#Australia

Australia's 'Neighbours' Celebrates Marriage Equality With First Same-Sex Wedding

Who doesn’t love a good wedding?

Long-running Australian soap opera Neighbours has made headlines as the show celebrated the series’ first-ever same-sex wedding.

Check out a recap on the love story between “David” and “Aaron” below:

 

 

In the 33-year run of the popular show, 42 couples have said ‘I do.”

And a Neighbours wedding is always a big to-do.

Back in 1987, pop star Kylie Minogue was a cast member who saw her character, “Charlene,” get hitched to longtime love “Scott” in a TV event that garnered more than 20 million viewers in the UK alone.

It wasn’t until March of this year that fans of the show even got anything close to a gay sex scene.

But marriage equality finally arriving in the ‘land down under’ this past January, it was clearly time for Australians to see a same-sex TV couple take a trip down the aisle.

The wedding scene was filmed in May, and according to Gay Star News, the two actors who play “Aaron” (Matt Wilson) and “David” (Takaya Honda) were thrilled to be involved in the groundbreaking TV event.

“We are both ecstatic to be part of this huge moment and it stands alone as the highlight of my career,” said Wilson, 29. “This storyline means a lot to me, my friends and to all the fans who love Aaron and David.”

Honda, 30, reflected on his character’s journey with pride: “It is an absolute privilege to be part of what is and what will be a historic moment in Australian television.”

“There have been so many parts of David’s story that have given me a great sense of pride – from discovering Paul Robinson was his dad, to his coming out to now marrying the man of his dreams.”

And the fans were delighted with the TV nuptials. Check out just a few of the tons of supportive tweets during the happy event.

 

 

 

 

 

(h/t Gay Star News)

Australian Court Finds George Michael Mural Vandal Guilty

The man charged with vandalizing a mural of the late George Michael has now been found guilty.

Last November, several people took offense to a George Michael mural in Newtown, Australia. The painting depicts the late singer as a saint with a bottle of poppers in one hand, a joint in the other, and a crucifix hanging from his left ear.

As GayStarNews reports, many in the Christian Facebook group Christian Lives Matter were upset by the mural. One such man was Ben Gittany.

Gittany painted over the mural with black paint, but was careless and got recorded by nearby cameras.

As Music Feeds reports, Magistrate Carolyn Huntsman found Ben Gittany guilty of malicious damage. She also stated that Gittany’s religious beliefs did not justify vandalism.

“We live in a pluralistic society,” Huntsman told him in court.

Mural artist Scott Marsh spoke to GayStarNews to share what he thought of the ruling, “Its a great result and I’m sure a huge relief for everyone in that local community.”

Sadly, Gittany wasn’t the only person to vandalize the mural. In fact, the mural was vandalized several times in that same November week.

According to the ABC, a 16-year-old boy, whose identity is being withheld due to his age, was charged with defacing the Newtown, Australia mural by painting homophobic messages and crucifixes on the artwork.

The boy was caught by police as they witnessed him and a few other young men graffitiing the wall. While the group of young men ran, the police were able to catch this one culprit.

The court case is still ongoing.

h/t: GayStarNews, Music Feeds, The ABC

New Zealand Cop In Hawke's Bay Proposed During The Wing 315 Police Graduation

One police graduation got a beautiful surprise in the form of a marriage proposal.

78 new police officers in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand finished their training with a graduation ceremony last week.

As the event for the Wing 315 went on smoothly, Constable Erik Meechan, who was honored with the Commissioner’s Award for Leadership, slowed the program down to ask an important question. The Constable asked his boyfriend of five years, Matty Judd, to step forward.

When Judd appeared from the crowd, Meechan got down on one knee and proposed. Judd instantly said yes and the crowd cheered in approval.

As Meechan later told the New Zealand Herald, he had struggled for a whole month on whether or not he should propose at the event. He only made the decision a few days prior.

“I wasn’t 100 percent sure until a couple days out. We actually got his ring customized and that arrived the day before so it was cutting it pretty fine,” he said.

Meechan decided to do it at the graduation ceremony because he wanted the moment to be “a bit special, a bit different.”

As for Judd, he totally understands.

“I think he wanted to do something extravagant that I would appreciate. And I did,” said the newly engaged man.

Judd then added, “It was a really good time and place, and also it’s quite rare to get all our family together in the same place, so it was good to get them all together.”

Meanwhile, Commissioner Mike Bush shared his approval and congratulations.

“It was just awesome,” he says. “The fact that Erik felt so safe and supported in that environment was a fantastic demonstration of what our core value of valuing diversity is all about.”

“I wish Eric and Matty all the very best for the future,” he added.

Chef From "Down Under" Crowned Mr. Gay World 2018

Chef & author Jordan Bruno of Australia has won the crown and title of Mr. Gay World 2018.

In the ten year history of the event, this is the first time an Australian has been crowned the winner. 

The international competition’s mission statement is to find a spokesperson who will push for global equality for LGBTIQ people.

During the 4-day competition in South Africa, Bruno came out on top in 6 out of 12 competition categories including personal interview, social responsibility, best in formal wear, online vote, photogenic and face of 2018.

“I was overwhelmed and it’s really an honor,” said Bruno, who hails from Perth. “For Australia, it gives us visibility and recognition, but it also gives us permission to help the world now.”

The handsome 26-year-old, who is also a columnist for DNA Magazine, says he plans on using his time as Mr. Gay World to unite the LGBTI community regarding subjects like body issues, femme shaming, lesbian discrimination at pride events and more.

Bruno told Attitude Magazine the experience of competing with fellow gays from around the world created a lasting bond between the contestants. “The fact is that you are in a competition and you’re also like a family at the same time, which is quite interesting because you are competing against each other but also each other’s best friend as well.”

“I’ll keep in touch with all of these guys, they are now part of the family when we travel to their countries,” he added.

Bruno had previously been a contestant on the cooking reality show, My Kitchen Rules.

Next year’s Mr. Gay World competition will be held in Hong Kong.

Check out some outtakes from Bruno’s Instagram below.

 

A post shared by JORDAN BRUNO (@jordanbruno.mkr) on

Australian Reality TV Just Got An Adorable Surprise Marriage Proposal

A contestant on The Voice Australia made a big splash by proposing to his boyfriend.

Australia’s iteration of the international singing competition show is just starting its season this year and is currently undergoing the blind auditions section.

For those who aren’t fans of the show, this section is when new contestants sing with the judges turned away and only listening to their voices. Judges can then decide if they want the singer to pass on to the next round. If more than one judge decides to turn their chair, the singer then chooses which judge will act as their singing mentor.

On the latest episode of The Voice Australia, one man named Nathan Brake sang his way into the hearts of three judges. Joe Jonas, Kelly Rowland, and Australan-born singer Delta Goodrem all turned their chairs, while fourth judge Boy George decided to pass.

After Brake finished singing the Nick Jonas song “Jealous,” he then asked for his boyfriend of six years, Mitchell, to come to the state.

“I just wanted to bring you out here because we’ve had a beautiful six years together,” Brake said.

“You’ve been a constant support, so I just wanted to ask you, will you marry me.”

And Mitchell replied, “Yes, of course.”

 

 

After the proposal had finished, Kelly Rowland made the announcement that, if Brake allows her, she would love to sing “When Love Takes Over” at the wedding.

Despite that promising announcement, Nathan Brake decided to take Goodrem as his judge, but he said he’ll still look into that Rowland song.

This time last year, a big proposal like this couldn’t have happened. Australia officially legalized gay marriage this past December after having a public vote on the issue. Now, couples like Nathan and Mitchell can not only join in marriage, but they can celebrate their union with the country and the rest of the world.

As Brake told 9now, he’s thankful that Australia voted yes and he’s going to use the freedom that the country gave him.

“I’m very grateful to be in a time where I’m able to stand on a stage like that and propose to the person that I love and share it with so many people because that’s something that I never got the chance to see growing up.”

”If I can help one child just watching. One kid, just sitting there, feeling different, feeling like they’re not good enough, to be able to see that moment and go, ‘You know what? I can take control of this and I can make a change or this is okay” then what more could I ask for?’”

The Australian Gay Man And Sister Attacked By A Bicycle Chain Share More About The Terrible Night

We have an update concerning the Australian man who was attacked while enjoying a night out with his sister.

Earlier today, we shared with you the story of Bradley and Amanda Skinner from Mackay, Northern Queensland, Australia. After that post was published, Instinct Magazine reached out to the Skinners for further comment. What we received was their full perspectives on the dreadful attack.

The night started out wonderfully with the siblings and best friends enjoying a slice of pizza at a Dominos around 8:30 pm on Sunday, April 15. While the two enjoyed the pizza and each other’s company, a 20-something-year-old man decided to call Bradley a homophobic slur.

“I only assume he called me one or knew I’m a ‘homosexual’ because we were sitting laughing having a good time,” said Bradley to Instinct Magazine, “When he had called me a faggot I just ignored it as I’m really use to it. Having grown up in a small country town, I’m always being name called since as long as I can remember. My sister however doesn’t take kindly to her little brother being name called or bullied.”

“I said what gives you the right to say that about my brother and how dare you, have some more respect,” Amanda recalled, “He then called me a studio slut and told me to fuck off where I belong. I then got close to him that’s when he punched me.”

It was then that Bradley got up to defend his sister. A few punches were exchanged between the two men before Bradley found himself on the ground. Next thing he knew, he was being hit by a weapon.

While neither sibling knew what the man was attacking Bradley with at the time, police later discovered that the man’s weapon of choice was a bicycle chain.

“He hit me from my upper legs up to my head. I kept trying to grab it and cover my face while he was swinging it at me. Once he hit me on the head for the last time that’s when I fell to the ground and I don’t remember too much from then on.”

At that point, Bradley had become too weak to even open his eyes. All he could sense, in between the pain and the lack of strength, was the sound of screaming and the urge to vomit.

Meanwhile, his sister Amanda was terrified for the safety of her brother.

“I was so angry and upset. I had so many emotions going through my head. I just wanted him to stop hurting my brother,” Amanda remarked, “I jumped on his back to pull him off and broke a nail and got pushed into a wall in that time.”

Though the moment lasted forever in the Skinners’ minds, it was soon over. Next thing they knew, the man was gone and first responders had arrived.

Bradley Skinner was quickly transported to the Mackay base for emergency attention. While he was initially released the next day, Bradley decided to go to the hospital again after feeling dizzy. Luckily, the worse did not come to fruition. Doctors were pleased to find that Bradley wasn’t suffering from brain damage. That said, he did show signs of vertigo.

Now at home, Bradley is spending 3 weeks away from work in order to recuperate. In the meantime, the police have captured the assailant. They've deducted that a bicycle chain was the weapon used against Bradley due to the suspect having it when he was arrested.

While Bradley and Amanda Skinner would like to think this horrible moment, and any more like it, is now behind them, the two know better. In fact, this is now the third time that Bradley has been gay bashed.

“I was bashed walking home from a party when I was 17,” recounts Bradley, “Suffered a broken nose and chipped bottom teeth. I knew the guy that had done this, but because he was only 16 they let him off with no charges. I was then bashed when I was 19 in Airlie beach. He was charged and put into police custody.”

When asked why he insisted on staying in Mackay despite these constant attacks, Bradley Skinner responded that he didn’t. Despite Mackay being home since he was 11, Bradley moved away when he turned 19. He then lived in Brisbane and Perth for a couple years, but he missed being closer to his family.

“Being so far away from home and missing out on my niece and 4 nephews growing up, I got home sick and decided to move back March 2017.”

It seems that family is a guiding pillar in both Skinners’ lives, and the two siblings both depend on each other dearly.

“I’m very family orientated. My family has always been really supportive of who I am and have helped me grow into the man I am today,” says Bradley, “I’m always a giving person and I guess too kind in most ways. My older sister who was there protecting me, she’s always been my rock and my best friend.”

And Amanda feels the same way as she only had kind words to share about her brother, “He’s a brave and strong young man that will help anyone in need. He is the most kind and loving person this is why I’m so upset. He is not only my brother but my best friend.”

Sadly though, this third attack has made Bradley Skinner consider moving away again. While Bradley’s glad to hear that the man who attacked him was caught, the attack alone has caused a lot of stress.

“If I got a chance to speak with him, I’d ask him why? What makes him feel the right to put down and humiliate someone for their sexuality? It doesn’t make me angry for what he’s done. Just sad that someone’s feels the need to do such a thing.”

 

An Australian Gay Man Barely Just Escapes With His Life After He And His Sister Were Attacked

A gay man from Australia is recovering in the hospital after he and his sister were viciously attacked by a random stranger off the street.

On Sunday April 15, 25-year-old Bradley Skinner and his sister Amanda were enjoying a night out. Together, they had enjoyed dinner and drinks at a bowling club in Mackay Region, Northern Queensland, Australia.

“I was two bites into my pizza around when this young man I had never seen before slowly walked past us glaring at me,’ Skinner told Daily Mail Australia.

“Then he called me a f****t as I looked up at him”

Skinner took the insult in stride as he’s used to such treatment from his job as a miner, but his sister was not so accepting.

“My sister doesn't take too kindly to it so she got up and said 'what the hell'.

"He ended up hitting her in the face... and it all went on from there and he got out this chain and started whacking me with it."

As reported by Daily Mercury, Skinner was hit by the bicycle chain several times including on his head, his arm, and on his leg.

"When he hit me on the head, that's when I blacked out," Skinner continued.

"I remember trying to vomit, and I think someone tried to put me on my side... I remember the ambos shining a light in my eyes, that's when I started coming to.

"I couldn't open my eyes but I could hear everything that was going on."

Meanwhile, his sister Amanda was hysterical. She says that the tried to pull the 20-something-year-old man away from her brother to no avail. At the time, she thought her brother was dead or quickly dying, as he was unconscious and blood was pouring out of his head.

After the man left, Skinner was rushed to Mackay Base Hospital to get treatment. Doctors were able to treat Skinner and figure out that he had a case of vertigo and not brain damage.

Again, Skinner is used to working in an extremely masculine environment due to his job working in the mines near Moranbah. He says he’s been based twice, so he’s often on guard.

“I love who I am but I have been intimidated, I'm embarrassed going into the dining hall at work...It's a very manly environment," he said.

"It's just sad that someone would try to wreck someone else's night, me being gay in this town I get it a lot, so I'm used to getting name called."

Bradley Skinner lives in Mackay to be close to family, but he’s been considering moving for some time now. This incident will only push further his thoughts of leaving town and switching careers to real estate in order to find a “safer environment.”

In the meantime, police are still investigating the incident.


Instinct Magazine has reached out ot the Skinners for comment, and will update you all should they respond.

Tasmania is the Latest Australian State to Erase Criminal Convictions Based on Homosexuality

Another section of Australia has now made it so that gay men can erase past convictions against them that are based on their homosexuality.

The Australian state of Tasmania started the process of eliminating these convictions back in 2015, but has taken the long way around. As PinkNews reports, the government took so long that it had to apologize back in 2017.

Now, if any of the 500,000 people living in the state want to see their past convictions or the convictions of their loved ones go away, they can apply to do so.

Of course, these convictions have to be attached to homosexuality, which was decriminalized in Tasmania back in 1997 (it was the last state in the country to do so).

Former Anti-discrimination commissioner Robin Banks spoke on the new legislation.

“We went from being very much behind the eight ball, in terms of attitudes to homosexuality, to, I think, probably the most progressive state, when it comes to our response to homosexuality and to transgender issues.”

“And I think that’s a real testament to everybody who’s been involved in the debate, particularly from the (LGBTIQ) community, reaching across what was a very wide divide.”

Banks also shared the opinion that laws against homosexuality should have never happened.

“It doesn’t hurt anybody,” she said, “It was a victimless crime, and that’s really important thing to remember. And it wasn’t a crime all over the world.”

“It was particularly in common-law countries, so the countries that came out of England (the British empire), where we’ve had this history of criminalizing homosexuality.”

“I really ask people to think, ‘Well, what difference does it make to you if somebody loves a person of the same gender as themself?'”

Tasmania now joins several countries and states that have also erased past convictions concerning homosexuality.

Last week, we shared with you the news that New Zealand had taken the plunge towards this process. Even before that, Germany, the UK, and Canada had done so. As for other Australian states, New South Wales, and Victoria have all removed such convictions.

h/t: PinkNews

Australian Rugby Player Israel Folau Incites Anger Online After A Homophobic Comment

A super religious rugby player has shared some insensitive thoughts.

The man in question is Australian Wallabies player Israel Folau. Folau posted an Instagram picture this past Tuesday to lightly touch on his disappointment at sustaining an injury at his latest game against the New South Wales Waratahs.

The image, shared below, depicts two images with the message that your plans for the future don’t always coincide with God’s plans for the future. In addition, the post included the Biblical quote, “Consider it all joy when you encounter various trials.”

All that’s well and good, but soon Folau upset the internet when he responded to a comment. When someone asked, “What was gods plan for gay people?? [sic],” Folau responded, “HELL…Unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”

 

 

A post shared by Israel Folau (@izzyfolau) on

Folau’s comment caused many people on social media to call him intolerant and homophobic. News source RT News also pointed out that this isn’t the first time that Folau has expressed comments along these lines.

Once, Folau posted a tweet, found below, where he stated that he would never support gay marriage.

As such, this is the latest installment in Folau’s open intolerance towards gay people. That said, Rugby Australia’s official policy welcomes gay players and fans.

"Rugby has and must continue to be a sport where players, officials, volunteers, supporters and administrators have the right and freedom to participate regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race or religion and without fear of exclusion.

“There is no place for homophobia or any form of discrimination in our game and our actions and words both on and off the field must reflect this."

h/t: RT News

Australia's First Married Gay Marriage Just Ended After 48 Days

Australia’s first married gay couple just ended in a heartbreaking way.

Jo Grant from Queensland married Jill Kindt on December 15 in their home’s garden less than a week after Australia legalized marriage equality.

The two had escaped the 30-day waiting period due to “exceptional circumstances” and officially became the first gay couple to marry under the new law. They were then quickly followed by 159 same-sex couples (and counting) wishing to get married.

While the two kept things private, the news of their marriage eventually made its way to parliament’s ears this Wednesday, but that came with the family’s permission.

“Jo and Jill were approved, married, and registered all in one day, after the registrar ruled exceptional circumstances,” Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath told parliament.

“Jo’s mum Sandra believes the marriage renewed Jo’s spirit, keeping her alive long enough to have one last Christmas with her family.”

Unfortunately, that happiness only lasted 48 days as Grant, who had a rare form of cancer, died on January 30.

May she rest in peace.

h/t dailymail.co.uk