Brian & Australia

History: Why I’m passionate for others

Born Newcastle (Australia) for 21 years and then lived in Sydney (Australia) for six years before immigrating to the United Kingdom at the age of 27 years old. I lived a very happy 6 years in London and now 15 years in Brighton. I’ve also stints living in Buenos Aires (Argentina) and in Australia Sydney, rural communities of Mudgee & Young.

I have lived most of my adult life in the United Kingdom. I’ve lived here for 21 years, later this year (2019) I’ll turn 49 years.

I had my heart broken in my teen years which took me into my 30’s to get over. I can’t watch a certain cowboy movie without anxiety, the romance and our conversations were a similar narrative. I could see a loving future but he couldn’t due to fear of family. I’ve lived through the rest of my life missing him a lot. Life goes on and I’ve met equally wonderful people (men & women) but never experiencing mutual feelings. It’s hard to be me, I have high expectations.

Family expectations of getting married, have kids, produce grandchildren for parents. Some of the most hurtful comments have come from my own family: “It’s Ok to be gay, It’s not OK for my son”; “I had you to have grandchildren”; “you’ll never be happy”; “so how does it feel for your father to hang with the next door neighbour’s son and not you?”; “you don’t want to be one of those”; “the arse is only for one thing”; “Have you got your lace  knickers today Brian?” Simple comments on the surface, but degrade and makes one feel “less than”. It takes one focused young person to raise hold their head high. Forced to lie in their teenage years to satisfy others.

I always say, “I don’t suffer autism, but I suffer most humans.” I think autistic people are the normal, the “majority” lack the ability to be straight talking and honest. I feel the pain of other people, I often have a tear when I watch world events against human rights. I see most people self-absorbent, looking to make things easier for the wider community and their own beliefs.

My most memorable times of my life was living a few times in Far North Queensland. Working on daily and overnight cruises to the Great Barrier Reef – such great life experiences achieved prior to 2012.

I’ve been a determined worker throughout life. I first became self-employed at the young age of 20 years after deferring university indefinitely. Businesses I have owned (in order) included a 20-room hotel, LGBTIQ+ night venue, IATA/ATOL travel agency company specialising in The Americas, South Pacific and Africa. I also worked as a pub cellar manager, deckhand, and a qualified commercial skipper. My fond memories as a cruise director cruising the Great Barrier Reef. I also worked for the same company on Sydney Harbour aboard a various fleet of floating restaurants, serving 400+ passengers 2 courses in less than 1 hour. We were extremely hard-working and share outrageous fun times after work also.

Now after recovering from a breakdown from an incident in 2012 I have found my calling for life. I’ve started a not-for-profit Brighton Dog Adventures company. We raise money to fund excursions for the homeless and autism spectrum individuals who are LGBTIQ+ / GSRD (Gender, Sexuality, Relationship Diversity). Any person in need who believes the world can be better with true equality is welcome.

My Background and who I am… How I have been hurt, bullied as a child and then abused and raped as a man. How human rights must prevail over secret therapy, especially when it leads to unwanted conversion therapy plus added unjustified traumatic interactions by vigilante action groups wanting me to be cleansed of my natural self.

I left Australia to immigrate to the United Kingdom in 1998. A time in Australia when de-criminalisation of recreational drugs (ecstacy, cocaine, Marajuana) was being discussed as a valid option to control quality and distribution to reduce any mis-use. I was living in Sydney at this time and remember many years groups of us stumbling out nightclubs early in the morning full of laughter and joy. Sometimes, police officers would be waiting to greet us outside, not to hassle, but to say “hi” and make sure we were OK. We’d share banter and created a great respect. I was experiencing the best time of my life, coming out and developing meaningful friendships with other society creative “misfits”. Together, we were no longer feeling “less than”. Personally, feeling not ashamed for who I preferred was liberating and calming. Learning to be comfortable with myself and lifestyle preferences I had always felt since a young child.

Don’t get me wrong on drugs by the way. I’d prefer for cigarettes, tobacco, alcohol as well as recreational drugs to be illegal in an ideal world. But we don’t live in that ideal world, far from it.

The stigma around recreation drugs is not warranted or able to be substantiated when compared to alcohol for example. Plus the effects are arguably much better when used correctly.

Before I left Australia, in 1995, ultra conservative PM John Howard took office. I witnessed a dramatic change in the tome for liberal views. His conservative “LGBTQ+ are less than” Christian views were deeply worrying. Sydney Mardi Gras Festival was the biggest international revenue raising event in Australia. In 1997 and 1998 I witnessed Prime Minister Howard refused to give good wishes to the LGBTQ+ Mardis Gras Festival. He stated that the concept of being LGBTQ+ would go against his personal Christian values. I was deeply offended that a Prime Minister only wanted to support his own beliefs and not want to bring family together.

I wrote a strongly worded letter to the PM at the time. In that letter I mentioned him he should be the prime minster for all Australians. Asked him to put aside his Christian views as our PM as children, teenagers and adults where being unfairly thought of, abused and some cases killed. Reinforcing parents could act unreasonably towards their children and spoken right to abuse their children if they chose conversion therapy. He saw the letter, a friend told me. Apparently I was placed under surveillance by ASIO, the Australian Intelligence Agency. Nothing could had been further from the truth at the time.

I’ve always communicated well and needed to close a chapter of my life in my truth. I or my best friend who I mentioned in the letter (with hindsight I obviously didn’t want to offend her or her family) never received any formal verification of being activists. Should wanting equality is considered being an activist?

I say, wanting equality is a human right and brings families and communities together. Our youth having the freedom to speak for themselves without fear is their human right after all.

Australia was starting to prosper financially globally by the late 90’s. However, LGBTIQ+ equality rights were being reviewed backward. The PM and his ministers seemed were attacking the community and telling us we are “not family values” meaning we were a “less than” community. A prosperous country is about inclusion. Needless to say, I was losing my love for Australian attitudes and started procedures to immigrate.

A trans friend committed suicide, just before I left Australia. Kirsten was the funniest woman to hang with. She demonstrated by example to find myself and showed me how to dance. I always think of Kirsten, I look more awesome than ever in an awesome velour shirt of her’s. Always with a cheeky smirk, I remember our outrageous nights out.

I departed Australia to live in the UK, arriving Edinburgh (bound for Glasgow) 3rd April 1998.

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