Posted: 14 July, 2014

Does Coming Out Still Matter?

Geoff Field Weighs In

Before I give you my thoughts on this issue, may I wish Ian Thorpe all the best in the future and honour him for his decision to be true to himself. In spite of all the media attention over the 'revelation' in the interview with Sir Michael Parkinson, I know he will find a greater sense of peace in himself.

That said I really believe a person's private life is exactly that, private, but seeing Ian has previously stated he's 'heterosexual' I think it was important he decided to be honest. This matters not only for his own sense of wellbeing, but also to countless other young gay and lesbian people who might now find the courage to no longer live a life in the shadows.

I have been in Ian's shoes. Back in 2004 when I began working on the nationally syndicated 2DayFM drive show I was asked by the hosts if I was happy to be "myself" on-air. At first I had no idea what this really meant, then it dawned on me that if they were talking about what they did on the weekend with their partners, I would have to be open about my life with Jason too.

So, the following day hundreds of thousands got to hear about my relationship with Jason. The impact of that hit me the following week when a newspaper published an article about me being the first openly gay radio newsreader on Australian radio!

I became known across the country as Geoff on radio, "the gay newsreader".

To be honest, although I had my reservations I'm glad I did all that because back in 2004 being gay was rarely mentioned on-air. Coming out helped change that. It meant that being gay was not something to be hidden from the public. In fact Jason and I decide to get married on national TV and radio in an effort to highlight the discrimination that we still face. This was a catalyst for the now thriving Marrriage Equality campaign.

My coming out has been a profound and exciting journey.

You might well ask what I make of "the gay newsreader" label? At the time I was fine with it, however 10 years later I think it's time for society to move on. Being gay is part of who I am, it's not a label. In a perfect world it would be nice to think that after Ian's interview there is no need for people to announce that they were gay. My dream is to live in a world where people are people and not labelled by their sexuality.

Sadly there is still al lot of homophobia in the world and it's not always easy for people in the LGBTI community to be completely honest about their sexuality, but I believe Ian Thorpe has helped break down barriers by being true to himself and showing people there is nothing to be ashamed of.

In the end if we all just respected our differences this whole subject will be redundant.

Images: Supplied

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Tags: Geoff Field, Ian Thorpe, Gay athletes, Gay Rights

Posted: 27 June, 2014

Sydney's First Legal Gay Marriage With A Twist

UPDATE:

Peter and Gordon have married in Sydney’s UK consulate, however their vows won’t be legal as soon as they leave.

EARLIER:

Back in 2005 Jason and I got married on the 2DayFM breakfast show in what was billed as Sydney’s first “Illegal” gay wedding. 

Although same sex marriages remain banned in Australia, a couple will get around those laws today, using a legal loophole.

Peter and Gordon will marry in Sydney’s UK consulate today, but their vows won’t be legal as soon as they leave.

However the ceremony will draw attention to the fact that we have a long way to go, before marriage equality becomes a reality here.

Good luck to Peter and Gordon, and I hope they enjoy their few minutes being legally married here, thanks to progressive laws in the UK

To see pics of the marriage ceremony head when it happens on Friday afternoon head to the Australian Marriage Equality website.

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Tags: Gay Marriage, Australia, LGBTQ

Posted: 24 February, 2014

Geoff And The We're Waiting Campaign

Recently Geoff and his husband, Jason, travelled to Canberra for the launch of the Australian Marriage Equality "We’re Waiting campaign".

Geoff spoke to the media at a press conference at Parliament House, together with rugby union star David Pocock, about the importance of encouraging MP’s who are wavering in their support for marriage equality to come on board and get the laws changed!

David and his girlfriend Emma even promised not to tie the knot until marriage equality laws were passed.

You can learn more about the We’re Waiting campaign here.

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Tags: 2DayFM, Geoff Field, Marriage Equality

Posted: 18 April, 2013

Why I Won't Be Getting Married In New Zealand

First and foremost congratulations to the conservative government of New Zealand for allowing a conscience vote there.  It has become the 13th country in the world to recognise gay marriage.

I was so happy last night when I received a phone call telling me the MP's across the Tasman had made such a progressive and positive decision.

Many people have asked me recently whether Jason and I would travel to New Zealand to officially tie the knot. The answer to that is 'no'.

I have been campaigning for many years to have marriage equality laws changed here.

After countless rallies, Mardi Gras and even the my own 'illegal' marriage on the Kyle and Jackie O show, politicians in this country are still dragging the chain and refusing to reflect public opinion .

Last years vote against gay marriage in our federal parliament was a disgrace, as are Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott's continuing comments opposing gay marriage. 

Good luck to those who are going to New Zealand to get married, but remember you won't be recognised as a couple under Australian law. 

Jason and I have waited this long for change and we will continue to do so. 

Hopefully the decision in New Zealand and other progressive countries will put more pressure on our MP's who are looking increasingly isolated.

I look forward to the day when I can get married to my lifelong partner, Jason, here in my home country. I don't think that's too much to ask.

Also See

Gay Marriage Legalised In New Zealand

Becomes the 13th country to legalise same-sex marriage

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Tags: New Zealand, Gay Rights, Marriage, Same Sex, Legalised

Posted: 7 February, 2013

The House of Commons In Britain Has Passed Gay Marriage Laws - But Will Our Gay News Reader Geoff Marry In The UK?

Will society eventually look back and realise it allowed discrimination?

(Source: Channel 10 News)

In Britain the House of Commons has passed laws that would allow gay marriage - a great step forward! But would Geoff and Jason marry in the UK?

No way says Geoff, who's been with Jason for 20 years, and of course took part in Sydney's first illegal gay marriage on the "Kyle and Jackie O show" in 2005.

We have both decided we will wait till Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott or whoever is in power to change the laws.

Why should we have to travel overseas to get a marriage certificate that has no legal standing in this country.

We know the public is behind us on this issue, so I wish the politicians would start listening and do something.

In my opinion, the person that leads the change, will become a national hero.

In 20 years time, society will look back and think " how did we allow this discrimination to happen"?

In the meantime gays and lesbians continue to be second class citizens in this country with immeasurable damage being done to you gay people with self-esteem issues.

C'mon Australia, if the UK can do it and it's about the change in the USA, why are we dragging the chain?   

Take a look at the video below!

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Tags: Gay Marriage, Britain, UK, United Kingdom, The Kyle and Jackie O Show

Posted: 12 November, 2012

Movie Charity Night at SLIDE

Tomorrow night at SLIDE nightclub an event will be held to raise money and announce details about the upcoming movie Drown The Movie.
It will be hosted by Charlotte Dawson and there'll be entertainment from Sarah McLeod and Altiyan Childs.

It's really important this project is well supported, so come along and say hello, as tickets are still available

All the details including the Facebook page and details of the event can be found here

http://www.drownthemovie.com

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Posted: 7 August, 2012

Just do it JULIA - Geoff Field On Same Sex Marriage

A poll released by Galaxy last night shows support for gay marriage has risen to 64 percent, and a TV commercial was released in support of equality.

Three cheers to the Tasmanian and ACT governments who are trying to circumvent the federal laws which ban same-sex marriages, despite overwhelming public support for marriage equality.


A poll released by Galaxy last night shows support for gay marriage has risen to 64 percent, and a TV commercial was released in support of equality.


I am dumbfounded by the stubborn manner in which both Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have handled this issue, an issue that is all about choice, equality and removing discrimination.


We can only hope the Tasmanian and ACT parliaments have the courage to pass the legislation. We then have to wait and see whether Canberra will try and overturn it in the high court.

While I'll be happy for Tasmanian and Canberra to change their laws I don't intend giving up the fight until we have laws that apply nationally.
As much as I like Hobart and Canberra I want to be married in Sydney to Jason.


I keep coming back to this simple argument; why shouldn't same-sex couples who want to spend their lives together be given the right to marry? Until we are given that right we remain second class citizens.


I'm sorry, but I don't buy the argument that marriage is for a man and a woman. Just because that is the "traditional" way doesn't make it right. And we shouldn't forget the fact that John Howard was the one who changed the laws to ban gay marriage - that's how recently it happened.
Once, blacks and women weren't allowed to vote, but society eventually realised how wrong it was to exclude them from a process that everyone else was allowed to participate in. The same goes for gay marriage.


I'm sure things will eventually change, but we have to keep up the fight so politicians know there is a growing movement for change right across Australia.


I find it extraordinary that Jason and I, who have been together for 19 years, are still not allowed to legally marry in this country. In fact, I think it's a disgrace.


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Tags: Geoff Field, Same Sex Wedding, Marriage Equality

Posted: 28 June, 2012

Geoff Field - You're Not Alone

Earlier this year I was approached by a group called The Community Brave Foundation who campaign against bullying, homophobia and youth suicide.

Earlier this year I was approached by a group called The Community Brave Foundation who campaign against bullying, homophobia and youth suicide.
I was only to happy to film this piece for them on how I felt about certain issues relating to bullying, with the intention of helping people who may be suffering or have been victims.
Many others have helped out including Jessica Rowe, Shelly Horton, Charlotte Dawson, Melissa Tkautz and Josh Flynn have added their voice to this important cause.
You too can become a Community Brave mentor and help change the world, the details are at the end of this video.
I hope you learn something from the video. One piece of advice I can give you is that most bullies are cowards who back down once they realise you are onto them.
Remember that if you ever become a victim. Thank you for taking the time to watch.

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Tags: Geoff Field, Bullying

Posted: 7 June, 2012

On Marie Claire's 'I Do' Marriage Equality Initiative

I applaud Marie Claire magazine for its "I Do" marriage equality initiative.

(My husband Jason and I at Marie Claire's "I Do" marriage equality rally in Sydney / GetUp! on Facebook)

I applaud Marie Claire magazine for its "I Do" marriage equality initiative. It again focuses attention on a basic human right that is denied to hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian Australians.

All gay people want is equality. Nothing more and nothing less.

Why shouldn't same-sex couples who want to spend their lives together be given the right to marry? Until we are given that right, we remain second-class citizens.

I find it extraordinary that Jason and I, who have been together for 19 years, are still not allowed to legally marry in this county. In fact, I think it's a disgrace.

In 2005 Jason and I took part in Australia's first "illegal gay wedding" when I was reading breakfast news on 2DayFM. It received national radio and television coverage, along with newspaper and magazine articles. We hoped the attention would lead to change, but unfortunately the fight continues while other countries like Portugal and Spain lead the way.

Julia Gillard, an atheist living in a defacto relationship, continues to staunchly opposed marriage equality. I well remember when this contradictory woman once told Sky News that Australians should read the bible. She says she opposes same-sex marriage just because she does, she never gives a genuine philosophical reason for her opposition.

Recently Julia Gillard and the Labor party decided to allow a conscience vote on the issue in parliament. This is a cop out, because it seems the numbers aren't there to get laws through parliament.

And don't forget the attitude of the Coalition in this debate. Catholic Tony Abbott has forced his will on his own party; a party that has a long tradition of allowing members to vote according to their conscience.

A few years ago Tony Abbott said he was "threatened" by gays. Oh really?

The "I Do" campaign will put pressure on MPs, but realistically I can't see change happening while Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott remain leaders of their parties.

I ask everyone to support this campaign, because every bit of support from the community counts and a future leader with courage and conviction is no doubt keeping a close eye on what is happening with community attitudes.

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Tags: Geoff Field, Marriage Equality, Julia Gillard, Marie Claire

Posted: 16 February, 2012

Is There A 'White Australia' Policy On TV?

Do you think our TV shows are a good representation of Australians today?

(Firass Dirani / Getty Images)

Home and Away star Jay Laga'aia has caused a storm of controversy claiming Channel 7 is racist after dumping him from the top-rating soapie.

Jay, who's of Samoan descent insists it dumped him because the show already contained a character of ethnic background played by Ada Nicodemou.


(Jay Laga'aia / Getty Images)

His attack comes only days after Underbelly star Firass Dirani asked commercial TV to drop its "White Australia" policy and cast the different flavours of contemporary Australia.

Maybe both men have a point, but I hope the industry TV isn't racist, and compared to the top shows in the 70's and 80's like Number 96 and Prisoner it's certainly moved on to reflect the changing face of Australia.

I would like to think the reason most popular local shows are dominated by anglo-Aussies, is because it represents the majority of Australians, not because of any motives to shut out other races and cultures.

A lot of actors, entertainers and people on screen do portray or represent their original roots. Some that come to mind include Carbo (George Houvardas) on Packed To The Rafters, Sophie Wong (Melanie Vallejo) on Winners and Losers, plus Alex Dimitriades, Nick Giannopoulos and Pia Miranda.

On a more disturbing note is the lack of indigenous Australians on our TV shows, I can't think of any at the moment apart from Deborah Mailman.

Do you think our TV shows are a good representation of Australians today?

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Tags: Firass Dirani, Jay Laga'aia, TV, Australia, Race, Racism

Posted: 25 January, 2012

What Should Australia (And Australia Day) Mean To Us?

We know that Australia is the best country in the world, but do we really appreciate it?

(Getty Images)

Australia Day.

It raises so many emotions.

For me it's a day to celebrate all that is good about the country we live in, although I do reflect on the plight of the original Australians who no doubt have a different outlook on our national day.

But for the most part, it should be a day to celebrate the fact that Australia is an amazing place, where most people get a fair go and co-exist in peace and harmony.

High profile brain surgeon Dr Charlie Teo has caused a bit of a stir with his Australia Day address after revealing his daughter and an Indian friend had been the victims of racial abuse.

Good on him for speaking the truth, because there is still a small minority of people who are racist in this country, and they should be exposed.

But Mr Teo shows us what a fair and considered man he is, when he criticises some ethnic communities who have failed to embrace our values.

He also adds that Australia is the best country in the world to live in.

After reading the full contents of Mr Teo's speech, I agree with what he says and I have 100 percent faith that new generations of Australians will continue to ensure the subject of race becomes an issue that doesn't inflame hatred and intolerance.

Enjoy Australia Day and celebrate the fact that we are a nation that has an distinct identity, but is also open to new ideas and people.

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Tags: Australia Day, Australia, Patriotism, Racism, Dr Charlie Teo

Posted: 15 November, 2011

Why Julia Gillard’s Gay Marriage Conscience Vote Is A Cop Out

While this may sound fair to some, it effectively means any laws to end discrimination will not get through parliament.

(Getty Images)

On the very day when a new poll showed increased support for gay marriage, committed atheist Julia Gillard reiterated her view that marriage should remain between a man and a woman.

The Nielsen poll showed 62% of Australians support marriage equality. Yet our PM, who lives in a defacto relationship and believes people should read the bible, announced that she preferred a conscience vote on same sex marriage in parliament.

While this may sound fair to some, it effectively means any laws to end discrimination will not get through parliament.

Julia Gillard knows that there are enough members of her party who will vote "No" along with the Coalition to scuttle any attempts to end years of inequality.

Despite this setback I ask people to maintain the rage and continue to sign petitions and attend demonstrations in favour of marriage equality.

Surely Ms. Gillard can't ignore the 71% of voters in her own party that support marriage equality, and the 62% in the general population! But it appears she will and in 20 years time when equality is a given, she will be in the history books for all the wrong reasons.

Over to you - should the government introduce same sex marriage legislation?

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Tags: Gay Marriage, Politics, Julia Gillard