Gay? It's OK (1.9.2015)
Written on the 16 September 2015
1 September 2015
GEORGIE CROZIER (LIB- Southern Metropolitan)
When the Melbourne University Blacks Football Club donned a rainbow jumper for their game on Saturday they did so to show support for gay players and the work of Lachlan Beaton and the movement Gay? It's OK. I grew up just a few miles from Wando Bridge, north of Casterton, where Lachlan and his twin brother, Charles, lived. His parents, Andrew and Juddie, are well known to me, so when Charles emailed me reminiscing about times on Country Fire Authority fire trucks with my father and brothers and then explaining Lachlan's story I could not help but be moved. Lachlan now lives in New York, but his story is a familiar one for many young men and women. Lachlan hid his sexuality from his family, his friends and his work colleagues and even from his best friend and twin brother, Charles.Both Lachlan and Charles wanted to do more to promote Gay? It's OK, so they produced a video, which tells of Lachlan's struggle with coming out as gay. Uploaded onto YouTube it soon went viral around the world. In the video Lachlan speaks of his mental health issues. He is open about his paranoia, his fear of being ostracised as a footy player, his confusing emotions and his many suicidal thoughts. For Lachlan's family it was unbearable to discover that he had hidden his anguish and suffered for 12 or so years about being gay. Gay? It's OK aims to give courage and strength to young people who are gay and to educate and create a more accepting general community.
Lachlan hopes that by telling his story more young people will not have to experience the struggles that he has had to. He wanted to use a footy club such as the Uni Blacks, which he has a long association with, to come out and publicly say that it is OK. That happened on Saturday. It was a terrific event supported by many within our community, including the AFL's Matt Finnis from the St Kilda Football Club. I applaud Lachie for his courage and determination and his wonderful family for their support promoting this important message.