretty cool. I also entered a busking competition in Byron Bay. The prize was a spot at Bluesfest and some recording time in 301 Studios at Byron (Xavier Rudd, Powderfinger and Grinspoon have recorded there). It spanned about three days of heats and a final on the fourth day, and I managed to win that also. What’s been your most memorable moments? I recently had the chance to play harmonica with one of my hero’s, Ash Grunwald, and that was pretty special. The first time I busked at a local market and made like 40 bucks in half an hour. I realised that I could have fun practicing towards my dream, and make enough money doing it to get by. Since then I have never looked back. What are your plans for the future? I have some good tours lined up, and some fun festivals. My dream future really just involves a lot of good waves, fun gigs and meeting great people. Kim will be performing at The Hush Lounge on Sunday 5th July at 1pm. See ad p06.

IN ONE WORD • Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton? Clinton • John Travolta or Nicholas Cage? Who!? • India or New York? India (I love its history, painful but incredibly intriguing) • Fairy lights of sparklers? Sparklers • Daleks or Cybermen? Daleks • Savings or credit? Savings • Favorite food? Muesli (and yoghurt).

Kim: I find busking is a really fun way to practice playing but most importantly “creating” my own audience. I guess it’s not the most flattering way to perform but the buzz that I get, and I feel the audience often gets, is far greater as it is an entirely spontaneous connection that all of us have created together.

When and how did you start making music? Quite a while ago. It was my mum who originally got me playing, when I was about four or five. She spent a few months learning the basics so she could teach me — good ol’ mum. Then dad got me involved in classical guitar, which carried me through ‘til I was about sixteen. But really, since I was little, I have been raised on a diet of folk and blues music, and this has been most important to me.

See Kim online at:



{By Kristy Janszen Boot camps have proven to be extremely popular in Canberra over the last two years. Head out to Lake Burley Griffin for an early morning run and you are bound to come across at least five or more companies based at the grounds around the lake. With so many companies and gyms offering this service, which one is right for you?

BOOT• CAMP• alicious Here are some important tips when choosing the boot camp to help you achieve your goals: Is your trainer qualified? All boot camp instructors must have current insurance and first aid and CPR training, be boot camp or outdoor exercise certified and a member of Fitness ACT. Is your trainer aware of you? A quality boot camp session should always have two instructors who should take no more than 25 participants per group. Your instructor should be fully aware of any conditions/injuries you might have through your pre-screen paperwork and should take them into consideration in all sessions. Instructors should also be able to cater for all fitness levels to ensure everyone is being delivered a safe and effective workout.


Variety and progression. Each Session should be different to ensure your body isn’t adapting to what you are doing. This is why Boot Camps break that dreadful fitness/weight loss plateau. Instructors should also give you options, whether it is adjusting the level of an exercise to suit your capability, fitness testing or session goals.

Even though you are in a group environment, your instructors should also set individual goals for each person as well. No one group has all the same fitness, strength and experience levels.

Environment and equipment — do you feel safe? Although Boot Camp is intended to take you out of your comfort zone, your safety is the instructor’s main priority and the environment around you should reflect this. Any equipment used should first be explained, demonstrated and practiced, then you should continue with full supervision and support throughout the session. Little extras you should expect. General support and guidance should be available throughout your program — a good instructor will help in any way they can. This includes ringing you when you miss a session, offering girth measurement or weigh-ins and assisting in healthier eating plans.



{By Brendan Farnhill

So you’ve got an interest in keeping fit and healthy but you struggle to find people with similar interests. Well there is no need to worry... the answer is simple. Where do you go if you’re trying to find friends to go out and party with? You go to a nightclub to meet people who are also out to party. So why can’t the same concept work when it comes to finding people who enjoy looking after their bodies? If you’re looking for people who share the common interest of keeping fit and healthy, then you need to look for them where they are going to do it. There are heaps of different things that people do to keep fit; from running and bike riding to weights training and group fitness. No matter what your interests are, you just need to follow them to find these people. But what do you do then? You don’t feel confident enough to just walk up and start talking to people! Well, that’s where the workout factor helps you out. Exercise has this wonderful effect of releasing endorphins into your body, which helps to give you that natural energy lift and can help to increase your confidence, because when you’re feeling good on the inside, it oozes on through to the outside. This increased energy and confidence, combined with the physical changes that you notice happening to your body — whether it be the love handles shrinking, the biceps bulging or even just being able to fit into the skinny people clothes — you will start to feel like Superman or Wonder Woman, invincible with no one able to break your stride.

Ok, so we know you might be new to all of this and need a little bit of help, so we’ve asked a Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor from Alive! Health & Fitness to help us out a bit. “Group Fitness is an excellent way to meet new people and to make your workout not feel like a workout. The instructor up on that stage is sure to lighten the mood and help you out throughout the whole class. And they are always around before and after the classes to even help you meet new people!” Now we have also figured out another benefit to this whole workout thing. So yeah, you’re getting in and meeting all these new people, and you’re starting to look and feel really good, but there’s still a little empty spot that you’re feeling — that special someone. Well you’re in luck, because what better way to meet someone that you’re going to be able to get along with. First you start to exercise and socialise with them. You start to become good friends, get to know them a bit more, and then hey, you could very well have Mr or Ms Right directly in front of you. Everything is made for you now; you have the great body you have always wanted, an awesome circle of friends that share the same interests as you, and now you have that special someone to spend quality time with — and kick your butt out of bed for an early morning class. When it comes down to it, it makes sense to look at gyms for people with common interests to yours. And hey, if it doesn’t work for you, you’ve always got those cute Trainers and Instructors to perve on.




Too many people adhere to the cult of serial monogamy; but I actually think we need to ‘spread the love’ amongst as many people as possible. Our community would be a much more loving place if we dispensed with long term relationships, which have few redeeming features. Let’s look at the pluses of multiple lovers. Having taken a new lover, conversational skills are redundant when you’re enjoying the dance without underpants. Admittedly, you have to practise safe sex ‘cause you don’t know where they’ve been, but that’s a minor point. Conveniently, when you’re tired of their presence you can pack them off home, make other plans, spend time with your other single friends, and party and flirt with whomever you fancy. And spread yourselves about, people — spread the love generously!


By Yvonne Wigman

Think of it — you’ve got the freedom to eat chocolate coated milk arrowroots in bed, hunker down with your moggie, pooch or ferret, and be as slovenly or anal about your place as you like. Better still, you don’t have to grocery shop with a lover or argue over who puts out the wheelie bin. Best of all, you can end things quietly and amicably when someone doesn’t blow your tin-whistle satisfactorily — easy-peasy. Let’s face it: multiple lovers = never lonely, never unwanted. And the service you’re doing the community is immeasurable, you little love-limpet, you! So what if people in long-term relationships enjoy recognising the person they wake up with; seem comfortable and relaxed with their same-old, same-old main-squeeze; and know intimately the person they’re elbowing when they giggle, “look at that!” in the mall. Selfish of them, really: they could be spreading the love amongst us all. So enough with the long-term relationships already! Do your community proud and get out there — no holding back, you miserly monogamists! It’s time for positive action, don’t you think?


By Alexander Abbey

CHANGE OR NOT? When we enter a new relationship, there is that natural sheer elation at just having someone to call your own and you generally feel on top of the world. Inevitably we carry on through the initial honeymoon period and we begin to see not only our own true colours but our respective partner’s faults and failings also. This is where I constantly find myself debating whether personal change for the sake of a relationship is really worth doing? Inconveniently of late, I’ve been of the mind-set that everything happens for a reason and I decided to jump onboard the change-for-the-sake-of-therelationship band wagon and head for the bright lights of personal fulfilment. For my experience, the wagon inevitably runs out of petrol, gets a flat battery, has a puncture or something to that effect and I end up in an even worse spot than where I started: On the highway to nowhere, pretending to be someone I’m not, miles from home and even further from personal fulfilment. Whilst strolling down this metaphoric highway I can’t help but think whether we should have to change at all for a relationship to work? As a product of 21st century society, I can’t help but feel that I shouldn’t have to change, that I’m a decent catch the way I am and I should not have to endure a Hollywood style transformation á la Grease. Perhaps my opinion is flawed. Maybe it’s naive to think that we can avoid change in a relationship? I know that naturally it will occur over time, I’m fine with that, I just don’t want someone to change the person that my life has shaped me into in order to suit their own needs. Ultimately I’m happy for evolutionary change in a relationship, just not revolutionary change.



We do love to shop! It seems that shopping has become almost a staple of life in our modern society. For some it’s a love/hate relationship and for others it’s as important as the air we breathe. These are some of the fabulous things we love.


{ LUMIX-G DIGITAL CAMERA Panasonic made big waves in the digital camera world when they announced their first Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens camera at the end of last year. It was smaller than a traditional DSLR but with tons of high end features including a 12 megapixel MOS sensor, 3-inch flip out rotating LCD, live view recording, and a range of interchangeable lenses.

I just don’t think we can be reminded enough about the importance of looking after our little world a bit better.


Carbon Jargon is truly a fabulous little book about making sense of the science of climate change. It provides some simple explanations about climate change and has heaps of practical suggestions about how you can help. $15.00 BLOW UP STYLE

The new LUMIX DMC-GH1 model adds full HD (1920 x 1080) video recording, making it even sweeter. Scheduled release June ‘09 for $3299 (but if you have a spare $6600, then you can buy two and give one to me).

PRODUCT REVIEW Picture this readers... your editor throws you an interesting little blue package and says with a grin, ‘Here you go, review this one; I hear that you are right into these!’ On inspection, I come across the “Ultime” personal massager from the Natural Contours company, whose motto “It’s great to be a woman,” made me shiver with delight. Admittedly, for the first time in my life I actually read the leaflet that came with it as I wanted to see what the company promised with this product. Phrases such as “stylish” and “discreet” were mentioned and on examination of the personal massager, I would agree that in the case of those random suitcase searches at airports, unless they had used


Blofield from Holland have created this hip and extremely portable inflatable couch. Perfect for those of you who move a lot.


Available in one, two and three seaters to enhance your apartment, or even patio by the pool. Not sure how comfortable they would be, but pretty damn cool nonetheless. Apparently they’re looking for an Australian distributor.

one, those pesky security guards would have a hard time distinguishing exactly what you were carrying on board! Upon using the “Ultime” I found it to be smooth and contoured exactly how the manufacturer had intended. However, the seams at the side did cause a bit of angst with the pubic hair if you know what I mean! Having said that, for first time buyers of personal massagers the “Ultime” is a good first product and gives you a well rounded experience of what is on the market at the moment — and for $89.00 it’s certainly worth it for the price. Mz Rose would rate it as a stock standard piece of equipment in the toolbox.

Available in Australia from


By Rose Pappalardo

GLASS ARM JEWELRY These stunning armlets are created by Canberra Glassworks artist Ruth Allen. Holding strong spiritual ties to New Zealand, Ruth’s armlet forms and shapes directly reflect her south pacific origin. The crystal glass ring is worn on the upper arm. $360.00

POWERBALL GYROSCOPE Oh I so wanted one of these. I thought it was the coolest gyroscope gismo thing I’d ever seen. It’s the boy toy for men who have everything else ;-) Powerball call it the definitive sports instrument for athletes, enthusiasts and hobbyists (whatever they do). I bought it because it looked like great fun, supposedly builds strength in you wrists (no jokes people) and arms. Oh, and it glows like a star while it is spinning. The faster it spins the brighter it becomes. Truly fascinating when played with inside a darkened room with friends. However, it took me a good few weeks to get the bloody thing working and then when I did... I kinda lost interest. The only thing I can think of that would hold my attention less is an iPhone app version of it... (sigh). Oh well... it still looks cool on my desk.

With a massive presence in Canberra, RAW 87.6FM is one of the fastest growing radio networks in the nation. We got a whole stack of their massively popular RAW09 CD mixed by Chris Fraser and Jeff Drake. With a hot track listing including Eyerer & Chopstik, Princess Superstar, Peter Gelderblom vs Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Inaya Day, Chris Lake and Young Punx, plus Chris Fraser and Jeff Drake — this CD is a must in any dance collection! Log on to and check out the Fuse freebies page for your chance to pickup a free RAW09 CD.



Check out YouTube for some hotties using it. $69.95 at sports stores.




OH BABY The latest Issey Miyake timepiece collab, is pure beauty. It slightly resembles some of the early FOSSIL watches, but they were pretty cool as well. Available September ‘09. No price yet.


MEN OF AUSTRALIA This sexy card series celebrates the spirit of diversity, rugged charm and good looks of the Aussie guy next door. Regular blokes hanging out at beaches, sporting grounds, gyms, country towns and cities. There’s probably one living next door to you. For even more hot Aussie guys check out the website, you’ll never look back. FUSE has three sets of these incredibly sexy all Aussie male greeting card packs. Log on to and check out the Fuse freebies page for your chance to pickup one of these hot card sets.



CUBE where it’s in to be out

33 Petrie Plaza Civic, Canberra City

Girl Thing Friday 5th June

A night of electro & house music just for the girls with DJ Tori Mac. FREE pool & FREE entry until 11pm plus discounted selected drinks. Men welcome after 1am.

Camo Party Friday 12th June Attention! For one night only Cube’s getting the camouflage treatment. Unless you want to be counted as being AWOL, you’ll be pulling on your camo gear and making your way to base camp Cube for your tour of duty. We’ll be marching from 2100 hours with Sergeant DJ Matt Chavasse taking the lead. FREE entry & the chance to win a paintball experience if in camo. At Cube we don’t care where you’ve been before...


Last month we had two long weekends and two fabulous events to keep us busy. If you missed any of the action, here’s what we got up to: Early April saw the ladies gather for another installment of Girl Thing with the hot and very talanted DJ Tori Mac. Girl Thing was Cube’s first Pink Sofa sponsored chapter of the women’s only event and had us giving out free Pink Sofa memberships and other awesome goodies.

Next up was Cube’s MasQUEERade with the musical stylings of DJ Peter Dorree along with a visual treat in the form of two very talented fire twirlers who kept us both entertained and warm throughout the night. Everyone looked great in their masks.





Corner of Launceston & Irving Streets Phillip • 02 6282 1944


It’s like one big family at Hush. Live Bands, Awesome Food & Cockle Warmers The perfect place to meet up with friends, enjoy a drink, listen to great music, have a birthday party, grab a bite to eat or just chill out! Hush Lounge is for you. Gay guys and girls, trans-genders, bisexuals, queers and all our straight friends. Come one come all.

WHAT’S ON! Sunday 14th June: 2pm - 6pm Glaciers: A Canberra based three piece indie and alternative rock/pop band formed in early 2008. Supported by Andrew Percuso: Solo blues, country and rootsy covers.

THEATRE: HARD ON! 3 Nights Only! 3rd, 4th, 5th June Shows start at 8pm! Hard On was the underground cult hit of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras 2009, selling out the two week run and enthralling audiences with their crazy Mardi Gras antics (see ad p06). Sunday 7th June: 2pm - 6pm 80’s Haircut: Eighties cover band! Yeah! Saturday 13th June Kocktails & Karaoke: We know it’s not spelt the right way but we don’t care!!! Just like we don’t mind if you sing out of tune, in fact we encourage it.


Sunday 21st June: 2pm - 6pm Lazy Jayne: Beautiful accoustic melodies on a range of instruments including guitars, lute, didgeridoo and slide guitar, with excellent vocals/harmonies. You’ll love them :-) Thursday 25th June Stand-up comedy night: Laughter is the best medicine! Saturday 27th June Fundraiser for “Trans-day of Action” featuring the Canberra Kings. Sunday 5th July: 1pm - 4pm Kim Churchill: Roots and Blues. “His guitar technique is gob-smacking, very groovy melodies, he really must be seen to be believed.” ~ Merimbula News Weekly Every Week at HUSH • Wednesday night is card night. • Live music every Sunday from 2pm. • Breakfast every Sunday from 9am to 2pm.




WARMER Who wouldn’t like their cockles warmed by Nathan? Well now you can... for a price! Nathan told us how he invented the drink: “I created the Cockle Warmer with a desire for a nice warm winter cocktail. Tropical mixers and crushed ice drinks just seem a bit wrong in the cold months! It started off as Kahlúa, vodka and milk but that seemed too much like a Hot Russian ( Chekov in Star Trek!?). I wanted to make it a bit different and sweeter so I swapped the vodka for butterscotch schnapps and voila! I give you the Cockle Warmer. May it warm your cockles and put a smile on your face this winter. Mix one shot of schnapps and one shot of Kahlúa in a tall glass. Top up with hot cappuccino froth from a coffee machine. Sprinkle with chocolate flakes.”

Grab one at HUSH!





Across the week Bar 32 plays Indie, Pop, Rock, Dance and much more. A friendly atmosphere with great bar staff and security.

THE LINE UP UNI NIGHT THURSDAYS 9PM TILL 2AM All you students over studying and just want to party?! We’ve got your night covered! Whether you’re at uni, tafe or you’re a friend of a student... We’re ready to school you in fun!!! Fantastic Video DJ entertainment all night! $3.50: Basic Spirits — Smirnoff Vodka, Slate, Gordons Gin, Bundy, JW Scotch. $3.50: House Red, White & Sparkling. $4.00: Carlton Draft & Extra Dry. Excludes long weekends. 18+ ID required. 4 drinks max. per person.

REV EVERY FRIDAY! FROM 9PM Indie music videos on our LCD screens — choose your own songs from our new Video Juke Box! REV is Bar 32’s club night that plays only the latest and greatest Indie, Alternate, Rock, Pop, Dance tunes.

INIDE + ALTERNATIVE + DANCE = SHAKEDOWN SATURDAYS Saturday night Shakedown sees an awesome combination of Indie, Alternative and Dance music. Bar 32 brings their newest night to the punters of Canberra. Bar 32 is perfect for functions; why not hire the upstairs lounge with bar and dance the night away? Bar 32 is at 32 Northbourne Ave in the heart of Canberra City in the historic Sydney Building Visit and become a VIP member. 32 Northbourne Avenue (Sydney Building) Canberra ACTION bus stop No. 10 is right outside our front door. • 02 6162 3232

} FUSE 27



By Alexander Thatcher




I was among the first to be stimulated by Mr Rudd to the tune of $900 — and I didn’t even have to have a baby to get it! My biggest decision now is do I want a new Denon stereo, a wardrobe update or a week drinking cocktails on the Sunshine Coast. And can I have all three? Opinions have been running strong about Mr Rudd’s stimulus rollouts. Some economists and politicians hailing the ‘spend your way out of recession’ as a brilliant solution while others say it will doom us to financial ruin. In March this year, former National Party officer, Bryan Pape, even tried taking the Federal Government to the High Court, saying that the tax payouts were unconstitutional and violated State’s rights. The High Court subsequently ruled against the challenge. Whether you agree or disagree (I’m in two minds personally), I’ve not heard of anybody sending their cheque back yet. I wonder if Bryan Pape did. Bryan? It seems to me that if the Rudd Labor Government truly believes that giving around 8.7 million tax payers a share of their 42 billion dollar package can solve our financial and employment woes, then I suggest — just like the Howard Government before them — they employ some good old fashion discrimination. Why, you may gasp? The answer’s simple. Us ‘gays’ — and I use that as a general term — know how to live well and spend big. Oh yeah! Hundreds of studies and polls done over many years, including recently, tell us that as a community, not only is our disposable income much higher than our heterosexual counter parts — up to 60 per cent in fact — but we also know how to spend it. In my Self Obsession article in FUSE#01, I mentioned that current surveys show that gay men and lesbians are more focused on luxuries, leisure, eating out, homewares, entertainment and travel than other demographics. And the gay boys in particular spend a massive 600 per cent more on clothes than everybody else (well, apart from Amy Winehouse of course, who was recently forced to spend $40,000 on clothes after finally eating a decent meal... but I digress). As a community, we are always doing a great deal of economic boosting — and I have not even mentioned hugely successful events like Mardi Gras that pour massive amounts into the economy annually. Yes, finally discrimination is the answer. Finally it has a use. Like Howard’s baby bonus which only new mums and dads got (suffice to say, I was not among the recipients), the personal stimulus tax bonuses should only go to “gays”. Because if somebody can spend Australia out of recession, it’s us! I recently decided to road test my theory with my straight and gay friends by asking them what they would do with their stimulus cheques. This is what I got: Hetero’s — ‘We’re putting it towards our mortgage,’ ‘Buying a banjo for $200 and then putting the rest in my maternity leave fund’ and ‘We’ve decided to put it into our savings.’ Queers — ‘A nice Paul Smith suit at David Jones and maybe treat myself to a mani/pedi,’ ‘We’re using it for a weekend away together’ and ‘Oh I bought a flashy new laptop with mine’. So there you go, it’s not concrete and I do have an agenda here, but hey, it makes sense to me. If you want to spend your way out of a recession then give the money to people that will spend it. Savings... oh please, spare me!



MONEY HABITS I love Canberra in the autumn. Trees shedding leaves is a great metaphor in the context of your financial life. What money habits and attitudes do you need to shed in order to move forward with your financial goals? Do you find it hard to save? Do money issues come between you and your partner? Do you have money secrets from your partner? These are common occurrences as we all have different thoughts, feelings and attitudes. Money is often one topic that we do not speak of, sometimes until it is too late. How do we approach these discussions with our partner? I often find myself in a very privileged place, sharing a conversation between two people around their hopes, dreams and goals for life. This area is sometimes very tricky to navigate as you start to get to know someone and then as the ‘honeymoon’ period ends you start a financial life together. Do you set up joint accounts? Buy a house together? How should this be structured to protect your interests? I use a number of tools with clients to discuss our different habits and attitudes around money. Often finding that one person is the money

manager while the other is more of a free spirit around money. It is possibly these opposites that spark our initial attraction. However, having a healthy money life together is important to strengthen your relationship. Doing this in a safe nonjudgemental way is also important to ensure each partner can have their say. It is not always going to be easy. I suggest, as a start, to be honest with yourself and your partner and don’t be afraid to seek assistance if you need to upskill in a particular area. As this time of year shows letting go, or like nature stripping back to the basics, can start an amazing process towards renewal and securing your financial life together. Scott Malcolm is the director of Money Mechanics and authorised to provide financial services advice through PATRON Financial Advice AFSL 307379





By Debbie Tonkin

In terms of the Cass theory, it seems to follow that most people will want to reach stage three or four (tolerance and acceptance) before ‘coming out’ to others. Many of the parents I spoke to waited up to five years to come out to their children, citing reasons such as worrying about children’s reactions, they were too young and they wouldn’t understand. Some were actually confronted by their children about their sexuality; these mothers then told their children they were indeed a lesbian.

Coming out is a common story in the GLBTQ community: we sit, tell our story and share a connection with strangers through this story. For many people it was traumatic, for many it was exhilarating, for many people it is about when our lives truly began, well at least it was for me anyway. I came out in 2002 after leaving my husband and moving to Canberra from Queensland. It was a monumental move which left me both drained and yet excited! I wasn’t sure how to tell my 13-year-old daughter her mother was a lesbian, so I decided that I would wait until I met somebody significant and tell her then. About 18 months later I began a significant relationship with a woman and decided to ring my daughter. I told her that the woman who was often with me when she rang was in fact my girlfriend — I think ‘cool’ was the response I got! From then it has been easy sailing and she has been totally accepting of my life and partners. For me it was a positive experience but it was important for me to wait until I was ready to tell my daughter, as was echoed by others in the Canberra lesbian community. I spoke with a number of women and I found that the old, but still good, Cass Model* of coming out is still relevant; Cass theorised that the first two stages of coming out were about confusion — ‘am I gay?’ And then accepting the possibility they might be gay. Coming out really begins with coming out to yourself, admitting to yourself, ‘yes I’m gay’. This can take a long time or be an epiphany in a sudden moment.


Some children didn’t learn by the good old sibling ‘osmosis’ and found out by accident later down the track. Some adult children still don’t know their mother is a lesbian, due to concerns about that child’s reaction. Most women stated that relationships with their children were now very good and there were no issues with their sexuality, good interactions with their partners and some adult children even exploring their own sexuality and discussing it with their mothers. Over all it seems coming out to your kids seems to be one of the hardest things to do and there is very little literature about it. As parents are generally intuitive about their children, taking it slow, talking at their age level and being prepared to answer many questions honestly may be the best road to take when you are ready to come out to them. * Cass_identity_model









OzCots is a local based charity that supports Cotlands, an orphanage for HIV positive children in South Africa. OzCots was formed in 2003 after Canberran, Despina Voudouris went on a safari holiday and did some volunteer work at Cotlands orphanage in Johannesburg. She arrived with sixteen kilos of toys and after returning home she knew that she had to do more to support the kids at Cotlands.


Since 2003 OzCots has raised over $170,000 and in addition 24 Canberran volunteers have spent time at Cotlands, through the four leadership programs. These programs provide the opportunity for volunteers to spend time at Cotlands ­— to impart and gain skills. Upon return participants raise funds for Cotlands, where 90% of funds go to their ‘favoured project’. Recently four local volunteers spent one month with different outreach programs that are run to support children who are affected or infected with HIV. Bec Cormack, a volunteer who was in South Africa said, “We spent time in Hospice, Sanctuary and Educare. We were very impressed with the level of care, love and attention the children received at Cotlands. This has been a trip of a life time and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to make a real difference to real people with real life crises. The money raised is helping children who have been denied a childhood due to HIV/AIDS.’ ‘We helped to build garden beds for the Garden Scheme at the Cotlands Community Centre in Soweto.’ The Garden Scheme will ensure there is the provision of fresh vegetables for the children. In order to ensure the Anti Retro Viral medication is effective, good nutrition is paramount; hence why the garden scheme is pivotal to assist people have control over their condition.’ Cotlands provides the full continuum of care to vulnerable children, with services ranging from home based care of HIV positive children through to end stage palliative care for children with AIDS. Emphasis is placed on supporting the child and their family in the community through various outreach programs, which include home based care, orphan care, counselling services and nutrition. The residential component is only used in emergency situations for acute, chronic and terminally ill children who cannot be cared for at home or children who have been orphaned or abandoned.


Despina told us that the $200 raised for OzCots at the Fuse launch will ensure that an HIV affected child will receive specialised education. It costs approximately $2,500 a year to provide developmentally delayed children who have a variety of learning difficulties with specialised schooling, within a therapeutic and nurturing learning environment. If you would like to make a donation to OzCots go to their website at or contact Despina on 0408 026 416.

How long has it been since you turned on the evening news, opened the daily paper or flicked on the radio to be met with a positive news story on real estate? If you’re like us, you probably can’t remember the last time. The year 2008 was one of uncertainty across the entire globe — including the property market — and the negative reports just kept on coming. Now we’re here to tell you it’s not all doom and gloom out there! At Richard Luton Properties we know that every cloud has a silver lining, so here are the positives. At the beginning of the 2009 everyone was anticipating a huge wave of properties coming onto the market, softening it further and pushing property prices lower due to increased choice for buyers. The good news for sellers is that this hasn’t occurred and yet there is still enough properties out there for buyers to choose from — both the established housing market and new housing market are booming! What we’re seeing are fewer properties on the market and a positive impact with house prices firming up.


By Jason Roses

The Federal Government’s Stimulus Package coupled with the increased First Home Owners Grant has meant a massive influx of buyers, all competing for the few available properties.



The real questions remains as to whether the First Home Owners Grant will be extended or will it end on June 30th. At this stage there have been no real concrete decisions made by the government, even though insiders have speculated the Federal Government will extend the First Home Owners Scheme in the May Budget. Whatever the case may be we are big believers in always making a positive light out of anything. Once you have made that decision to buy or sell, enjoy every moment.











So the time has come to replace your car, or purchase your first… Where to from here? Firstly, I suggest you set yourself a budget. If you are financing your car, your bank will have a lot to do with determining the limit. If you are paying cash, decide on your limit and stick to it. Don’t write off dealer finance from a reputable dealer or motor company. They are eager to sell cars at the moment and may even offer a better deal than your regular bank. It does pay to ask, but always check the fine print. What about brand loyalty? If you already have a brand of car that you have been happy with and have a good relationship with the dealer, why change? You will usually get a much better trade in if you are a repeat customer. Is the car just for you? Or will your partner be driving it too? Is it for work or play? How long do you plan to keep it for? You need to know these answers before you buy. Can you drive a manual or do you need an automatic? A manual uses about 10-20 per cent less fuel and costs a lot less to maintain than an automatic, but they can be a pain in the proverbial in heavy city traffic. Is it practical? A sexy looking convertible is not much good if it is going to be parked on Oxford Street overnight — that fabric roof won’t offer much in the way of protection from people looking for change in the ashtray. If you want to carry passengers, where will they sit? Similarly a 4WD is a lot of car to maintain if you never intend to go off road in it. Make sure your new car suits your family/lifestyle needs. Can you afford the maintenance costs? Remember that the girls and boys you want to impress with a tasty European number won’t be the ones digging deep into their handbag to have it serviced. Don’t forget to check insurance costs as well. These can vary significantly from one make to another. Check with more than one company too, as there is as much variance in that equation as in there is in the crowd at Cube!


By Stuart Poole Stuart has been a car enthusiast as long as he can remember and greased up more moving parts than one can possible imagine.

If you are buying a new car, you should be pretty safe to assume it will be ok mechanically, and you will have a warranty to cover that. But do check the built date. In these tough times “new” cars may sit around a lot longer than usual, and it will be the built date that determines its value as a trade-in down the track. If you are buying second hand, do your “REVS” check to make sure that your new pride and joy actually belongs to the owner and not their finance company. Get a report from an impartial mechanic. Or have a butch friend who knows what they are on about to look over it for you. In this day and age you can compare prices on-line very easily to make sure you aren’t paying too much for your new wheels. If you get stuck, give me a yell! I will be happy to help out. If you ever have any motoring questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me at Top Queer and if you work in a queer friendly dealership, let me know so the “community” can benefit from their accommodating nature. Stu The Audi A4 recently made it to the 2009 Top Gay Car list as the best ride for the gay 9-to-5er. Audi touts its latest generation A4 as a “paradigm for luxury and performance.”


By Carmen Sarjeant





VIRGIN I arrived in Sydney in the midst of Mardi Gras celebrations. As I walked into shops along Oxford Street the assistants asked if I was going to the parade. Everyone was going it seemed. I had no idea it was this huge. I had thought Mardi Gras was some kind of subculture spectator sport — but the event inspired dedication to attend and participate in gay, straight, curious, supporters, whatever. Lined with banners and flags and American apparel suitably flavoured with rainbow colours, Oxford Street felt buzzing even on a working day that week. And more and more people were coming into Sydney throughout the week to experience the parade and the parties that go with it — some for the first time and others for their annual pilgrimage. This was my first trip to Sydney in over ten years and as a new immigrant to Australia I thought I should make the trip from Canberra to visit friends and break my Mardi Gras virginity. Unfortunately, the friend I had come to see and to attend Mardi Gras with was very sick on the Saturday. That was no reason to stay at home. Her girlfriend and I decided to go ahead and ascended along Oxford Street mid-afternoon.


Dodging the crowds was impossible by that stage and we were left to weave through the meandering people who had been waiting since the morning. My escort was a veteran to Mardi Gras and led me all the way up Oxford and onto Flinders Street, where she knew the best spot at the end of the parade, outside the Captain Cook Hotel and opposite the VIP section. I felt like a tourist with my camera in hand and bright eyes. After a few hours of drinking and crowd watching next to a large group of identically dressed lesbians, feeling slightly tipsy we made our way to the barrier as the warm-up show was commencing — some cha-cha girls in flamboyantly coloured feathers and the Dykes on Bikes who were a big hit at this end of the route as they revved their engines along to the backdrop of muffled commentary to kick off the parade.

With a few more beers, a few more friends and a lot more kisses from scantily clad Bears, the parade was off to a great start. It featured a diver, some leather, disco balls, flowers, rainbows, cultural awareness, causes galore, parents and families, religious fanatics, roller derby girls, an ice princess (?), lifeguards, glitter, and even a Camp-berra float :-) Everything was covered I thought — even some annoying members of the crowd, plenty of “Happy Mardi Gras” and smooches to wear even me out, and dancers managing to hold routines and some semblance of synchronisation ‘til the very end of the parade. The spectators disbanded quickly after the finale of the parade but most people didn’t seem to remember how to get out or how they got there in the first place. Maybe that was just us? Drunkenly trying to get home, we wandered around in circles until we decided haphazardly to just follow the crowd down Oxford. Somehow we ended up in an Irish bar and the rest all fades a bit... I intend to make the annual trek to Sydney for Mardi Gras from now on. It was great to see the old and young from all walks of life enjoying and supporting the parade, and with a whopping 10,000 participants it’s one massive evening. One downer: I never ran into Ruby Rose. Sigh. See you at Mardi Gras 2010.

Not everyone is a professional fashion or styling expert — but our new grooming guru Chad Wijayatilake is... So pay attention and read carefully because it’s often the littlest things that can make all the difference.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR HAIR PRODUCTS… Wax, paste, putty and gels — which to use? Hair products come in many forms for different results, first you need to identify what you need your product to do? Do you need a styling or finishing product? Styling products are used in wet hair, and then dried in to create volume, smoothness, control or to flatten. Finishing products are used in dry hair to obtain texture, separation or hold. Many guys and girls don’t know what product to put in their hair or how to use it. If you straighten your hair you should always dry with a heat protection. Being long or short finish with a smoothing serum or a dry wax for definition. Do not use a sticky product as these have a lot more moisture in them, and you will lose the sleek and shiny effect. If you are using a finishing product like a paste, putty or wax to add texture or definition, start with a small amount (about the size of a ten-cent piece), you can always add more if needed but it is hard to remove excess product. Distribute the product evenly over your hands and start applying from the back and working your way forward, work into the root area then to the ends. The trick to using any product is to understand what it does and how to use it, but most importantly how much to use. Your stylist should recommend which is the most suitable for your hair type and style. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lesson on how to get the best results. A great new product by Redken for Men is the new Mint Shape forming paste, designed to be invigorating to the scalp and has a mild to medium hold. It is complimented well with Redken for Men Mint Clean shampoo and Mint Cool conditioner, which leaves your hair feeling clean and your scalp cool and refreshed. Mint Shape is great for fine to medium hair providing a defined yet natural look.

Get fresh with mint-infused, invigorating style! Awaken your senses with new Redken for Men Mint Shape: a crisp and fresh scented forming paste that offers medium hold with lasting versatility without heaviness or sticky residue. Combining notes of peppermint, citrus and eucalyptus, protein and UV filters, Redken for Men Mint Shape helps strengthen hair whilst protecting it against environmental aggressors and sun exposure. This and other products are available at Form Haircutters in Kingston.



Whether you’ve got supermodel looks or you’re just an average Jo(e), the way you present yourself can make an amazing difference to your self esteem and the way others perceive you.


Why hairdressing? Hairdressing chose me; I did hairdressing as an extra subject through college and had a natural knack for it. Inspiration Fashion and Urban Culture. Favourite label Dolce & Gabbana. Greatest achievement to date Finishing my apprenticeship and being awarded Trade Apprentice of the Year. Favourite celebrity and why It has to be Tom Ford for his amazing sense of style. Favourite movie Born Free and chick flicks. Favourite book Don’t read books only fashion mags, favourite mag Harpers Bazaar. Favourite things to do Sitting around watching TV or out with friends. Favourite travel destination Maldives. Star sign Pisces.

SE FU FUSE 39 39



CHO SHOW ICE MEN Margaret Cho has been in show business since back in the 1990s.

If you like your men real, a bit butch, and very intense you’ll love Ice Men.

You might know her from her stand-up shows, such as Assassin or I’m the One That I Want. You might remember her from the sitcom All-American Girl or you may even have seen her roles in more dramatic works like Face/Off or The Lost Room. Now the comedian/ actor/activist has her own reality show, The Cho Show. The premise may be familiar — in each of the seven episodes here, Margaret gets a new idea or faces a new issue, and she talks to various experts or cooks up plans to deal with it. Among Margaret’s adventures in this first season are being named Korean of the Year; getting back to nature (such as it lasts); making a sex video to be “leaked”; and being told by a psychic that her vagina is haunted (nope, didn’t make that up). Along for the ride are a group of hangers-on, including her assistant, stylists and — giving advice from the sidelines, both home-spun and random — her parents. It’s often hard to tell if The Cho Show is actually a reality show or a parody of reality shows. Sometimes the action seems contrived, but genuine (Margaret talks to a cosmetic surgeon or learns about anal bleaching), other times it feels like a long-running comedy sketch (Margaret and the gang go out to ‘rough it’ in the wilderness, and wind up eating out of a dumpster and running across Gary Busey). The style of humour is a similarly mixed bag. You’ve equal chance of hearing a witty yet poignant insight into the world or seeing a keen exercise in shock value. But the bottom line... is it funny, is it good? While I can’t deny that I had to give the TV the odd blank look, I was still laughing and enjoying myself. Yes, the tone varies, and no, it’s not the best thing Ms Cho has ever done. But for each twenty-minute instalment, whether you take it as “reality” or not, you can watch a group of people looking at the world (and each other) with very distinctive points of view. Review by Daria Sigma

Vaughn and a group of his childhood friends go to stay in a winter cabin for a boys’ weekend however the relationships mean it’s far from a fun trip. The film is loaded with tension owing to Vaughn (Martin Cummins) being a bit of a whinger, hard truths being swapped and some deep-seated personality clashes. If you want gratuitous naked men, you’ll have to stick to Manhunt I’m afraid. These men are far from hot twinks, but if you prefer men to boys these guys are bound to do it for you. There is one particular guy whom I put in the hot category — fitness instructor Steve, played by James Thomas, something to keep your eyes out for. There’s homo rumpy pumpy with the gay and the apparently straight jock Steve ending up in bed for a rather brief scene, followed by the expected guilt and denial. Despite this, I’m not sure you could really consider it queer cinema, more a smorgasbord of men’s issues. The characters have depth and the plot is reasonably sound, exposing each guy’s insecurities despite their masculine exteriors. It’s an artsy movie with plenty of silent scenes, flashbacks and panning shots seeking to be poignant. Plot clichés seem thankfully to be limited, however the soundtrack, camera work and shot set up can be a bit textbook. At times it seems a bit like it’s trying too hard ­­— but all in all they manage to pull it off. It’s the gay movie that’s not quite a gay movie. Review by Phil Schubert

ONLINE PREVIEWS Check out previews of both Ice Men and Cho Show on the Fuse website





Friendly Fires are a band from St Albans in the UK and after three very successful EPs, this self-titled album is their first full-length affair. I was introduced to this band through listening to Triple J where they started flogging the track Paris and I was instantly hooked on their dance-punk and synth-pop styles.

Well finally after much waiting, the third album of Perth Band, Little Birdy, has — as of the 8th of May — hit the shelves! And what can I say but these guys have done it again!

Play this album loud when you are in that stupidly excited mood while you are getting ready to go out on a Friday night! It’s sure to get you ready for drinkin’ and lovin’! Stand out tracks include Jump in the Pool, In the Hospital and Paris. So buy it during the week and play it on Friday night while doing your hair, ready for weekend party action.

LILY ALLEN Lily Allen is a performer that took a little while for me to appreciate. My mum always told me never to judge a book by its cover, and I must admit I failed to take her advice with poor Lily! When her first album Alright, Still came out in 2006, I immediately put her in the category of just another manufactured pop princess. How wrong I was… After being forced to listen to her by my then boyfriend, I developed a secret crush on her catchy tunes and very clever lyrics, and even started putting the CD on when no one else was around to catch me out. And to this day I regret laughing at my friends when they decided to leave me at the Big Day Out main stage in 2006 to see her play at one of the smaller stages. So it’s now 2009 and with her latest album Lily Allen has, in my eyes, cemented herself as a very talented performer. Tracks like The Fear and 22 seem to appeal to 20-somethings of today with their credit hungry attitude and copious amounts of self admitted vanity. Then there are tracks like Not Fair and Fuck You that are just down right funny and you will catch yourself singing them aloud in public and not giving a sh!t. Tracks to listen to and memorise the lyrics include Everyone’s At It, The Fear, Not Fair, 22 and Fuck You. Buy it and dance, or else fear being a complete loser!


The album Confetti is not that musically different to the band’s other albums, but when you are on a good thing why change the formula, I say. Katy Steele’s practically hypnotic voice is again the distinctive element that gives this record such an awesome sound. That coupled with their trademark indie rock style is sure to make this album their best yet. Now here is a great Katy Steele fact: she is the sister of Luke Steele of Sleepy Jackson and Empire of the Sun fame. If you don’t know either of these bands (especially Empire of the Sun), I suggest you get down to JB HiFi right now as every good homo should own a copy of Empire of the Sun’s Walking on a Dream. Anyway, back to Little Birdy: buy this album if you have a thing for beautiful indie rock chicks and listen to it on a Sunday afternoon while sitting in the sunshine reading the paper — Perfect! Stand out tracks are Brother, Summarize and Run Run Run.



TRACKS FOR JUNE 1. Not Fair — Lily Allen 2. Paris — Friendly Fires 3. I’ve Got Friends — Manchester Orchestra 4. Dog Days — Florence & the Machine 5. Sweet Disposition — Temper Trap 6. Help I’m Alive — Metric 7. If I know you — The Presets 8. Changes — Van she 9. Walking on a Dream — Empire of the Sun 10. And anything by MGMT

Nu-Disco There’s a relatively new sound beginning to penetrate clubs and dance floors throughout the globe and although it has been around since as early as 2002, the momentum is just taking hold and growing at a rapid rate. With a swag of artists, labels and releases coming forward, the nu-disco movement is now upon us. Nu-Disco has been some 25 years in the making, evolving from the original disco of the 1970s/early 1980s, and drawing on the imagination of the Italo and Euro disco scenes from the mid/late 1980s. It is however, less about the ‘cheese’ and ‘hi-nrg’ found in its predecessors and more about the slow burning, often psychedelic numbers which gradually and effortlessly build to pulsating, synth-festooned climaxes. The Nu-Disco sound further encompasses elements of funk, boogie, cosmic, balearic and electroclash genres. In fact many of the current releases that fall under the Nu-Disco banner are re-edits of original-era classics and unearthed nuggets. (A re-edit is an altered version of a song created by repeating, reordering or removing sections of the original recording). A fantastic CD highlighting the re-edit is Daniele Baldelli’s compilation, Cosmic Disco?! Nah... Cosmic Rock!!! on Eskimo Recordings. Baldelli (Italy’s premier disco pioneer) has taken a variety of original songs and styles from the likes of Alicia Bridges, Thompson Twins and The Romantics, and has morphed them into nu-disco classics via a series of edits. The Messalina record label is another great example featuring Nu-Disco edits of Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons and Hot RS, whereas the label Mindless Boogie focuses on edits which sidestep the obvious in favour of a more psychedelic approach. Nu-Disco is not confined to just re-edits, as there is a growing number of producers who make dance music inspired by original-era disco, electro and other genres popular in the late 70s and early 80s.

By Lanny K from Reefer Records — a dedicated turntable terrorist


Hans-Peter Lindstrøm and Thomas Moen Hermansen, commonly referred to as Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas, are two of the most high-profile dance artists in the Nu-Disco scene. Their 12” release from 2005, Turkish Delight, remains a Nu-Disco anthem and is a glowing original defining this new genre, as well as their 2007 CD on Eskimo Recordings, Reinterpretations. More artists to look out for include Aeroplane, who recently transformed Grace Jones’ William’s Blood into a stunning Nu-Disco epic that typifies the genre’s build and climax ethos. Hercules and Love Affair is another outfit that has recently brought Nu-Disco to the forefront with their critically acclaimed, self-titled debut album from 2008. The album was co-produced by Tim Goldsworthy from the popular and well known production team, DFA; another major player responsible for the success of the style. Nu-Disco is a genre that has successfully combined something old with something new. Whether you’re looking for a brand new sound, or perhaps something more familiar, no doubt you’ll find it within Nu-Disco. Given the amount of public and media interest, not to mention the growing number of artists and DJs involved, it is a genre that will be around for quite some time.





A personal story by Abbey Jane, a proud transgender person If you have a comment on this article please email us at

Having already affirmed that I didn’t want to be a stay at home trans-person, it seemed only natural to “come out” first then do the “out in public” debut as a way of completely breaking from my closet. The coming out was easy; telling my folks had to happen as it was causing me so much stress I could no longer peacefully shoulder it — but my first time going out... Whoa, what a nerve wracking experience! It was my good fortune to have good friends to share this with. People I knew would be supportive and encouraging. Never once have I regretted coming out or going out!

This was a BIG thing. Not only was the whole world about to see my true self, but now I suddenly faced the possible ridicule of being “spotted” as a guy in a dress, followed by the assumption that I must be gay and therefore it’s okay to call me a poofter. The most painful thing about being out in public is sometimes being a receptacle for abuse, with attacks coming not only from complete strangers, but also from people I believed to be good souls! It was particularly difficult to endure the nine months of verbal attacks from my neighbour whenever our paths crossed. A few years on and I still feel that I have to fight to be who I am. For all the advances we have made there is still widespread misunderstanding, ignorance and much confusion when it comes to transgender people, with other people making decisions that negatively affect us. Mainstream society seems to want us to fit into a binary system — but I have never fitted, and I doubt that I ever will!

At first the idea of going out was thrilling (if only imaginable in my dreams) — but the reality of it was very different.

Sure I copped some bad moments and right now I am experiencing all-new challenges, but outside the mainstream I have found acceptance with my trans-peers. I enjoy being part of a community that is capable of sharing these feelings and challenges whilst we celebrate our unique personalities.

On that first night a fear started to grip me.

So was it worth coming out and being out in public? Absolutely.

New Canberra Transgender Network The New Canberra Transgender Network (NewCTN) is the Canberra and region social group organised by and for Transgendered persons including Intersexed, Trans-men, Trans-women and individuals who identify as Gender Queer/ Diverse, and all our family members too. AIDS Action Council General Manager, Andrew Burry, agrees that much more can be done to expand resources and support for some of our most marginalised communities and has committed the AAC to work with the CTN to identify practical measures that can be undertaken.


Long serving AAC Counsellor, Stephanie Buckle, says that while most of us talk inclusively of the “GLBTI” community, we don’t often get past the letter “L”. NewCTN meets at Westlund House every four to six weeks and provides a safe space for networking, sharing experiences and enjoying a meal together. Anyone experiencing gender questions or who would like to make contact with NewCTN is encouraged to telephone the Council on (02) 6257 2855 or see their new website.

Let’s set the scene here: You’ve just been out on an ultra romantic date with your loved one. Candlelight dinner, champagne to die for, music, dancing — a real love-in. The evening is drawing on when you get down on one knee, Cartier box in hand, and say,

“Darling, will you civil union me?” I don’t know about you but something about this scene doesn’t quite do it for me. Let’s get serious for a moment and talk about marriage — of the gay variety (same sex marriage for those who want to PC me out of the arena). Fact: Elaborate same sex “binding” ceremonies can be traced as far back as the Ming Dynasty in China. Hardly sounds like a ‘postmodern fad’ to me. Fact: The Netherlands was the first country to officially accept same sex marriages back in 2001, followed in no particular order by Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden and Nepal. Throw in the US states of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa (Vermont joins the club later in ‘09 but California opted out over Proposition 8). Israel, France and the state of New York also have complex recognition of same sex marriage laws. The legalities of gay marriage are being argued in the courts in a number of countries — complexities abound!

{ By Fatherspirit The winds of change are blowing stronger and stronger. It is right, it’s wrong, good, bad, God, Devil, YES! NO! Faster and faster, the window panes are rattling, dark, blustery, insane

...hang on to your loved one! Ka-thud! ...And we’ve arrived. Open the door and step out into the full sunshine. All the colours of the gay rainbow lay resplendent before you! Let’s forget about the political arguments for once. It’s all about you and your partner now; your hopes, dreams and the choices you want to make for your own lives. Think about your special day; the cake, the rings, the exchanging of vows. Who would be there? And more importantly, what would you be wearing? Should you invite that wicked witch of a mother-in-law? Will there be music, dancing and general gay merriment? Think of the sharing and the happiness, looking lovingly in to the eyes of your special someone. Envision the beauty of it all — the sights, the scents, the sounds. Dare to believe. This is your special day so dream big because remember, sometimes the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true! Don’t lose hope and never forget the vision.

Throw in to the mix, the angry arguments for the case against gay marriage from the Christian right and their proponents and the storm clouds begin to build. Genesis 19:5 and Leviticus 20:13 says something about an ‘abomination and having the blood upon them’ in fourteen different versions.

Ok, ready? Click those ruby heels together — well, they can be lipstick red Manolos if you wish baby, it’s your special day!

Is your head starting to spin? The arguments are coming thick and fast. Oprah says this and Britney tweets her support about that. Barack Obama sides with his faith... round and round it goes!

Marriage is a personal commitment between two people who love and respect one another and should transcend color, race, creed or sexual preferences. There is nothing fair about exclusion, no matter what the moral majority may say. If you are gay ask yourself this, if my parents were allowed to tie the knot and any straight man and woman can marry, then if happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow why then, oh why can’t I?

Of course your Aunt thinks gay marriage is wrong and the ACA’s phone poll on Channel Nine says 79.8 per cent against (not sourced).



Back to reality, political argy bargy and dull ol’ Mister Rudd — the Wizard of Oztralia.

Apologies to MGM.



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Dear Rose, I am an 18 yr old gay guy, new to the gay nightclub scene. I love hanging out and partying with my new friends but sometimes I feel a bit pressured to take E’s and other party drugs when they all do. I want them to think I’m cool but I’m scared of taking drugs. What should I do? JT Dear JT, Well we all thought Nancy Reagan was dimwitted and unrealistic when she said, “Just say no!” I don’t envy you, being 18-years-old, new to the scene and being pressured into things that you might not want to do. Been there, done that! My best advice is that whatever you do, trust your gut feeling. If you don’t feel safe in doing something then don’t do it. If you do something, make sure that you have someone with you that you know is going to take care of you no matter what happens. The other thing to remember is to not mix any kinds of drugs or alcohol with medication. Just stick with one thing at a time. Remember, the coolest thing that you could be doing is looking after yourself and being safe!

Dear Rose, I am a bisexual woman who has been attracted to women before but only ever been sexually physical with men. About six months ago I met an amazing lesbian and for me it was love at first sight — I am utterly head over heels in love with her. We have become very close friends... like best friends. I’ve told her how I feel and we even pashed one night when we were very drunk but she says she doesn’t want to date me because I’m not a “real lesbian”. How can I make her see that I’m the real thing when it comes to her? Cheers, Tania


Dear Tania, On the one hand I can understand why your “amazing lesbian” doesn’t think that you’re a real lesbian. I must confess that I too am often reluctant to date any girl that admits that she is bi-sexual. From her perspective, life is a little hard when not only are you competing with other lesbians dating a bisexual woman, but it also means that you are competing with the whole hetero male world! It’s a little intimidating to say the least. You need to have “the serious chat” where you are direct, look her in the eye and tell her exactly how you feel and that you would like nothing better than to cuddle in your undies with her! But be prepared for the prospect of rejection. The only thing that you could possibly do to assure her is if you tell her that while you have been with men before, you are a one person gal at a time.



If you would like to write to dear rose please email her at ~ letters are placed either here or on the Fuse website


Dear Rose, This is going to sound very strange. But whenever my new boyfriend and I have sex his dog comes in and just sits there and watches. It totally weirds me out. But whenever I ask him to put him out, he won’t — say’s I’m being silly... very stubborn. I don’t want us to break up over his dog. Mick Dear Mick, Two things here concern me with your situation: 1. Why does your boyfriend refuse to put the dog out when you ask? It’s a bit mean of him to be so stubborn over such a simple request. He is either being disrespectful to your wishes to get a rise out of you or — god forbid — maybe he actually enjoys having the dog watch. 2. Why does having the dog present while you are making love bother you so much. You should be so lost in the moment that you don’t even notice. Maybe you need to chill out a bit... you are getting very wound up over a dog when you should be enjoying your time with your partner. You know what they say about outwardly homophobic guys.... that their protests are really a disguise for their latent homosexuality. Well maybe the reason you’re so “weirded-out” by having the dog present is because on some level it turns you on. Or maybe you are simply jealous of the dog. Communication is the key to solving this problem. First try some intrapersonal communication and ask yourself why the dog bothers you so much. If that doesn’t make things clearer to you then try communicating with your boyfriend. Explain to him how important your time together means to you and that you feel like you would appreciate it more without the dog distracting you. Tell him that you wish that he would respect your needs. If he still refuses then maybe you should reconsider the relationship. Sure it sounds petty to break up over a dog... but if you can’t solve the small problems together then how are you ever going to manage a real conflict of interest?

Dear Rose, I really like this guy at uni I’ve recently become friends with but I’m not sure if he’s gay. I don’t want to send him running if I make a move. What should I do? Life is risky and too short — the only way that you are ever going to know if this boi is gay is if you ask the question. The trick is to say it in a non offensive way that’s also flattering and doesn’t make him feel awkward.



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