I am a 31-year-old trans, queer Aboriginal person. I am proud to be Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi and living and working in Naarm.
In my short life, I’ve seen at least 10 “once in a lifetime” events happen here in so-called Australia. Too many to count if I look at global events.
I have witnessed and been a victim of violence as a result of these “once in a lifetime” events from my earliest memories. I have witnessed my friends torn apart, sat through (and personally experienced) the violence when the marriage equality referendum was brought up. The hate and fear and disgust thrown at us as queer people. The violence of othering to deny agency and equality.
That same hate repurposed, repackaged to deny us the Voice. It stems from the exact same place, queerphobia and racism is just white colonial supremacy. The “NO” vote is just another notch chipping away at our humanity to maintain the systemic oppression.
Do you feel ashamed? Do you feel guilt? Did you look at the repackaged lies and misinformation from the gay marriage referendum and think nobody could fall for that? Did you mistakenly assume that the country would vote “YES” to the Voice like they did for gay marriage? Are you shaken that it was an overwhelming “NO”?
Sit with that shame. That guilt. Sit with it and don’t you dare reach out to your Blak friends to absolve you. Don’t push those feelings to the closest mob in the hopes that they can lift the burden from you. We don’t care if you voted “YES” right now. We don’t want your tears and your hand wringing.
Sit with it. Feel it.
I hope this is a wake-up call. To all those who refuse to realise that this country is built and maintained on systemic racism. On the dehumanisation of this land’s Indigenous peoples. Of our pain.
Wake up and smell the racism because we have been screaming, shouting, begging, pleading, crying out for you to see it.
Now you can’t deny it anymore.
Truth. Treaty. Now.