I was born in to a very middle class, very ordinary, family, in Australia, forty something years ago. Both of my parents are of white Anglo-Saxon heritage, and descended from families that inhabited some windswept parts of eastern Britain for many generations. Adherents to the Church of England, we’re about as white Anglo-Saxon Protestant as it gets.
But, damn it, things are going to change! After a weekend among the counter-cultural types of North Fitzroy, eating tofu on Brunswick Street, and doing something illegal (without being caught) on Smith Street, I read the ‘Saturday Paper’ for the first time, and headed off to my first ‘equal marriage’ rally on the steps State Parliament. All the time my Twitter feed filled with commentary on the Spokane activist and academic Rachel Dolezal (as columnist Tim Blair memorably asked, ‘sista’ or just plain old sister?). And, right there, walking home with my newfound (happily unemployed) activist friends, as we threw stones and curses at the corporate buildings we passed on Collins Street, I had an epiphany.
No more, placid, forty something, boring white guy for me. From now on, I’m ticking any box on a form that means I get my own social worker, an interpreter, and / or some form of special attention. I’m going gay all the way – because I want to.
I’m refusing to conform to the stereotypical, oppressive demand to tick either male or female on my next credit card application (or any application), and I’ll be on 774 mornings with Jon Faine exposing the fascist regime that tries to inflict on me the trauma of nominating male or female when plainly, I’m neither.
I’m signing up for the national disability insurance scheme, even though I don’t have a disability, and shamelessly so. I’m not speaking English, because I bloody well don’t want to. I’m shaving my head, changing my name to Gloria, and wearing my wife’s clothing to work, and I can hardly wait for someone to say anything that I can describe as a word ending in –ist or -phobic, because I’m going to be suing your ass off buddy. I’m an out, proud, intersex person of no particular gender, race, or ethnic identity. And who the hell are you to tell me I aren’t?
Gender, ethnicity, income, employment – it’s all so last century, all so much a construct of an illegitimate, oppressive, capitalist regime. I’m going the full reverse Michael Douglas – as De Fens, in Falling Down. And loving it! I want one of those high paying academic jobs in the gender or cultural studies departments that are normally reserved for ‘minorities’ and which are funded by your taxes. And I want it now.