Victorian consciousness marketing campaign celebrates assist for LGBTIQ+ relations

The Respect Victoria “Pride, Respect, Equality” campaign was carried out on metropolitan and regional television, radio and press, as well as digital and social media. It was also broadcast on the radio in Italian, Greek, Hindi and Punjabi.

“I love my children to death because I am your father and your gender and sexual identity make absolutely no difference to me,” says Bill Zay in a short film that is part of the campaign.

“Thanks, Dad,” Zay replies.

Bill laughs when asked by The Age if learning about gender diversity was a steep turn. “Absolutely. What do you think our age? We are in our 70s.”

Bill and Clara still ask a lot of questions.

“All the while we thought there were only gays and lesbians. That’s it. There was no in between, ”says Clara.

During our interview, Bill asks the couple if gender reassignment is a transition period that they will go through until you decide how to identify yourself.

“It’s his own identity, there is no stage, there is no choice to identify yourself one way or another,” explains Bowie. “Nobody chooses, they are what they are. For some people, their self-expression will change over time. “

Zay recalls believing he was in the wrong body by age 10 or 11.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone about it. When I was a kid I never saw any portrayal of trans or gender specific people. I just thought something was wrong with me. And I thought I shouldn’t even think about it or God would find out. “

At one point, Zay was about to tell her parents they were a boy, but at the last minute he decided to forget about it. And then puberty struck. “I’ve come to realize that I am definitely a girl and that won’t change.”

Zay and Bowie.Recognition:Joe Armao

It wasn’t until Zay got together with Bowie, who is also gender-specific, in 2016 that their conversations sparked memories of Zay, who thought they were a boy in their childhood.

When they heard the term gender fluid, Zay recognized himself immediately.

“Because there were times when I identified myself as a girl and sometimes when I only identified myself as a man and sometimes neither, sometimes both, and it just changed,” says Zay.

“I think I was confused when I was a kid because at that moment I thought, ‘Am I going to tell mom and dad? ‘The other thought I had was, “What if I change my mind?” That’s why I didn’t say anything about it. ”

Clara’s first thought when Zay came out was, “Oh no, I’m not going to have grandchildren. I was also concerned about her future, ”she adds.

Bill was glad to have an answer to some behaviors that he and his wife hadn’t understood, including the fact that Zay had never had a boyfriend.

But he too worried that their life would not be easy.


The couple have learned about gender diversity but are still struggling with gender pronouns. “We try, but we never get it 100 percent right,” says Bill.

Zay says they know their parents aren’t trying to be disrespectful. “Whether they gendered me right or wrong doesn’t reflect how much they love and care for me.”

Clara is a member of the Baptist Church. She says she has difficulty reconciling her church’s views with her support for same-sex marriages and Victoria’s ban on homosexual conversion therapy, which makes it illegal to try to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Having a child who belongs to the LGBTIQ + community posed a lot of challenges and questions. The hardest thing is my faith and the role that God plays in it, ”she says.

She posted the film Respect Victoria on Facebook.

“Some were moved by the sincerity of the video and congratulated us on participating in this important campaign, while others were silent,” she says.

“I suspect those who remained silent felt a sense of despair for us because they have a gay child.”

Bill says the feedback he received from family involvement in the campaign has been positive. Several members of his golf club told him they saw the short film on SBS.

Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia, says the Victorian government-funded campaign was in response to the Royal Commission in Family Violence, which recommended targeted education campaigns and services for the LGBTIQ + community.


“This groundbreaking campaign shows us what this acceptance and validation can be like at home and how it can have a positive impact on a young person’s life,” says Ms. Brown.

The Victorian government also allocated $ 45.4 million in budget to support LGBTIQ + Victorians, including more than $ 21 million for the Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Health gender clinics to support the mental health of Support trans and gender specific young people.

“Since the appointment of Martin Foley, Minister for Gender Equality, in 2014, Victoria has developed dedicated services and programs to meet the needs of the LGBTIQ + community and has initiated major reforms such as banning harmful conversion practices,” said Ms. Brown .

“We hope that other governments will follow suit to ensure that all Australians, no matter who they are or who they love, are supported and celebrated.”

Zay and Bowie have lived with Bill and Clara for five years.

“We had some problems along the way – there are those in every family that lives together – but essentially it worked very well,” says Bill. “If our relationship and the way it works for us gets published and that helps other families, then I’m all for it.”

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