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UNDERSTANDING OUR PLACE IN THE UNIVERSE MY OUT SPIRIT

FINDING TRUTH WITHIN

BUDDHISM

INTEGRATION OF GAY CONSCIOUSNESS

THE ‘GOOD’ BOOK

DID GOD REALLY SAY THAT?

QUAKERS

LIVING WITH INTEGRITY

WENDY RULE

FAËRIE PAGAN GODDESS

RELIGIOUS LEFT

PUTTING DOWN THE STONES

THE UNIVERSE SEES ALL LIFE & ALL THINGS EQUALLY


E V E R Y M A N

T H E A T R E

P R E S E N T S

By arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd, On Behalf of Dramatists Play Service, Inc New York.

by Moises Kaufman

& The Tectonic Theatre Project

MAY 20 - 29 2010, 8PM

The Courtyard Studio

directed by Jarrad West featuring Fiona Atkin, Micki Beckett, Jessica Brent, Duncan Driver, Dave Evans, Duncan Ley, Steph Roberts and Tony Turner On October 6 1998, Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence, beaten, and left for dead. This event not only changed a small town, but the whole world.

Bookings:

6275 2700 adults $30 groups $25 conc. $20


13

FUSE FEATURES

10

Over 35 years ago the Quakers called for an end to discrimination and earlier this year they agreed to full marriage equality.

16 If we look beyond the dogma of organised religion and are still, can we find the truth that’s within us all?

43

FUSE OP.ED 22 The queer and religious communities: poles apart or closer than you think?

20

40

34 Grief is a part of living. Ignoring your pain is not the path to healing. 36

12

The Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination, but it also says you can sell your daughter to slavery. Does the ‘Good Book’ need cleaning up to be relevant in todays society?

46 Buddhisim: is it more accepting of gays and lesbians than its Christian counterparts?

16

FUSE REGULARS

PUBLISHER & DESIGN Lithium Innovation Pty Ltd {www.lithium.net.au} EDITOR Alexander Thatcher {editor@fusemagazine.com.au}

{

FUSE13 MAY 2010

20 Wendy Rule: singer, songwriter, witch

CONTENTS

08 The religious left: Judge not, that you be not judged. Are progressive Christians putting down the stones?

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Yasmin Element

PRODUCTION & EDITORIAL Christopher Powell

CONTRIBUTORS Tony Hamlyn Simon Copland Brooklyn Hulands Rose Pappalardo Robert Henderson Dorothy Broom

Scott Malcolm Damien Pratt Stuart Poole Chad Wijayatilake Andrew Burry Evan Gallagher

Lucy Jane Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers Clayton Gibson Lin Hatfield Dodds Kittredge Cherry

PHOTOGRAPHERS Jimmy Walsh

Snez Saravovska

Douglas Robinson

CONTACT Advertising, editorial enquiries or letters Telephone: +61 2 6232 7662 • Email: editor@fusemagazine.com.au Mail: PO Box 3577 Manuka ACT 2603 • ISSN 1836-8387

02 04 06 12 14 18 24 26 28 30 38 44 47 48

Editor’s Rant What’s On in Canberra The Trap : Local & Gritty The Buzz : News, Gossip & Stuff Footlights : The Laramie Project Footlights : Shakespeare’s R & J Ear Candy : Music Reviews Money Shot : Tree Hugger Grooming : Spirituality and Your Hair Out & About : Canberra’s Night Life Out & About : FUSE Big Birthday Bash Top Queer : Motor Spirits FUSE Business Directory Dear Rose

www.fusemagazine.com.au 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, editor or FUSE staff. Any health, fitness or dietry advice contained in this magazine is for informational purposes only. Consult your physician and a fitness/health professional before changing your diet, doing any exercise program, or taking any supplements or remedies of any kind. Submissions of text, photographs or any other material will be taken as consent to publish said material.

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EDITOR’S RANT

OF MICE AND MEN

Alexander Thatcher FUSE Editor

Lucky FUSE13. We have been led to believe that 13 is an unlucky number, but actually 13 has great spiritual significance and power attached to it. So next time you have a spare 13 minutes, google it!

Just as I was about to start writing this editor’s message, I caught a mouse in our “mouse friendly” trap. I heard the familiar click of the trap door, and so got up to relocate the little guy. Normally the mice scurry around and around and scamper off at the speed of light when I release them. But not this little mouse, he just sat there. ‘Come on then,’ I encouraged him to leave, but he remained quiet and still. I grew impatient, forced to sit quietly in the sun while I had work to do! Then it hit me: he just wasn’t ready yet and needed more time. He was afraid, but willing to sit with it for a while. I’m a bit like the mice that scamper around and around. Often running off without considering my situation; too busy trying to get past one moment and on to the next one, and then the one after that! I miss out on so many important moments because of this. It seemed forever, but eventually the little mouse poked his head out, looked at me for a while and wandered off into the bush. He had sat quietly, considered and accepted his situation, and then when he was ready, he moved on. One little mouse showed me something that I know, but do not often do. No matter what we believe — or whom we believe in — the only way to see a clear path and to truly know yourself is to just stop. A simple truth from a simple creature. Like those crazy little mice, most of us spend our whole lives scampering around. We tend to consume ourselves with busyness; overcomplicating our lives and accumulating more stuff — which in turn requires even more effort and keeps us stuck in this endless cycle. We are so smart, we build our own “people” traps, so complex that they are almost impossible to escape, unless we just stop. I fear it’s something that most of us are just not capable of or willing to do. I know I have difficulty being still, it’s not part of my nature — but it is important I make time to practise and find balance. My fear of stopping is a great one, but if a mouse can do it, surely so can I. Talking about mice and spirituality: I’m sure if you asked singer, songwriter and witch Wendy Rule, she would probably tell us that when animals show up in your life they usually have a message to help you along your way. Yasmin Element talked to Wendy after her recent performance in Canberra; about her path as a pagan and a witch — it’s a lovely journey. Also in this issue, both the Quakers and Uniting Church talk about their support for gay marriage and equal rights. Clayton Gibson from My Out Spirit magazine writes about finding the truth within and Simon Copland gives his thoughts about the religious left. As well as all our great features and op.eds this issue, we have two really interesting theatre reviews: The Laramie Project at the Canberra Theatre (opens 20 May), the tragic story of gay student Matthew Shepard; and Shakespeare’s R&J at The Q (opens 8 June), an all boy rendition of Romeo and Juliet — yes there’s kissing. Oh and read all about Ricky Martin, apparently he’s gay — derrrrr! Which brings me back to the critters. I would like to say thanks to everyone who performed, supported and came along to the FUSE 1st Birthday Bash. It was a huge success, and we raised over $1700 for the Humane Society International (www.hsi.org.au) who work tirelessly for the benefit of our planet and animal wefare.

Christoper Powell Yasmin Element

FUSE 02 2

Blessed Be and Enjoy. Alex

Send all letters to the editor to editor@fusemagazine.com.au

}


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FUSE 03


WHAT’S ON

at the movies

ROBIN HOOD : OPENS 13 MAY

Robin Hood chronicles the life of an expert archer, previously interested only in self-preservation, from his service in King Richard’s army against the French. Upon Richard’s death, Robin travels to Nottingham, a town suffering from the corruption of a despotic sheriff and crippling taxation, where he falls for the spirited widow Lady Marion, a woman skeptical of the identity and motivations of this crusader from the forest. Hoping to earn the hand of Maid Marion and salvage the village, Robin assembles a gang whose lethal mercenary skills are matched only by its appetite for life. Together, they begin preying on the indulgent upper class to correct injustices under the sheriff.

IRON MAN 2 : OPENS 29 APRIL Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment present the highly anticipated sequel to the blockbuster film based on the legendary Marvel Super Hero ‘Iron Man’, reuniting director Jon Favreau and Oscar nominee Robert Downey Jr. In Iron Man 2, the world is aware that billionaire inventor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is the armored Super Hero Iron Man. Under pressure from the government, the press and the public to share his technology with the military, Tony is unwilling to divulge the secrets behind the Iron Man armor because he fears the information will slip into the wrong hands. With Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), and James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes (Don Cheadle) at his side, Tony forges new alliances and confronts powerful new forces.

THE WHITE RIBBON : OPENS 6 MAY A village in Protestant northern Germany, 1913-1914, on the eve of World War I. The story of the children and teenagers of a choir run by the village school teacher, and their families: the baron, the steward, the pastor, the doctor, the midwife and the tenant farmers. Strange accidents occur and gradually take on the character of a punishment ritual. Who is behind it all?

NEW YORK I LOVE YOU : OPENS 13 MAY In the city that never sleeps, love is always on the mind. Those passions come to life in New York, I Love You — a collaboration of storytelling from some of today’s most imaginative filmmakers and featuring an all-star cast. Together they create a kaleidoscope of the spontaneous, surprising, electrifying human connections that pump the city’s heartbeat. Sexy, funny, haunting and revealing encounters unfold beneath the Manhattan skyline. From Tribeca to Central Park to Brooklyn the story weaves a tale of love as diverse as the very fabric of New York itself.

FREE MOVIE TICKETS FUSE has double passes to give away to Dendy Theatre in Canberra. Write in and tell us what you think of FUSE, comment on an article or sign up to the FUSE website and you could win these great Dendy movie tickets • email: hello@fusemagazine.com.au • www.fusemagazine.com.au

Free movie passes kindly supplied by Dendy Cinemas Canberra Level 2, North Quarter Canberra Centre, Bunda Street, Canberra City

www.dendy.com.au

FUSE 04 4


HARVEST FESTIVAL

WOMEN’S 15 MAY

DANCE

Check out fusemagazine.com.au for a full list of what’s happening in Canberra including local and national gay and lesbian events.

ROTARY LAKE GEORGE HARVEST FESTIVAL

WOMEN’S ONLY DANCE & CONCERT

Like yummy food, delicious local wine, music and art? Then you might like to head off to Bungendore.

Come and enjoy a special women’s only fund raiser dance and concert for East Timor. Chris Nichol’s and her merry band of co horts are at it again! Join the girls from 8pm til 11pm.

Saturday 15 May : Bungendore growers of cold climate wines will showcase their produce with tastings provided to the wine expert and amateur alike. Enjoy the offerings of fabulous food, cooking demonstrations, bands and fabulous dance groups. Plus over ninety wine, food, market and community stalls. Sunday 16 May : The Festival continues Sunday with a Wine Trail through the countryside or follow the Art & Craft Trail in the historic village of Bungendore. Trail maps will be available at the Festival. Local artists’ displays will be at the Foyer of Palerang Council as well as at the School of Arts, Gibraltar Street, Bungendore.

BENT LENSES — GAY FILMS CSIRO Discovery Centre Theatre — Films start at 7pm Friday 14 May : Double Feature : Donald Strachey Gay Detective Series Friday 4 June : Eating Out : Everyone know the fastest way to a girl’s heart is through her gay best friend! More info at www.bentlenses.org

REGULAR QUEER EVENTS!

22 MAY

{

WHAT’S ON MAY

DYKE DINNER & MOVIE GROUP More info on FUSE website or see Canberra Lesbians on Facebook. SATURDAYS Q RADIO 7pm – 9pm 2XX, 98.3FM Canberra’s own GLBTQ radio show. RAW FM 87.6 : GIRL THING Wednesdays & Sundays from 7pm For girls who like girls. Presented by Tori Mac, an hour of sexy house and electro served up girly style. HANG OUT WITH CANBERRA BEARS Sunday arvos at O’Neill’s Irish Pub, Woolley St, Dickson on the first Sunday of the month 3pm. Bears Dinners: third Friday of the month.

WHAT’S ON

ROTARY LAKE GEORGE

Saturday 22 May : Majura Hall, Dickson

THE LARAMIE PROJECT 20-29 May : Canberra Theatre In 1998, on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming, 22-yearold gay student Matthew Shepherd was tied to a fence, savagely beaten and left to die. In the attack’s aftermath, Laramie became the centre of a media storm. The Laramie Project is a moving look at what happens when an unknown town suddenly becomes synonymous with the words ‘hate crime’. Recreating interviews, witness statements and the trial itself, this is drama in the vein of Angels in America and Gross Indecency. This is a play not to be missed.

ACTOUT ACTOUT is an informal outdoorsie activities group for Canberra’s gay and lesbian community. More details on www.fusemagazine.com.au BENT LENSES Canberra’s very own Queer screen culture group. www.bentlenses.org MONDAYS GAY & LESBIAN TENNIS 6pm – 9pm. Turner Tennis Club, Cnr McCaughey and Condamine Streets. Bring a tennis racquet, shoes and $5. GAY & LESBIAN SQUASH Wednesdays 6.30pm – 7.30pm. National Sports Club, Mouat St Lyneham. Info at: groups.google.com/group/gayactsquas

BIT BENT : CANBERRA YOUTH GROUP Meet other young people, get support or just hang out. Mondays at Belconnen Youth Centre 6pm - 8pm & Thursdays at the Woden Youth Centre 5pm - 6.30pm. Email : bit_bent@hotmail.com

HANGOUTS CUBE NIGHTCLUB Canberra’s gay night club. p30. THE HUSH LOUNGE A chilled out GLBTQ bar. p32. TILLEY’S DEVINE CAFE Legendary and sumptuous! p39. BAR32 : WWW.BAR32.COM Alternative gay friendly bar. p41.

FUSE 05 5


THE TRAP

THE LIVIN’ LA VIDA LOCA

LIVIN’ THE FAIRYTALE

Our favourite gay MLA has spent the past few years trying to lure more Aussies to Canberra. Yet a few words from the Prime Minister has put a dampener on Andy’s parade.

Once upon a time, a celebrity’s coming out could put them in the headlines. But times they are a-changin’.

The reign of Norway’s catchiest twink is about to come to an end.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars has been spent convincing people that cold winters, expensive rent and a twohour trip to the coast isn’t a barrier to working and raising a family. Right now, we have recruitment officers in the UK pleading with doctors to set up shop here. We travel to other Australian cities showing off our wares, and generally act like a desperate bridesmaid trying to land something other than a Summernats fanatic. Yet all that hard work has been quashed by Kevin Rudd, who last month said the reason 28 of his staff have quit since he took office, is because the “Canberra lifestyle” isn’t for everyone. The PM’s been accused of reducing a flight attendant to tears and working staff into the ground. But, as he told the rest of the country, his employees are all leaving because of boring old Canberra. So I guess it’s back to work Andy — a life in ACT politics doesn’t mean you escape those Rudd Government clean up duties.

06 6

{By Brooklyn Hulands — Journalist

LIVIN’ THE BORING LIFE

ACT Tourism Minister Andrew Barr has been spearheading the Live in Canberra campaign, designed to see more skilled professionals relocate to the capital.

FUSE

TRAP Rugby league star Ian Roberts challenged the footy boy stereotype back in the mid 90s, and got plenty of attention. Ellen used her self-titled sitcom to break the news in 1997, while two years later High Court Justice Michael Kirby revealed to Australia that he was a gay Anglican. These mainstream public figures, along with many, many others, began a trend that would eventually see gays in the spotlight lose the ability to shock. Ricky Martin tried to do it last month. After a decade of denial, he finally admitted he was a ‘fortunate homosexual man’ — to a chorus of exaggerated gasps. The only shock would have been a re-release of ‘He Bangs’. Former Canberra-based swimmer Daniel Kowalski has opened the closet door after four Olympic medals — though Matthew Mitchem really stole that thunder back in 2008… So perhaps the final word should go to comedian and TV star Josh Thomas, who earlier this year let it slip that he was dating Triple J presenter Tom Ballard. ‘I don’t know if I was hoping for a huge public outcry, but there’s been nothing at all! No one cares. It’s kind of annoying.’

But don’t worry, the only thing he’s transmitted is a fever for pop. Alexander Rybak has held the Eurovision crown for the past twelve months, after grabbing the song competition’s highest ever score with his unbelievably simple melody ‘Fairytale’. Despite being the best of a very gay bunch, the 23-year-old has since played it straight — while staying respectful of the community that voted him to the top. ‘I’m very happy that homosexuals like me,’ he said. ‘It would have been tough without them on my side.’ His home turf has been one of the most liberal countries on gay rights. Civil unions (first introduced in 1993) were made redundant last year in favour of gay marriage, while lesbian couples have access to artificial insemination — paid for by the state. Unfortunately for some, there’s no reason to believe Alexander’s girlfriend isn’t the real deal. The singer/actor/violinist is working on a second album — but for now, the competition that gave us ABBA and Celine Dion moves on to find its next (perhaps, actual) gay icon. The Eurovision Song Contest screens in late May on SBS.


Starring Australia’s No.1 Magician James Galea, Lying Cheating Bastard is an intriguing tale of a young man drawn into the seedy underbelly of Sydney

A Soft Tread Production

Playing at ‘The Q’ Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre, 27-31 July. Tickets: Adults – $42 Conc. & groups – $37 Under 26 – $32 All matinees – $27

Bookings: Phone 6298 0290 or www.theq.net.au

It keeps you on the hook, right up to the cliffhanger at interval, after which the plot steals the show. From there, everything takes on the hyperbolic quality of a Hollywood crime caper with Jimmy’s redemption, framed in a masterly display of the black art of card trickery, taking us out on the required high note.

– Jason Blake SMH This production was produced in association with Merrigong Theatre Company and supported through NORPA’s Generator program.

This tour has been made possible by the New South Wales Government through Arts NSW

FUSE 07


FEATURE OP.ED

“Judge not, that you be not judged” When looking at this statement, which comes from the Sermon on the Mount, a collection of Jesus’ sayings, it is hard to believe the route many have taken some of the world’s largest religions on. Whether it is the Pope spouting antiqueer rhetoric or religious groups campaigning against pro-queer or pro-choice legislation, religion is now seen by many as being synonymous with judgementalism and institutionalised oppression. Religion is now seen as a right wing, conservative affair. It is not surprising therefore that it often confuses people when progressive people “come out” as religious. How on earth could someone who is left wing be part of such an oppressive institution; especially if they are queer or a woman? Isn’t there a direct conflict with their progressive nature and their religious beliefs?

THE

{

By Simon Copland

RELIGIOUS

LEFT JUDGE NOT, THAT YOU BE NOT JUDGED Surrealist Painting of Jesus Leaving the Cross

The simple answer is no. Being religious doesn’t necessarily mean being conservative. In fact, there are progressive groups existent and active in all major religions. These groups are backed up by a claim, which has a lot of evidence behind it, that most religious texts are not necessarily conservative in nature, but rather have a strong progressive feel. For example, there is a strong thread of egalitarianism in the New Testament. Progressive issues dominate the Bible, including pacifism, social justice, racial equity, human rights and importantly the fair spread of wealth. Many also argue that references to conservative issues such as anti-queer or women statements are misinterpreted by conservatives and don’t actually exist at all. With such readings in mind, well-formulated religious left groups have been active for centuries. By focusing on the egalitarian principles of religious texts, these groups have taken a strong social justice stance and are often just as progressive as progressive social groups, including on issues such as women’s and queer rights.

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Yet, they are often forgotten. This is largely because people in the religious left, unlike the religious right, don’t necessarily organise solely around their religion. Rather, they often work within the broader social justice movement. Equality and social justice have simple arguments to back them up. These principles don’t need the misinterpretation of religious texts for their basis, as conservative issues often do. The religious left therefore use the religious texts only as one part of their reasoning and their “arsenal” when working around social justice issues. The religious right however often uses these texts as their sole source. The social justice movement doesn’t suffer due to this, as they are simply bolstered by the influence of the religious left. However, the loudness of the right in churches creates the perception that religion is automatically conservative. If you are religious, you are seen as being conservative. Quite clearly however, this perception is not accurate. Whilst I am not religious, I have come to learn that being religious does not automatically mean being conservative. Whilst conservative religious leaders may get a lot of the headlines, progressive religious leaders are doing a lot to help progressive causes. Whilst it is important therefore to oppose and fight against many parts of the church, remember it is not religion that is the problem, it is the way conservative religious leaders have interpreted religion and used it to further their cause.


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FUSE 09


FEATURE

QUAKERS WORK FOR EQUAL MARRIAGE ONE PARTICULAR VIEW ON THE MARRIAGE EQUALITY DEBATE HAS OFTEN BEEN REPRESENTED AS IF IT WERE THE ‘CHRISTIAN’ OR EVEN ‘RELIGIOUS’ VIEW. THIS VIEW IS USUALLY CONTRASTED WITH THE POSITION OF SECULAR HUMAN RIGHTS AND GAY AND LESBIAN ORGANISATIONS. QUAKERS, HOWEVER, HAVE RECENTLY SHOWN THAT THE DEBATE IS NOT SO CLEAR-CUT.

At our annual conference in January 2010, Quakers (a.k.a. the Religious Society of Friends) agreed to practise full marriage equality in our places of worship. We also called for legal change to give full and equal recognition to all marriages regardless of the sexual orientation or gender identity of the partners. For Quakers, the decision has come 35 years after we first called for an end to discrimination against gay and lesbian people. It was a natural next step on our development as a spiritual community. The Quaker movement has its origins in the Protestant Reformation in 17th Century England, although some contemporary Quakers do not identify as Christian. Throughout our history, Quakers have tried to live in accordance with the principle that everyone is equal in the eyes of God, including recognising equality regardless of race or ethnicity, gender and more recently, sexual orientation. While the decision by Australia Quakers in January is momentous in creating a unified position across the country, Quakers in Canberra have been working actively for marriage equality since 2005. The Canberra Quaker Meeting celebrated our first same-sex marriage in 2007: an occasion that was both joyous and solemn as two people, in the presence of their family, friends and spiritual community, pledged a lifetime of loving devotion to one another. We did this in recognition that genuine, selfless love between two people is something to be celebrated by the Meeting. For Quakers, marriage has historically been viewed as the equal spiritual union of two people, and on this basis we saw no legitimate theological justification to exclude anyone based on sexual orientation.

FUSE 10

Although the marriage is not yet legally recognised, the Meeting has been lobbying the Commonwealth and ACT governments to reform the laws to recognise all loving unions. We regard this not only as a matter of equality; it also as a matter of religious freedom. Religious freedom should mean more than just the right for a minority to preach fear, hatred and exclusion. It should allow churches, like Quakers who uphold marriage equality, to affirm and support the marriage of any of their members who choose to marry, not only those who are heterosexual. And freedom must also allow people who are not religious to live their lives with integrity, free from the interference of obsolete or misguided religious claims. As we affirm ‘that of God in everyone’, we are hopeful that light of love and truth will drive out the darkness of fear and prejudice. We will continue to work actively with others to achieve this.

{

By Dorothy Broom and Evan Gallagher Further information on Quakers is available at www.quakers.org.au


Canberra Theatre Centre in association with Glynis Henderson Productions presents

International sensation Ennio Marchetto cleverly blends clowning, mime and origami to impersonate some of the world’s biggest personalities. His side-splitting performances and generous and engaging personality have built him a huge following worldwide and now it’s Canberra’s turn!

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17 JUNE THE PLAYHOUSE

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FUSE 11


THE

NEWS GOSSIP & STUFF

BUZZ

A collective ‘well der’ could be heard across the western world a few weeks back when Latino pop sensation Ricky Martin announced publicly that he was gay. Disappointingly this was actually met with a great deal of cynicism, particularly from various gay groups who claimed that the admission was of little consequence, and the fact it coincided with the news of his autobiography was opportunistic and trashy. Honestly, sometimes queens just give me gas! We bitch and moan that closet cases do nothing for the cause, and then when a high profile, successful homo puts his hand up we bitch and moan that it’s too little too late. It’s a wonder public figures come out at all if that’s the way they’re received. I mean, of course we all pretty much knew Ricky was a Mary, but to his absolute

By Tony Hamlyn

credit, as far as I know, he never once denied being of the homosexual persuasion. He’d been asked numerous times (I’ve seen a Barbara Walters interview where she pushed so hard for an answer it was shameful!) and usually fell back on lame statements like ‘It’s just about the music’ or ‘It’s nobody else’s business’. And whilst it would’ve been much simpler for him to just come out and deny it, he made a conscious choice to instead refuse to answer the question, I believe to avoid lying to anyone, and good for him for having the common sense and foresight to do that. I can think of one particular Aussie sporting hero, who went out of his way to publicly disclaim his being gay, who’s probably going to have to eat a bit of humble pie if he decides to come out somewhere down the track. But regardless, to come out is a major decision — as most of you reading this right now probably know — and whether you’re famous, infamous or just fabulous, you should be congratulated and celebrated for having the guts to do so. My name is Tony Hamlyn and, like Ricky Martin, I too am a fortunate homosexual man! Hooray!

X-CITED ABOUT X-TINA! So excited, in fact, I may vomit. Christina Aguilera is back with a new single and an upcoming album that could very well be her greatest recording yet. Having taken time off for childbirth and whatnot, she watched artists like Lady GaGa and Ke$ha take the reigns of Diva Pop and canter on to the next level. Now she’s back and ready to bolt with an eclectic mix of songwriters and producers, including Alison Goldfrapp, Sia and Ladytron.

12

{

RICKY MARTIN ~ CHRISTINA AGUILERA ~ CAPTAIN JACK ~ NICOLETTE SHERIDAN

OLAY OLAY O-GAY!

FUSE

*

The album, titled Bionic, won’t be out until the beginning of June, but the single is out now. It’s a sexy funked up track with a bit of a house vibe called ‘Not Myself Tonight’, and whilst it’s a corker of a lead single it may not be a clear indication, judging from what I’ve read, of what the album is going to sound like.

Word is that Christina wanted a different, non-commercial sound for the album, an ambitious decision and one that will undoubtedly make for some very interesting end product indeed. But it’s not all dodgy experimental stuff, because Christopher ‘Tricky’ Stewart, who produced ‘Single Ladies’ for Beyonce and Rhianna’s ‘Umbrella’, is also onboard and that would indicate heavy R&B leanings for Bionic as well. Ultimately it’s all about her voice — big, full-throttle vocals we’ve come to know and love — and with something new and different behind that voice this album could prove to be her Ray of Light and that’s EXCITING!


DESPERATE LAWSUIT Being gay in Hollywood has never been easy. We all know that from watching Entourage, right? Well now, according to former Desperate Housewives actress Nicolette Sheridan, being straight is what gets you fired. Sheridan has filed a $20 million law suite against Marc Cherry, the show’s writer and creator, and the American ABC network for a number of claims including wrongful dismissal based on gender, age and sexuality discrimination. The gist of it all is that Cherry hit her across the head during a rehearsal in 2008, which she then took to the network bosses who failed to act on the official complaint. When Cherry found out he saw to it that Sheridan was fired and her character, street vixen Edie Britt, was killed off. So where does the straight discrimination fit in? Well Cherry is a gay man, and allegedly discriminated against Nicolette Sheridan because she is a straight woman. Crazy claims, though not altogether impossible, but incredibly hard to prove to a jury when you consider virtually the entire cast is made up of seemingly straight women who are not getting the pokey end of the stick from their boss. The gender and age claims are pretty shaky too, given that Desperate Housewives is essentially about middle aged women played by middle aged women. I’ve been racking my pop culture memory to work out if there is any precedence for a case like this. Have any Hollywood gay bigwigs been called out on treating the straighty-180s poorly? The case of Will versus Grace perhaps? Or Rock Hudson versus Casting Couch? Hmmm… unless the jury turns out to be a bunch of malicious homophobes, I think poor Nicolette might have a bit of trouble banking that $20 million.

US-STYLE CAPTAIN JACK I know there are a lot of people who cannot stand it when an English series is reproduced for American TV. I’m kind of on the fence. There are some I think were a waste of time, such as Life on Mars which lacked the style and humour of the original. Then there are some that are brilliant, such as The Office, which I think is much, much funnier than the UK version. It’s a strange thing that American networks don’t have faith that UK productions will work outside of specialty channels, such as BBC America, and hard to know if it’s about the audience’s reception of them, or the networks not wanting to take a risk, or if it is in fact that the US makes better TV than the English. Who can say really? The latest UK hit to be revamped for America is the brilliant sci-fi series Torchwood, created by the genius of Russell T Davies, famously responsible for the Doctor Who revival and of course for the original UK version of Queer As Folk.

A lot of the online reports show concern that the FOX Network, who have ordered the series, will rewrite the show’s hero Captain Jack as heterosexual. Anyone who watches the show will of course know that Captain Jack in fact likes to get it on with anything he might fancy. To quote John Barrowman, who has played the character since the series debuted in 2008, ‘He’s an omnisexual guy. He likes men, women, aliens, whatever.’ Of course! I mean, aren’t we all deep down?

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THE LARAMIE PROJECT

FOOTLIGHTS

{By Robert Henderson

Matthew Shepard was a 21-year-old gay student at the University of Wyoming. On 6 October, 1998, he was brutally tortured, pistol whipped and murdered by Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson near Laramie, Wyoming. He was tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. He was discovered eighteen hours later, still tied to the fence, alive but in a coma. His head had been so badly beaten it was totally covered in blood, except for where his tears had washed his face. He didn’t survive.

The Laramie Project is an emotionally charged and moving play that will stay with you a life-time. After the brutal murder of Matthew, Moisés Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theatre Project travelled from New York to Laramie for what they thought would be just two weeks of interviews with people involved and townsfolk, but took two years instead. There was so much to tell. Their focus was less about Matthew and his murder but more about the town’s reaction, the media storm that followed and the issues raised. How did the murder change the people there and the town?

Following his death, Matthew became seen as a gay martyr. The homophobia and hate that contributed to his murder was exposed and led to some important changes including the anti-hate crime bill, the Matthew Shepard Act finally signed into law by President Obama in 2009. Part of what The Laramie Project is about is showing the real Matthew, a gay lad who had made some very bad decisions in his life. He wasn’t perfect, he wasn’t an angel, but neither did he deserve to be beaten to death. Moisés Kaufman works in a style called Documentary Theatre. He likes to work with real events, real people, showing a wide range of viewpoints. He uses his creative writing skills to shape interviews into a satisfying dramatic structure, all the while keeping to the concept of giving voice to many different characters. Other projects of his have included plays on Oscar Wilde and Beethoven. He also wrote and directed the film version of the play.

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In The Laramie Project, some 65 characters will be played by just nine cast members. The impressive cast are Fiona Atkin, Micki Beckett, Jessica Brent, Duncan Driver, Dave Evans, Duncan Ley, Steph Roberts and Tony Turner. With something as simple as simply putting on a hat, for example, each actor becomes a new character. A true ensemble performance, highlighted by original music by Lucy Bermingham. Jarrad West directs The Laramie Project for Everyman Theatre. His great passion is gay plays and he blasted onto the Canberra scene with his monumental and highly successful version of Angels in America. Jarrad is both a director and a performer. His wide range of local credits including Singer, Dancer, Actor, The Musical of Musicals (The Musical), Latin! or Tobacco and Boys and the forthcoming Kiss of the Spider Woman. He’s just landed the lead role of Peter Allen for Canberra Philharmonic’s production of Boy from Oz. Everyman Theatre’s production of The Laramie Project is a rare opportunity for us to see one of the most important gay plays of our age. Going by their previous productions, it will be moving night of real theatre. The Laramie Project is playing at The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre 20 - 29 May 2010 Bookings 02 6275 2700 www.canberratheatrecentre.com.au


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FEATURE

FINDING TRUTH WITHIN One day, the Devil and his friend were walking down the street. Ahead of them, they saw a man bend down, pick something up off the ground and stuff it eagerly into his pocket. ‘What was that?’ asked the Devil’s friend. ‘Oh, that was a piece of the Truth,’ said the Devil. ‘Well, that’s bad news for you, isn’t it?’ said the friend. ‘Not at all,’ the Devil said with a smirk, ‘I’m going to let him organise it.’

By Clayton Gibson

MY OUT SPIRIT

{

On our spiritual journeys, some of the most insidious illusions that arrest our progress are the trappings of ‘organised’ religion. For many of us that have been expelled from our faith because of our sexual orientation, the struggle to return can be a difficult one. But return to what? Too often we are content to return to outdated rituals and teachings that fail to engage our lives and transform our souls. We claim the words, but not the power; we celebrate the customs, but avoid the prastice; we bind ourselves to institutions, but drown out the Spirit; we sketch vast architectures, but remain blind to the Truth.

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It’s not that religious traditions and trappings are always bad, quite the contrary. Beautiful buildings, colorful fabrics, smoke, crackers, cadences and harmonies are all nice things to have. If however, they do not facilitate the deepening of individuals’ consciousnesses; simplify instead of complicate; transform instead of translate; like language, point beyond themselves; or if they do not lay bare our true selves, then they are all of them empty, valueless barriers to the evolutionary maturation of the human spirit. The simple truth is that enlightenment and inner peace can only be found by going inward, and never by rummaging through what’s outside and busying ourselves with dogma. But, how do we come to know our true selves and find the kingdom inside us? We become still, quiet and fully present. We close our mouths, block off our senses, blunt our sharpness, untie our knots, soften our glares, and settle our dust. Only then can we know our primal identity. Only then can we hear the still, small voice of Spirit. Only then are we open to the action of Spirit. Only then are we available for the great work of transformation.


N

There are many techniques that can support this transformation, from centering and contemplative prayer to Yoga, Zen meditation and Vedanta. The goals of a transformative spiritual practice are self-realisation and partnership with the Divine. Of course, self-realisation means exploring parts of ourselves that we wish weren’t there. Only when we become fully conscious of the web of assumptions and beliefs that we have constructed about the world and about ourselves — a web in which we now are caught — are we forced to dismantle our illusions. Then we learn to see what lies within us and what lies outside us as they really are; only then are we able to interact with the world as it is and not as we imagine it to be. ‘Not-knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease,’ cautions Lao-tzu in Tao Te Ching. ‘Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.’ Unfortunately, gay and lesbian people — like most — are skilled at avoiding this kind of conflict and are adept at confronting the discriminatory traditions and values of our society and many religions. This conflict is so primal, so radical — to change not only the public translation of spiritual values but to transform our very understanding of reality — that part of us wants to escape it. The loud, pushy voice of ego keeps our focus outside of ourselves — driving us to change things on the surface of the phenomenal world. Any kind of fundamental questioning, any opportunity for deep, inner quiet, threatens to shatter the concepts of what the Self is and how the universe operates upon which we base every thought and decision! Many of us think, subconsciously or not, that we just don’t want to know that much. I’ve certainly seen this hesitance in myself; it took me years to pick up a Ken Wilber book (www. wilber.shambhala.com) because I knew I just couldn’t handle having my worldview challenged that much. The last time I confronted my Dad about the religious reasons for his disapproval of my relationship, he emotionally responded to my informed exegesis of scripture with, ‘I don’t want to hear it. I need to believe what I believe’. It’s true of most of us. åOur entire lives are constructed around certain assumptions about how things work and why. We want our understanding of Spirit and our experience of the world to be static things that after you get them once, they never change. Unfortunately, as time goes on and human beings learn more and more about the universe and human nature and how they operate, our personal understanding has to change or we become fossils of an outmoded worldview. Our development becomes arrested: full stop. Just because a way of being has become comfortable doesn’t mean it’s correct.

In fact, we usually become more and more uncomfortable as we become closer and closer to Spirit through meditation and prayer. Unfortunately we seem to have a low tolerance for discomfort. However getting shaken up is just evidence of our rising up and can bring great change. If our feet stayed firmly planted on our conventional understanding, our feet would never leave the ground. Groundlessness is inherent in the process. Just as there must be silence for Spirit to be audible, there has to be space in our thoughts and beliefs for Truth to manifest. Groundlessness wipes away our preconceptions. Pema Chodron explains in The Places That Scare You that as we become used to this insecurity, ‘To the extent that we stop struggling against uncertainty and ambiguity, to that extent we dissolve our fear.’ There is no fear in love. When groundlessness cultivates our fearlessness, we encounter our own genuinely loving nature, and we become available for open-minded, whole-hearted interaction with the universe. As gay Christian mystic, Jim Marion say’s ‘All we need to do to be “saved” is to consciously realise who we have been all along. We need to realise our own divinity, own it, take up the responsibility of it, and live it.’

THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS THAT ENLIGHTENMENT AND INNER PEACE CAN ONLY BE FOUND BY GOING INWARD If queer people do not awaken to our full responsibility, fulfillment and empowerment, then our natural function as human beings in society will continue to be frustrated, obstructed and disjoint. The possibility for our final emancipation, legitimation and liberation will wither if LGBT people do not unmask and become more present to others, in service to others, and bring the gentle qualities of Spirit to the details of living. These universal qualities of Spirit-love, compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, humility, contentment, responsibility and harmony-will help us transform straight communities into just and sustainable environments that nurture whole, mindful and evolving individuals. Our awakening of spiritual and emotional intelligence will be the thunder that cracks their slumber. Our care and service will rain down and wash away the dark stains of hate and prejudice. Our radical realisation will be the shirt of flame that burns bushels and allows our inner lights to shine.

Clayton Gibson is the Founder of MyOutSpirit.com ~ the world’s #1 social networking website for LGBT body/mind/spirit connecting conscious LGBTQ people with each other and with resources that affirm who they are and whom they love. Clayton has just begun publishing MyOutSpirit Magazines in cities around the USA ~ www.MyOutSpirit-Austin.com

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FOOTLIGHTS

4

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CATHOLIC BOYS &

SHAKESPEARE

Romeo and Who?

Imagine you’re a teenage boy at an oppressive male-only catholic boarding school. Repression is rife. Discipline and corporal punishment are routine. The classes dull. The school considers Romeo and Juliet to be a subversive text full of violence, underage marriage, parental disobedience, murder, lies, deceit and the most unforgivable sin of all, suicide. The play is banned. This is the context to Shakespeare’s R & J by Joe Calarco. But four boys decide what better way to defy authority and get some excitement in their life than to read the play at night, in secret, in constant danger of being discovered. Just like the characters in the play, their meetings are fraught with danger and the threat of being expelled. So just like the original play, in Shakespeare’s R & J the school environment is high risk. For these four boys the oppressive, violent city of Verona is mirrored in their school. The playwright Joe Calarco has taken the original play and put it in this invigorating context. What you will see is a tight performance of the play, along with dialogue, sonnets and speeches. Once the boys get past their larking and bravado and discover the power of the play, they play the characters for real, but at no time do they become the characters; At all times they have their own personalities, so they have the strong vibrant energy of male teenagers. And they play the women characters straight too, discovering just how powerful Shakespeare’s dialogue is for these women. As boys, they play the love scenes between the very young teen couple with all the energy and testosterone that teens have. As Stephen Pike of The Q said, ‘This is the closest we’ll get to seeing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as it was originally performed.’ Until the restoration of the monarchy, it was considered improper for women to be involved anywhere in the theatre, so boys played all those romantic, passionate female roles we know so well. Doubling, and trebling of roles was also commonplace.

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By Robert Henderson

FOR SOME FUSE READERS, SEEING TWO TEENAGE BOYS KISS TENDERLY WILL BE A HIGHLIGHT, BUT THIS INTERPRETATION ISN’T JUST A CHEAP TRICK. It brings to our mind all the feelings the boys would have for the illicit nature of what they are doing. The original lovers’ illicit romance (Juliet is thirteen after all) is reflected in the illicit nature of the boys kissing each other. They would be shamed and banished, just like Romeo and Juliet, were they discovered. Will they be? By giving the play this new context, we feel again the power of the original just as the original viewers must have seen it and go through the emotions that the characters feel. It’s quite a masterpiece of theatre and one not to miss.

Shakespeare’s R & J is brought to us by Riverside Theatre, Parramatta and Phil Bathols with the four boys played by Tom Stokes, Ben Gerrard, Garth Holcombe and Julian Curtis. A very minimal set and costuming enables the boys to quickly go from their schoolyard personas to the characters. A boy becomes a maid with just the use of a scrap of cloth as a scarf. This is a play and a production that calls for the highest level of performance for it to succeed, which by all reports they do movingly. The Q – Queanbeyan Performing Arts Centre is one of the most stunning venues in Australia, a winner of architecture awards. Each year’s season of works keeps getting better and more diverse. Don’t miss Caravan, Lying Cheating Bastard and A Day in the Death of Joe Egg to come.

Shakespeare’s R&J. 8 June 2010 to 12 June 2010. The Q - Bookings 6298 0290 or www.theq.net.au


uctions Riverside Prod esents pr s ol rt Ba il & Ph

e Winner of th rtel Lo lle ci Lu s u prestigio r 400 fo n ra Award, R&J York City, ew N in s performance t run of any the longes of Romeo production and Juliet

playing at ‘the Q’ Queanbeyan performing Arts Centre, 8-12 June.

A four mAN testosteroNe-pumped romeo ANd JuLiet In the repressive atmosphere of a Catholic boys boarding school, four students secretly explore Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for their own enjoyment. At first it’s just for laughs, but as the young men discover the themes of secret and forbidden love, they gradually immerse themselves in the roles.

tickets: Adults – $42 Conc. & groups – $37 under 26 – $32 Bookings: phone 6298 0290 or www.theq.net.au

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FEATURE

Wendy

Singer SINGER

WICCA AND PAGANISM ARE AMOUNG THE OLDEST SPIRITUAL PATHS KNOWN TO MAN. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WITCH IN 2010? It means to acknowledge the spirit in all of nature, and to recognise that we are active co-creators of our magical Universe. Every person who calls themselves “witch” will have a different definition or understanding of the term, but that is what makes modern witchcraft so wonderful — its diversity. DOES THE PAGAN SCENE IN AUSTRALIA DIFFER FROM THE REST OF THE WORLD?

Rule

WENDY, A MELBOURNE BASED SINGER & SONGWRITER, IS A WORLD-RENOWNED, LEADING VOICE IN PAGAN MUSIC AND RECENTLY PERFORMED AT THE HUSH LOUNGE IN CANBERRA.

Pagan

She is a prasticing witch and her lyrics typically address mythological themes. Once you hear her, you won’t forget her haunting voice and enchanting melodies. It is a magical experience! Wendy kindly took the time out of her current tour to talk to Yasmin Element, Associate Editor of FUSE magazine.

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By Yasmin Element

I do a lot of travelling in the USA and the scene there is enormous, and well organised. There are so many wonderful festivals to attend and really dedicated people bringing so much to the community. Obviously Australia has a much smaller population, and our subcultures reflect that. Even so, I think we have a thriving Pagan scene here in Australia. In some cities, such as Perth, I find it is incredibly focused, while in others, like Melbourne, you have to scratch the surface a bit before you realise that there is a huge Pagan community there. One thing I do notice is that every group, all over the world, is really quite different. THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF GAY AND LESBIAN PEOPLE WITHIN THE PAGAN COMMUNITY. WHY DO YOU THINK THESE “PINK WITCHES” ARE ATTRACTED TO ALTERNATIVE SPIRITUAL PRACTISES? In general, the worldwide Pagan scene is very accepting of all kinds of people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender. We recognise the Divine in each other, and celebrate our differences. I think, too, that by honouring both the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, men and women of all sexual persuasions discover new aspects of themselves, and that we are all of us God and Goddess.

Wendy’s new album, Guided by Venus, is out now. For more info go to: www.wendyrule.com You can also find Wendy on Myspace and Facebook.


SongwriterWitch SONGWRITER

A LOT OF RELIGIONS CENTRE AROUND THE DIVINE UNION OF POLARITY: MALE/FEMALE, YIN/YANG ENERGY. A LOT OF GAY PEOPLE WONDER HOW THEY FIT INTO THIS PICTURE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS?

We all have a mix of masculine and feminine energies within us, regardless of gender. I strongly disagree with the idea that only heterosexual couples can work magic together. I find that I am just as often invoking the god Mercury as I am the goddess Artemis! The most important thing when practising ritual and magic with another person is to open our hearts to the flow of love, in all its wonderful forms. Maybe that is sexual love, or maybe it’s the love of the stars and the moon. It doesn’t matter. What counts is the pure flow of energy. YOUR MUSIC CERTAINLY TRANSPORTS THOSE LISTENING TO OTHER PLACES, DO YOU SOMETIMES FEEL WHEN YOU ARE WRITING OR SINGING THAT YOU ARE NOT QUITE IN THIS WORLD/DIMENSION OR PLANE OF EXISTENCE? Since I was a kid I often felt that I was “off with the Faeries”, and I can still easily drift off into trance. Often when I’m singing I enter so fully into the song that the outer world no longer exists. At the end of the song I’ll open my eyes and the trance will break, and I’m back on stage.

WITCH

ANY SUGGESTIONS FOR HOW OUR READERS CAN INCORPORATE MUSIC INTO THEIR EVERYDAY RITUAL AND MEDITATION?

I encourage everyone to sing, regardless of whether you think you can or not. Simple chants raise a lot of energy and focus in a ritual; even better if you make something up yourself. Just play and be free with your voice, like a child would.

. . . THE PAGAN SCENE IS VERY ACCEPTING OF ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION OR GENDER WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO WAS INTERESTED IN EXPLORING WICCA? Enjoy the journey of finding like-minded people. The internet is a wonderful resource to help you find groups in your area. I think it’s great if you can get together with a few friends and start experimenting with simple ritual and meditation. Head to your local esoteric bookstore and ask for some advice. But mostly, follow your intuition and your heart.

This booklet is specifically designed to help people living with HIV make the best decisions about their health as they begin to grow older. It contains the latest information on the medical and social challenges of growing older with HIV. Some of the topics covered in this new booklet are; cardiovascular, liver, kidney and bone health, cancer screening, menopause and more… NOW Available from the AIDS Action Council and PLWHA ACT. For more information contact Marcus or Nada on 02 6257 2855 or download a free PDF at www.aidsaction.org.au

aidsaction.org.au

FUSE 21


THE QUEER AND RELIGIOUS COMMUNITIES:

OP.ED

POLES APART OR CLOSER THAN YOU THINK? Labels: On tins of food at my local Woollies, they are useful and make sure I come home with the stuff I meant to get. On people, they almost always put us in boxes that don’t give a sense of who we really are. I wear glasses and got called “four eyes” at primary school. Labels that I get now and really hate are “girly” (excuse me, remember feminism?), “lefty” (like being progressive is a bad thing) or “Christian”. Of the three, the one I dislike the most is “Christian”. Too often that label means someone small minded and judgemental who is against everything fun. With no fashion sense and very bad hair. It bothers me because I am a person of faith. I am a card carrying member of the Uniting Church. I have an active and progressive faith framework that is an integral part of who I am. Labels can overshadow the sum and diversity of who we are. We are all citizens and friends, sports nuts or book worms, passionate about politics or the arts, or all of these or none. We are students, workers, or struggling to get by on welfare. We are heaps of things, and our sexuality and faith, while foundational, do not tell the whole story.

22

I want to live in a country where we respect each other’s traditions, but insist on every tradition working within a strong national human rights framework. To celebrate diversity, end discrimination, and ensure that vulnerable Australians are included in every aspect of community life, all our actions must be guided and underpinned by respect for people and human rights. Not all religious institutions teach discrimination and many queer folk are people of faith. If we are going to bring religious and queer communities closer together we need to start where we are with the energy and resources we have. It’s about building bridges. We can drive change.

Just imagine communities where diversity is not just tolerated but celebrated. A country in which everyone is included, belongs, and is valued. No discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, sexuality, ability, class, colour, creed or cultural origin. How great would that be?

Back to labels; I may be straight, I may be a person of faith, but by God I will go to the wall to protect and advocate for the inherent dignity and uniqueness of each person. I have spent much of my life struggling to live, work and act in solidarity with people who are vulnerable or disadvantaged. I have deep respect for the queer community, for your capacity to create communities full of life and hope, to organise and to be persistent in pursuit of change.

Many of you might share this dream. For it to become reality, we need gutsy legislators who are prepared to put equality under the law above short term politics and the lobbying of particular interest groups. And we need a fundamental shift in culture from fear of difference, to respect and celebration of diversity.

Margaret Mead once said, ‘People tell me that the actions of a few won’t ever change the world. I tell you, it’s the only thing that ever has’. My hope is that we can step up together, and bring our dream world into being.

There are many in the religious community who I am ashamed to say conform to the ugly stereotype. But there are loads of us who don’t. Some of us are straight and some of us are queer. Huge numbers of us want to stand in solidarity with you, working together for acceptance for everyone everywhere, and equality under the law.

FUSE

Australia is multi-cultural and multifaith. Citizens are young and old, of all genders, and from many cultural origins. As a group we include many expressions of sexuality. Our skins are many shades. We are tall and short, fat and thin. In the words of that very cheesy song, ‘I am, you are, we are Australian’.

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By Lin Hatfield Dodds — Card carrying member of the Uniting Church and Greens Senate candidate for the ACT


The music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Mahler and Strauss will resonate alongside living legends Arvo Pärt, Peter Sculthorpe, John Tavener, Elena Kats-Chernin and Ross Edwards, filling Canberra’s finest acoustic spaces.

TICKETS

The 2010 Canberra International Music Festival program is constructed around works that relate to GOLD, as we believe that the Creative Arts represent the true Gold of our time. Gold is universally seen as a symbol of love, marriage, warmth, incorruptibility, excellence, purity, malleability, and transcendence. Given that the only human activities that seem to remain in use for up to a century are the very best works Artists create and the finest Architecturally designed buildings, we believe the Creative Arts represent excellent and lasting value. Therefore we have assembled thirty concerts of the finest music of our time and from the past including events that combine architecture and music, to display the qualities of warmth, purity and excellence — a festival of Golden Music.

All 24 Concerts plus the Amazing Space Architecture Series (5 concerts) $420 Festival Gold Passes are available from the Pro Musica office info@cimf.org.au or call 02 6230 5880.

Chris Latham, Artistic Director

WHAT’S ON

THIS MAY 14 - 23 EXPERIENCE THE GOLDEN SOUNDS OF THE 16TH CANBERRA INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL.

BUY A FESTIVAL GOLD PASS

CONCERT TICKET SALES Canberra Theatre Centre Civic Square London Circuit Canberra City. Canberra Ticketing Call 02 6275 2700 www. canberraticketing.com.au

14 – 23 May 2010 Book Now! www.cimf.org.au The music of Beethoven, Chopin, Gorecki, Mozart, Mahler, Strauss, Arvo Pärt, Peter Sculthorpe, John Tavener, Elena Kats-Chernin, Ross Edwards and Rautavaara. Featuring musicians; Thomas Indermühle SWITZERLAND, Simone Riksman NETHERLANDS, T’ang Quartet SINGAPORE, Oriana Chorale, David Periera, Tobias Cole, Louise Page, Tamara Anna Cislowska, Daniel de Borah, Bill Risby, New Zealand String Quartet, The Song Company, Jouissance, Calvin Bowman, Domenico de Clario and many others.

FUSE 23


{

By Damien Pratt

EAR CANDY

Well it was our first FUSE birthday last issue and considering I started writing these reviews from FUSE02 I guess that means this issue marks my one year anniversary. Wow, twelve reviews already... who would’ve thought? Now, since the theme of this issue is spirituality, I thought that I might review one of my favourite albums. This album is very different from anything that I have reviewed before — it is my meditation album and it’s good. I’ll also be reviewing the latest album from the NYC Psychedelic Pop group Yeasayer.

GENRES 101: NEW AGE OMG! You are about to be enlightened to the definition of New Age Music by a random bunch of self-proclaimed experts that have published themselves on Wikipedia... are you ready? New Age music is made up of various styles and is intended to create artistic inspiration, relaxation, and optimism. It often includes chanting and has a tone of mystery. It’s used by listeners for yoga, massage, meditation and reading as a method of stress management or to create a peaceful atmosphere in their home or other environments. It is often associated with environmentalism and New Age spirituality. The harmonies in New Age music are generally modal, consonant, or include a drone bass. The melodies are often repetitive, to create a hypnotic feeling, and sometimes recordings of nature sounds are used as an introduction to a track or throughout the piece. Pieces of up to thirty minutes are common. You’ll be feeling calm, clear and enlightend before you know it.

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ODD BLOOD : YEASAYER Yeasayer is a band from New York City and they have been around since 2007. They are a relatively large band with five members and this album Odd Blood is their second and I reckon it’s grouse. I urge you to give this album a go because it’s probably not like anything you’ve heard before and may not ever hear again — it’s truly original and individual. The band is fairly experimental when it comes to making music and they are often described as an experimental rock band, but I think they fit the psychedelic pop category more than anything else. When listening to this album my mind boggles just thinking about how they ever came up with the sounds they create — it’s some truly weird shit! There are some total gems on this album, like ‘Ambling Alp’ and ‘O.N.E’, and there is one track that made me laugh out loud hysterically. You’ve got to check out track six, ‘Love Me Girl’. After almost three minutes of an electric instrumental intro it somehow morphs into a song that can only be described as EPIC-POP-FAIL. It sounds as if the band spent six months studying the TOP 40 and discovered the never-fail pop formula. It can only be described as Justin Timberlake on crack(!) and it’s nothing short of hilarious.

NADA HIMALAYA : DEUTER Ok, so this is where the review gets all spiritual on your ass! Deuter is this totally New Age German freak that as a child decided to see if he could master every possible musical instrument he could get his little hands on. After a near death experience in an automobile accident in his early twenties he turned totally spiritual and started making New Age music. Since 1971 he has travelled the world and made some fifty New Age albums. Just music to relax and meditate to — no lyrics as that would stimulate thought — this is just pure ultra chilled sounds that are actually quite magical. Nada Himalaya is my favourite and is made out of a perfect mash of Tibetan bells, bowls, chimes and that’s it. This album really is a case of less is a whole lot more. A few friends and I use this album as a fail-safe remedy for insomnia and it actually works. Put this little puppy on and you will be transported to la-la-land in the time it takes you to think ‘Holy Shit this is GOOD’!


Bowling!

Boi’s & Men, girls & women its party time at AMF Bowling Belconnen

per person

From 7pm

includes - 3 games of bowling and a standard beer, wine or soft drink. Don’t be shy call Mat on 6251 6966 or visit amfbowling.com.au to make a booking! Offer valid at AMF Bowling Belconnen only. Not valid for league or tournament play or in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Not valid for corporate or group bookings. 10% roller discount does not apply. Games are not transferable or redeemable for cash. Available for a limited time only.

AMF Belconnen 1 Emu Bank Belconnen

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MONEY SHOT

Hippy Tree Hugging FINANCIAL

PLANNER

Money is one of those things in life that is so tangled to our lives, hopes and dreams that it often overwhelms us and dictates what we feel we can and can’t achieve. I am fortunate enough to have been trained in the practice of Financial Life Planning. This brings together the technical financial and taxation knowledge with inquiry skills to help you focus on what is really important for you in life and for the future.

3 1.

Important questions

Imagine you have enough money today to look after your needs for the future. How would you live your life? What would you do with your money? How would you be living?

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This can be a very internal and personal journey and experience. One of my workmates once said I was a ‘hippy tree hugging’ financial planner, but my belief is this is what financial planning should be about.

You visit your doctor and are shocked with the news you have a rare illness which you will never feel any pain but you will have no notice of death and will be dead sometime in the next five – ten years. What would you do in the time left remaining? Would you change anything from what you are doing now?

I question how a professional can provide quality advice without having a solid understanding of what inspires you and what challenges you have faced or may face in the future. After all money, at the end of the day, is just a means to an end. You don’t want a pile of money; you want what it can provide for you.

3.

My challenge to assist you in getting closer to this, answer the following three questions.

You have 24 hours left to live. If you confront your mortality and reflect back on your life, what do you wish you had seen, been, done? What did you miss? The answers to these questions can be profound and can assist in creating your vision and goals for life. Some will have a financial consequence and others will have no financial implications. If you need assistance in exploring these further talk to a professional but most importantly start your journey to being free around your money and creating wealth with understanding.

Scott Malcolm (scott@money-mechanics.com.au) is Director of Money Mechanics (ph: 6257 5557) who are authorised to provide financial advice through PATRON Financial Advice AFSL 307379. The information provided on this document is of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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Spiritual SIDE TO YOUR HAIR

GROOMING

THE

FOR SOME PEOPLE HAVING A HAIRCUT EVERY SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS IS JUST A WAY OF LIFE, BUT SOME PEOPLE ORGANISE THEIR HAIR CUTS AROUND THE MOON CYCLE — A HAIRCUT CAN BE ALL ABOUT A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. Certain religions think hair is a connection to one’s vital essences and senses. Sikhs grow their hair out as a sign of respect to God and to show how perfectly God has created human beings. Rastafarians consider their dreadlocks as a connection to God and call their dreadlocks “God antennae”. There are even spiritual hair salons that use crystals or read tarot cards as part of your consultation and cut your hair according to the card readings that foresee the direction of where your life should be heading. Even if you don’t take spirituality seriously, I have realised that everyone has a bit of a spiritual experience when it comes to their hair. First there’s the meditation, which involves hours of thinking about one thing and that one thing is ‘What can I do with my hair?’ Meditation is about training the mind to concentrate on a certain action such as breathing but some choose to concentrate on their hair. Who would’ve thought that you were doing a form of meditation all this time? Prayer is also a form of being spiritual and I think people pray all the time even if they don’t believe in God. But they do believe in a stylist. The number of people who pray to their stylist about their hair is hilarious. I get everything from ‘Please Chad give me a new and exciting style’ to ‘Please Chad can you fix this?’ Finally, contemplation, hours of contemplating what you could look like if you had hair extensions or what you could do if you had smooth straight hair instead of crazy wild curls or vis-à-vis.

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Overall, everyone has a spiritual experience when it comes to their hair; whether it’s according to your beliefs or not.

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By Chad Wijayatilake from Form Haircutters

RELIGION AND HAIR : DID YOU KNOW? To prove their faith, priests in ancient Egypt, plucked all the hair from their bodies, including their eyebrows and eyelashes. A beard is desirable for Muslim men. Muslim women can remove ‘unnatural’ facial hair but are not allowed to reshape eyebrows for reasons of vanity. Both Hindu boys and girls undergo a ritual at about four years old in which they have their heads shaved. Hair is seen as an adornment so by shaving the head, the child confronts his or her bare ego. The Sikh religion forbids cutting or shaving any bodily hair. Sikhs ultimately believe that hair enhances a person’s ability to know God. A popular Wiccan spell notes that if you boil a lock of somebodies hair you could expect the owner to fall in love with you. The Bible refers to Sampson who had formidable spiritual power through the virtue of his long hair. When his hair was cut, he lost his power.


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OUT & ABOUT

33 Petrie Plaza Civic, Canberra City www.cubenightclub.com.au

BRACE YOURSELF!

Wonderland

We’re going down the rabbit hole! Join us @ Cube for a night of all things WONDERLAND. Complete with all your favourite characters, come dressed in theme for FREE entry and the chance to WIN some super cool prizes. With DJ Matt spinning the soundtrack to this fabulous event and Anita Lay performing. There’ll be something for everyone on this night of wonder and excitement. Don’t miss WONDERLAND @ CUBE – Friday 28th May from 9pm.

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MORE THAN A NIGHTCLUB

Cube is a home away from home with a sense of family so unique it cannot be compared. Canberra’s premier gay venue along with ARIA accredited resident DJs provide a mix of music beyond the charts.

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LOOK HUSH

OUT & ABOUT

NEW

Hush Lounge would like to introduce to you our new management team Shaun and Joel. Both boys have had years of experience in the hospitality and customer service industry. Together they would like to invite you to come and experience the new look Hush Lounge. Shaun and Joel are country boys. Shaun spent his growing years in regional NSW in the Leeton region, whilst Joel was only a hundred or so kilometres away in a tiny town called Culcairn. Since then the guys have worked in the hospitality industry and now come together as a couple to bring you a great place where you can come to be entertained, eat and drink. And most importantly be yourself, feel safe and have a good time. The boys have a fantastic new menu for you to try and they promise to deliver great flavours with cuisine that is made with the freshest of ingredients. They are both excited to meet new faces and put something back into the gay community. Shaun and Joel would like to invite you to The Hush Lounge a great bar they share a love for.

SATURDAY 22 MAY

THE COUGARS VS. THE MANTHERS UNLEASH YOUR INNER BEASTS AND GO ON THE HUNT FOR FRESH YOUNG MEAT!!! We’re throwing a massive party for young and old. We’ll be playing the hottest songs from the 80s, 90s and today! You never know, you might just meet that sugar daddy, money mama, man or woman of your dreams, or you might just have a great night out. Strictly 18+ Event! Only $5 at the door.

Corner of Launceston & Irving Streets Phillip www.hushlounge.com.au ~ 02 6282 1944

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WWW.HUSHLOUNGE.COM.AU CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE FOR THE FULL LINE UP OF LIVE MUSIC, KARAOKE NIGHTS, SPECIAL EVENTS, PARTIES & MORE!


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OP.ED

GRIEF

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By Andrew Burry

IS A PART OF LIVING Working in the HIV sector on and off over quite a few years, I may be excused for sometimes feeling that I am in the grief business. And, if that’s true, then perhaps I can claim to have seen this most common of human emotions manifested in all manner of ways. I’ve also seen grief triggered by all manner of reasons, and often they are quite surprising. French impressionist painter Pierre Renoir said, ‘The pain passes, but the beauty remains,’ which is a handy thought in happy times, but a perfectly useless thing to say to somebody mired in the dark depths that loss produces. Indeed, saying anything to a grieving person falls well short of just listening. There are a few myths about grief and coping with it. One is that the pain will pass more quickly if it is ignored in favour of getting on with things. Trying to ignore your pain, however, won’t stop it resurfacing in the future and oftentimes be much worse in its impact. ‘Get over it’ should be junked, and instead grief can be embraced as a powerful way of dealing with it affectively. Another myth is that the scale of grief is proportional to its cause. By this logic, the end of a two-year relationship would be only half the grief occasioned by the termination of a relationship of four years. This is patently ridiculous; indeed terminating a relationship might produce more relief than grief! The truth is that grief and grieving combine a complex set of feelings, emotions and projections. At the AIDS Action Council, we work with our clients and their friends as they deal with the impact that circumstances have brought to their lives. We understand grief as a natural reaction to loss; loss of a partner, a job or a pet; a sudden change to financial security, family circumstances or sense of identity even. We see how grief is inevitably a personal and highly individual experience. We also see that healing happens gradually and that it can’t be hurried or forced. In other words, we see clearly that there is no normal timetable for the process to conclude. What we also see is that in almost all cases, the negative consequences of grieving can give way to a kind of renewal and often an individual can emerge stronger and more resilient than before.

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The AIDS Action Council’s counsellor, Stephanie Buckle, is available at Westlund House on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. The service is free. For further information or to make an appointment call 6257 2855 during office hours or email to stephanie@aidsaction.org.au Lifeline’s 13 11 14 service is staffed by trained telephone counsellors who are ready to take calls 24 hours of the day, seven days a week.

Despite this being such a personal process, there is no need to do it alone — in fact it is important not to try. The single most important factor in healing from loss is to have the support of other people. Even if you don’t usually find it easy to talk about your feelings, it’s important to do so when you are grieving and to make the burden easier by sharing it. It’s equally important to continue to take care of yourself. The stress of a loss can sap your energy very quickly and make coping much more difficult. For many people, counselling can provide a truly effective way of developing your own coping strategies and our counselling service at Westlund House is extremely experienced in working specifically with those from sexuality and gender diverse communities and of course with the issues surrounding HIV. Grief is genuinely a normal part of life for all of us, and I am reminded of the words of Shelley; ‘Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.’


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OP.ED

NO WAY TO CLEAN IT UP Have you noticed that Christians with their big Bibles can get the hell on your nerves? Have you figured out that Christians can be, not just wrong, but tragically wrong? Are you aware that Christians are some of the most dishonest people in the world?

ONE MORE QUESTION, DO YOU REMEMBER MR.CLEAN? Mr. Clean can clean up any mess, except for one particular type of mess. Mr. Clean, despite the efforts of modern Christians and Christians throughout history, cannot clean up biblical texts which are horrific, texts which we must not believe, texts which Christians and all people in the world need to renounce (For a good start on the horrific texts see Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer’s Jesus against Christianity). With respect to a sexual orientation text, Dr. Joel Hoffmann, author of the blog, God Didn’t Say That and the book And God Said, notes Leviticus 18:22 is more complicated than conservative translators let on, but that, ‘“You shall not lie with a male as a with a woman” is a fairly good rendering, and that, the Hebrew almost certainly referred to men having sex with men.’

‘ I BELIEVE ALL THE BIBLE, EVERY WORD OF IT.’ I THOUGHT, THE HELL YOU DO.

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So mark up the Levitical author/s as being wrong on that one, and mark up other Biblical writers being wrong on other matters. It’s important for the church’s well-being and the world’s well-being for Christians to fess up on the parts of the Bible which are wrong. And it’s time for the Christians to say that other biblical texts, which supposedly condemn sexual and gender minorities, aren’t so clear.

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Furthermore, while we are ponying up, let’s admit with Dr. Theodore Jennnings, Jr., that both the Old Testament and the New Testament have homoerotic literature. (See Jacob’s Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel, The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic Narratives from the New Testament, and Paul or Plato?: The Origins of Western Homophobia.)

Finally, let’s conclude the Bible is not enough for our theologies. Modern Christians must use experience, reason, science, church tradition, and the Bible for our sources to think about God and life. All these sources, including the Bible, are problematic. And all these sources are equal sources. None should be allowed to trump the other. It’s not my fault God didn’t provide a less complicated theological method. We need to be more honest about theological method than trying to clean up Biblical texts which can’t be cleaned up. No amount of Mr. Clean, or jumping through theological hoops, will do the trick. In Charlotte, NC I participated in a Queens University panel discussion on homosexuality and the Bible (wrong way to frame the debate, it should be GLBTI and the Bible). In front of God and everybody, Dorothy, a transgendered (male to female) person said, ‘I believe all the Bible, every word of it’. I thought, the hell you do. It’s impossible to believe the entire Bible. The Bible has within it, texts which cannot be reconciled. And by the way, Dorothy, there are texts in the Bible which condemn you and others. I can empathise with Dorothy and other GLBTI Christians who want to out-Bible the big Bible believers. Told you are an abomination all your life, well, I emphathise with ‘I believe the Bible just like you. I’m just as Christian as you’. But you, and everybody else, do not believe the entire Bible. Diversity within the Bible, makes believing all of it impossible. Throw in the horrific texts, and texts which are just plain wrong, and you don’t want to be believing all of it anyway. Mr. Clean is good, but not good enough to clean up the Bible, not even for a transgendered person of deep faith. Are there honest Christians in Australia? I sure hope so.

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Rev. Dr. Chris Ayers writes for FUSE all the way from Charlotte, NC, USA. He is the pastor at Wedgewood Baptist Church — a group of folks figuring out how to be a Jesuscentric, social-justice-oriented, GLBTI-inclusive church.


OTHER

7 BAD HAIR

Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination

THINGS THE BIBLE SAYS: LETTING PEOPLE WITHOUT TESTICLES INTO CHURCH

It seems that the Beatles, Joan of Arc, Moe Howard and the Three Stooges, the Amish and anybody else with a bowl cut is destined for eternity in hell.

It isn’t important whether you’ve been castrated, are transgender or lost one or two balls to cancer, the Bible doesn’t get that specific. It just says you can’t pray.

A bowl cut, also known as a pot haircut, or a mushroom cut, is a haircut where the hair is cut short on the sides and back and looking as though someone put a bowl on the head and cut off all the visible hair. No wonder it’s deemed a sin and surely the hairdressers responsible should go to hell as well.

Oh, and the next verse says that if you’re a bastard, the child of a bastard… or even have a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of a bastard, you can’t come to church or synagogue either. Deuteronomy 23:2 reads, ‘No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.’ So the question to ask now — do you know anyone that is allowed to go to church or pray? Because we don’t.

Deuteronomy 23:1 reads (this is the God’s Word translation, which spells it out better), ‘A man whose testicles are crushed (or missing) or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of the Lord.’

Leviticus 19:27 reads, ‘You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.’

SELL YOUR DAUGHTER AS A SEX SLAVE: THE BIBLE SAYS IT’S OK!

POLYESTER, OR ANY OTHER FABRIC BLENDS

SAY NO TO BACON Well, we kinda like this one and are not sure how anyone could eat something as cute, lovely and smart as a pig anyhow. In Leviticus 11:8 — which is discussing pigs, reads ‘You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.’ Further more, Leviticus 3:17 says eating of fat is prohibited forever — Oh we’re in real trouble kids. Other reasons why you should not eat bacon www.savebabe.com

The Bible doesn’t want you to wear polyester. Not just because it looks cheap and nasty, but because it’s sinfully unnatural. Leviticus 19:19 reads, ‘You are to keep my statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.’

DEFENDING YOUR LIFE BY GRABBING YOUR ATTACKER’S GENITALS No joke. Deuteronomy actually devotes two verses to this exact scenario. Deuteronomy 25:11-12.

Exodus 21:7 ‘When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again’. Now that’s what you call good solid family values!

NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS Deuteronomy 23:10. ‘If one of your men is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp and stay there.’ Strangely enough using your hand is not a sin — in fact masturbation is not mentioned in the bible at all. And we always thought it sent you blind! The “sin” is apparently looking at someone with lust while imagining you’re with that someone. If you can masturbate without outside stimulation then it’s is not a sin. Good luck!

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FUSE BIRTHDAY BASH

A big thanks to all our fantastic performers, our hosts Tilley’s Devine Cafe and all of you who attended and gave generously. You all made The FUSE Big Birthday Bash and Charity Night the astounding success it was. With your help FUSE raised over $1700 for the Humane Society International (www.hsi.org.au).

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Tilley’s

Devine Café Gallery

TILLEY’S IS NESTLED IN TREE LINED LYNEHAM JUST 4KM FROM THE CITY For over 26 years Tilley’s has been famous for its breakfasts, lunches, and dinners... and of course its fabulous coffees. Tilley’s attracts not only ‘regulars’ but visitors from overseas and interstate who enjoy the all-day menu specials, and oh such lovely cake! Internationally renowned for legendary blues, jazz and classical concerts, Tilley’s continues to attract artists of international calibre who prefer the intimacy of a warm theatre atmosphere clad in red velvet, brass and dark timber booths. With a fully licensed bar, one can enjoy champagne with breakfast, or in the evening savour our broad range of wines, spirits or boutique beers on tap.

OPENING HOURS Serving you breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days. Monday to Saturday : 9am – 10pm Sundays : 9am – 6pm

THE CALL IS YOURS! TILLEY’S CAN DO IT FOR YOU... To reserve your favourite table or booth phone us on 6247 7753 Corner of Wattle & Brigalow Streets, Lyneham • www.tilleys.com.au FUSE 39


FUSE

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FUSE BIRTHDAY BASH


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FUSE FASHION SHOW

FUSE would like to extend a special thanks to all our great aussieBum models: Tyler, Tal, Liam, Greg, Julien and JJ; Chad Wijayatilake from Form Haircutters; and Rod and Brendan from Alive Health & Fitness who all made the FUSE AUSSIEBUM BIRTHDAY FASHION SHOW possible. And of course not to forget our friends at aussieBum who supplied us with some really great gear for the show — thanks.

AUSSIEBUM TURNS TEN 2010 is aussieBum’s birthday too — in fact it’s their ten year anniversary. Over the decade aussieBum has given us some of the best undies and apparel that a man could want, and a whole lot of hot guys modeling them for us, like this hotty in one of their classic undies in Aussie red brick. Lucky us! To mark 2010 aussieBum have launched a new landmark range called ‘Journey’. This range is a sign that as a brand, aussieBum are now beginning a new phase in undie design. At a time when most fashion brands run out of ideas — aussieBum are only just beginning to find their feet. For aussieBum, this year seems to be all about keeping it real. With innovative new products that are already taking the world by storm, whilst still maintaining the quality that resulted in the company winning the Australian exporter of the year award. These super smooth undies are just like your favorite pair of jeans, the ones that go with you everywhere and compliment all your outfits. The ‘Journey’ range moulds to your body no matter what your build. It’s a comfortable and durable underwear, a companion for the road; with you wherever life may lead, no matter the ups and downs. ‘It is impossible to plan a range like this…’ says aussieBum founder Sean Ashby, ‘it just came to us on a trip through Northern Queensland, one of those exotic faraway places that are absolutely beautiful. We were actually going to shoot a completely different concept for this range, but the “journey” idea seemed to speak for itself — ‘one for the ride…’

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WWW.AUSSIEBUM.COM.AU


FUSE FASHION SHOW

FUSE

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TOP QUEER

MOTOR SPIRITS WHO CAN REMEMBER THE LESS KNOWN SONG BY QUEEN ‘I‘M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR’ ? WELL FREDDIE, SO AM I. I have a 1977 Mini S that evokes memories of me growing up in Wollongong during the seventies. I can remember punting along the F6 in my Auntie’s red Mini, bopping along to Christie Allen’s ‘He’s My Number One’ as it screamed out of the single speaker AM radio. The memory is as strong in my mind as if it were yesterday. Not the summer of 1979. Every time I drive my Mini — which is only about once a month by the way — it takes me back to my youth, to when days were simpler and full of nothing but fun. And because of this I will never part with the Mini — re-living those memories is just too much fun! I still get goose bumps every time I watch the original Italian Job (a 1969 British caper film featuring Minis) and I do watch it over and over again. Minis strike a chord in me! Some people have loved their cars so much they have been buried in them. I wouldn’t waste my Mini by putting it underground and you’d need such a big hole. I hope whoever ends up with my baby when I am gone loves it as much as I do, so she can live on. When I first met my partner he didn’t understand the importance of the Mini to me. I tried to define why it was so precious to me. It seemed such a shitty little car to anyone else. I tried to clarify how deeply entrenched my enthusiasm is and that it wouldn’t be changing for anyone. Love me, love my Mini. I am still not sure that he understands completely, but he lets my Mini have the garage, while our new shiny cars live outside!

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

When I was a teenager my Dad looked from our back verandah and counted seven Minis in our back yard, his only comment was, ‘Stu, I am glad you aren’t into Cadillacs. I want you to be down to two by the weekend’ I won’t forget that day either. Or the pain of letting my beloved cars go. Does a certain car evoke particular memories in you — a person or place? Does it stir your spirit or quicken your heart rate. I can’t look at a Toyota Crown without thinking of my Grandpa, and how proud he was of his shiny blue car.

I MANAGED TO PROVE THE ‘SIX BEER THEORY’ MORE THAN ONCE ON THESE VENTURES! A Datsun 180B will almost certainly remind me of holidays in Queensland with my parents. Man that little car covered many happy miles for us! I also have fond memories of camping and four wheel drive trips with the Str8 boys, proving that it can be done in a little Suzuki Sierra. This was before I was out. I managed to prove the “Six Beer Theory” more than once on these ventures! Maybe there was a happy time for you in a certain car? Maybe there was a sad time? What about the film Christine? Who can remember being terrorized by the Plymouth from Steven King’s film? That was one bloody evil car! I can certainly remember watching Herbie movies with joy as a kid, and the cream on the cake would be getting driven to the cinema in another Auntie’s Beetle. Is this why we are seeing manufacturers offering us tantalizing retro cars? Is it to bring back our youth? Not even Botox can do that. Is it so we can have a new incarnation of the car we loved thirty years ago? (For those of us that have been around that long) We have a new Beetle, a new Mini and a re-take on the original Landcruiser. Holden brought us back the GTS and Monaro. Fiat has remade the 500, which is one of the best attempts to re-capture the spirit of a long-gone car that I have seen to date. In Japan there are many new Nissans and Suzukis etc that are just blatant in their attempts to recapture the grandeur of the British cars of the 60s, albeit without the oil leaks and smoldering electrics that pommy cars are famous for! Maybe it’s just another way to get into our pockets and sell us more metal? But I won’t be out to swap my Mini for any new copy. Whilst I love the idea of Minis living on, the new Mini will never be the same as the old one for me.

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By Kittredge Cherry

A lesbian Buddhist friend recently asked me for tips on how to “fill the void” between Buddhists and lesbian and gay people.

BUDDHISM & HOMOSEXUALITY

OP.ED

Her impression was that the Buddhists had little connection to GLBT folks. It’s true that GLBT Buddhists are not as visible as GLBT folks who follow Christ. GLBT Christians have had to come together and speak out because conservative Christians are directly attacking us, singling us out as the worst sinners, using the issue of homosexuality to raise money, etc. It appears, at least within western Buddhism, that Buddhists are more tolerant about homosexuality. However, reality is more complex. I shared the following four concepts with my friend. I want to emphasise that I honor Buddhism and its followers.

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LIKE CHRISTIANITY, BUDDHISM CAN BE USED TO SUPPORT HOMOPHOBIA.

AFFIRMATION VS. TOLERANCE OF GLBT EXPERIENCE

There are definitely many GLBT Buddhists, and some tend to have an idealised view of Buddhism. Some blame Christianity for patriarchy, male dominance, and war. They’re surprised when I say that in Japan, Buddhism is used to justify male dominance and war; Shinto, was used to justify World War II aggression against Korea and China (maybe Thailand, too). The horrors equaled some of those perpetrated in the name of Christ.Maybe the critical experience is conversion — if you were raised Christian, converting to Buddhism is a fresh start and a chance to build your own spirituality. If you were raised Buddhist, then Christianity can set you free. My point is that any religion can be abused.

I’m sure that there are many varieties of Buddhism, but do most of them actually affirm GLBT people? I haven’t found much proactive affirmation for GLBT people in Buddhist teachings or teachers.

GAY CONSCIOUSNESS CAN BE INTEGRATED WITH BUDDHISM Great infomation on how to integrate gay consciousness with Buddhism can be found at: www.tobyjohnson.com. Toby is a psychologist and former monk who studied myth with Joseph Campbell. Here’s an excerpt from his site:

Johnson champions the Mahayana Buddhist World-savior myth of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara which portrays a lovely, androgynous (gaylike) young man, usually shown bare-chested in a relaxed meditation pose, who saves the world by willingly taking upon himself, out of compassion and kindness, all the incarnations of all sentient beings to free those beings from suffering. All human beings are incarnations of this one single Being (a mythological version of the planetary mind Gaia)

A case in point is a lecture that I attended at the Gay and Lesbian Center in Los Angeles a few years ago. Lesbian pop singer K.D. Lang introduced her Tibetan lama Chödak Gyatso Nubpa to discuss GLBT sexuality. His basic message was: We’re all sinners, and the sin of homosexuality is no worse than other sins. This is the same message preached by many Christians. The lama also emphasised that he had taken a vow of celibacy, so for him all sex was bad.

BUDDHISM MAY FOCUS ON ONENESS MORE THAN ON UNIQUE GLBT GIFTS Gay and lesbian Buddhists tend to focus on oneness and see the particularity of their sexual orientation as largely irrelevant. On the other hand, people who pursue “gay spirituality” emphasise that GLBT people have a unique experience and/or role that is valuable to the greater whole.

HOMOSEXUALITY CAN BE A PATH TO HOLINESS, A GOAD TO VIRTUE AND EXCELLENCE AND A PRACTICE OF MYSTICAL VISION AND UNDERSTANDING ~ TOBY JOHNSON What I think “gay spirituality” means is bringing our “gay talents” to the area of religion... It is a great skill — one pleasing to “God” I think — to be able to rise above your religious opinions and see through to something higher and more subtle (this is what the Buddhists call Enlightenment). It is a “gift from God” that gay people get to be skilled at this. In closing, I repeat that I honor Buddhists and the Buddhist path. Perhaps surprisingly, GLBT Buddhists seem to be some of the most enthusiastic supporters of my gay-Jesus books and websites. I am writing from my limited perspective as an appreciative outsider to Buddhism, and I welcome comments from others with different viewpoints. May the discussion enlighten everyone!


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DEAR ROSE

Dear Rose, I am 22, fit, good-looking, easygoing but very shy. I have not had a single date, kiss or anything from a guy in over a year and when I do find a guy interested in me, he always disappears. Is it something I’m doing that makes the guys run away? Shy Guy Dear Shy Guy, If it helps, you are not alone; many guys at your age have asked me the exact same thing, so I figure that there is a whole big group of you out there in the same position! My Italian grandmother always said that ‘if you hunt for love, chances are you will get lost’ ...ok the translation sounds better in Italian. But the gist is that, looking for love sometimes can draw the wrong kinds of people to you because you want it to happen so badly. There are lots of things that you can do to take your dating life into your own hands. Firstly don’t think that clubs or online dating is the “be all or end all”, groups such as volunteers or sporting groups are a good base to widen your prospects and you will be attracting people that like the same things that you do. Also it gives you an opportunity to check out what someone is really like without the social pressure of dating someone. Joining groups also gives you a conversation point, which can give you a boost on the shyness factor. Either way don’t be so hard on yourself if they are running away, chances are they just aren’t worth it!

Dear Rose, I love my girlfriend and she is quite wonderful and she just loves her music and plays it loud while bopping around the house. Problem is I (really really) hate her music tastes. God, and she sings along, it’s killing me. I’d just tell her it’s driving me nuts, but she’s so sensitive and it makes her so happy. LD Dear LD, Ok this is what you do! You need to put on your own music and then sing at the top of your lungs, preferably off key. I guarantee that by the end of your first CD, the light switch may turn on and she may understand that she is no Australian Idol contestant! If that doesn’t work, I would suggest that you do go out and buy a Sing Star game and give her some serious vocal competition.

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But seriously, what do you really care about her singing? Does she love you? Are you happy? Is she totally the one for you? I say, if she enjoys it and it makes her happy... invest in some great ear plugs!

Rose

Dear

If you would like to write to dear rose please email her at dearrose@fusemagazine.com.au ~ letters are placed either here or on the Fuse website fusemagazine.com.au

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Dear Rose, I’m 30 and I think I’m afraid of commitment or something. I love being with the guys, hanging out, hooking up, parties but they always want more and I really just love playing the field. My mates say I’ll end up a lonely old man if I don’t settle soon. Are they right? Is it time for me to be tied down to just one guy? Lachlan Dear Lachlan, Pish-Posh... since when is being disconcerting about being in a relationship the path of being a lonely old man? You seem to me be in a place where you are comfortable doing your own thing and having a good time. Please don’t let your mates’ guilt you into feeling that you should be in a relationship when clearly you are not ready to be in one. Remember the only person that you need to be answerable to is yourself and forcing yourself to have a relationship just because you think that you should, is just plain silly. I know that this sounds terribly old fashion, but when someone special comes along you will simply know, and falling in love going into a relationship will simply happen, without this agonising that you seem to be having now. Trust your instincts and be yourself, you will be surprised at what you are capable of doing.

Dear Rose, Why is it that some lesbians shave and others don’t? Recently my girlfriend has been giving me a hard time about shaving my map of Tassie. I am not sure if I really want to do this? Signed Hairy Dear Hairy, Ahhhh to shave or not to shave... that is the question! Throw caution to the wind dearest Hairy, you may find that a clean shave gives you another dimension to your activities in the bedroom. But be cautious, ensure that you have brand new shavers, I prefer gel or shaving cream and lots of light so that you can see what you are doing! There are issues of perhaps a slight irritation during the regrowth period. My other advice is that, for first timers I would suggest the girlfriend give you a hand with that... after all it is a delicate area. I like to think if it as a two person job. And when all is said and done, if you don’t particularly like shaving your map of Tassie, the good news is that it eventually grows back!


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FUSE 13 The Gay Spirituality Issue (Boy Cover)  

In this issue FUSE we look at all aspects of gay spirituality, from Christian to Buddism to Wiccan. Also this month we have a hot photo spre...

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