Hoydens About Town Hall

Mim, her daughter, her mother, and I spent a very, very, very long afternoon filming a new ad advocating same-sex marriage with Australian Marriage Equality and GetUp!. Let me tell you all about it.

The organisers had kept the specifics well under wraps, only telling us to wear jeans and red or white shirts, and that we would be filming at Sydney Town Hall. We trundled up to this beautiful building and awaited instructions. Unfortunately, as Mim’s family were all in red and I was in white, we were separated pretty quickly! We were all arranged in circles tightly packed around each other; I was in the second one from the outside.

What were we all doing? We were forming a human pie graph! The idea was to show various statistics, mostly as to how support for marriage equality has changed over time. Depending on the statistic, various portions of the graph, for those who could perform these actions, were made to squat, or stand with their hands raised in front of them. It took several hours to do this, to the extent that I was making jokes about how same-sex marriage would be legal by the time they’d let us out. People. My knees were hurting before this. Afterwards, I was clutching the banister on the Town Hall steps and limping down George St. I am talking about a serious muscle and joint workout here. I just know the final product is going to look amazing, though.

There were over two hundred of us to arrange, so, before all the squatting started, I had time to spot lots of people I knew, which was lovely. It’s not every day you run into that charming couple you taught how to knit once! There were also new people to meet, with new stories to tell. Like the straight lady who was there to support her gay daughter living all the way over in London. Or the young queer boy who came to Town Hall all by himself and seemed kind of sad and alone… until he spotted comedian Tom Ballard and ran off to take a picture.

Speaking of which, there were a lot of celebrities about, and I was hanging in the corner with a lot of them. YouTuber Natalie Tran was just behind me. Carl Katter, the recently out gay brother of notoriously homophobic politician Bob Katter, was next to her. As you can imagine, he got a simply enormous cheer. And next to me was a guy called Nathan, who turned out to be the son of Geoff Thomas. Do you remember this guy? He was responsible for one of the most powerful moments in Australian politics last year when he stood up on the ABC’s Q&A program and told opposition leader Tony Abbott about his gay son, and challenged Abbott on his homophobia. It was pretty amazing.

Mim’s going to be blogging the day later on tonight, and she took some photos, so I’ll link that when it’s up. I’ll be blogging the video when it’s done. I had a really lovely day, and you’ll have to excuse me while I go and nurse my knees some more!

ETA: Here’s Mim’s post.A banner that says 'Hoyden About Town for marriage equality'

Categories: gender & feminism, law & order, Politics, social justice

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5 replies

  1. Thanks for the report – I was sad that I wasn’t feeling physically up to joining in the filming session.
    Looking forward to seeing the finished-product video.

  2. tigtog, you made the right call! I’m not going to be able to move tomorrow.
    I blogged!

  3. mim, I am beaming virtual massage rays in your direction.

  4. Thank you so much to Chally, Mim, and everyone else who participated. I hope your knees recover quickly!

  5. Knees are fine, but OMG my thighs!
    I got an email from AME asking if I’d like to go to Canberra to speak to my MP about marriage equality, which was pretty cool. But I decided I had to say no because of Reasons TM which is less cool. Nice to be asked though.

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