Continuing in the spirit of Cate Speaks

Category: Announcements (Page 1 of 2)

This is Why We March:
The ugly reality of anti-trans hate in Australia

On Friday, March 31st this year, the weather in Melbourne was appalling – even by the usual standards of Melbourne weather1I’m allowed to say that because I’ve lived here most of my life.. Nonetheless, over 3000 people assembled at Trades Hall in the pouring rain, and marched down to Parliament House, where they occupied the steps. The crowd stretched down Collins Street past Exhibition Street, and sprawled along Spring Street towards both Bourke and Flinders Streets. Over two hours, as it got steadily darker, wetter, and colder, they cheered, applauded, and chanted slogans of defiance and celebration. There was no violence, and no need for any police intervention. It was the definition of passionate, peaceful protest, and it made me, as a trans person, proud of my community and deeply grateful for our allies.

The occasion was the international Trans Day of Visibility. It was one of the few bright spots for LGBTQIA+ folk and their allies, in a month that was supposed to be dedicated to celebrating diversity.

Even before Pride Month officially kicked off, hatred of queer people, especially trans folk, was ramping up. Don’t misunderstand me, though, it’s always there. And I’m not just talking about someone giving their opinion that being trans is somehow unnatural or un-Christian. I’m talking about targeted bullying, about conspiracy theorists “analysing” celebrity jawlines to prove whether Michelle Obama is “really a man”. I’m talking about deliberate lies being spread to further an agenda as vile as it is incomprehensible.

On February 25, parishioners at the Pitt Street Uniting Church in Sydney painted its steps in rainbow colours as part of preparations for inclusive church services during Pride Month. One elderly woman was harassed by a man who filmed her as he shouted that she was going to hell, that what she was doing wasn’t “Christian”. She answered him with grace and dignity, but apparently that wasn’t good enough. Later that night, another video surfaced, in which men can be heard laughing and saying “Fuck the LGB”, as they splashed grey paint all over the steps. Those videos were shared widely on social media, with many commenters expressing their approval for the vandalism.

On March 18, UK anti-trans activist and self-described “TERF”2Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshul (aka “Posie Parker”) held a rally on the steps of Melbourne’s Parliament as part of her planned tour of Australia and New Zealand. She was joined by a small group of her supporters, anti-vax “cookers” out for their usual Saturday afternoon stroll around Melbourne, and by former Liberal MP Moira Deeming. She was also joined by members of the National Socialist Network, a neo-Nazi group who were permitted to stand on the steps with a large banner that read “Destroy Paedo Freaks” and perform Nazi salutes. The Nazis were later escorted by police past a group of queer and ally protesters who had been shoved back against walls on the far side of the street. Those same protesters were later manhandled by police in an unnecessary use of force.

Keen-Minshul uttered lie after despicable lie about trans folk. She claimed that children were being coerced and brainwashed into being trans, that they were being forced to undergo “irreversible” hormone treatment and “mutilation” (her word for gender-affirming surgery) which would leave them autistic, homosexual, and traumatised. She repeated unfounded accusations that men were “pretending” to be “women” so they could invade “women’s spaces” – toilets and sport. Not one shred of proof was offered, but that didn’t matter to her followers. They screamed for trans folk to be locked up, castrated, even executed.

Moving on to Tasmania, on March 21 Keen-Minshul held another rally – this one considerably smaller, and without accompanying Nazis. At that one, she attacked Greens MP Cassy O’Connor, calling her a “groomer” for supporting her trans son. Two days later, Keen-Minshul appeared in Canberra, where we were treated to the disgusting sight of Federal Senators Pauline Hanson, Alex Antic, and Malcolm Roberts supporting her as she spewed her hate and lies yet again. Hanson took her own turn at the microphone to make it clear that she, as an elected representative, was perfectly happy to endorse these lies. When Senator Lidia Thorpe attempted to protest the rally, she was grabbed by Keen-Minsul’s supporters and knocked to the ground.

It wasn’t all about Keen-Minshul and her Tour of Hate, though. Queer folk reported being verbally abused, spat on, and assaulted by people claiming to be “protecting the children”. Videos popped up all over the internet in which unseen narrators raged about seeing Pride flags, and how “the gays” were “stealing God’s rainbow”. Conspiracy theorist David “Guru” Graham took it upon himself to abuse and threaten volunteers at a lifesaving club who dared to hang a Pride flag on the window, and to call upon his followers to go to other clubs and engage in the same behaviour. As a result, planned events at the club were cancelled out of fear of violence.

On social media, the bullying ramped up even further, with people going out of their way to spew hate at trans folk. For example, one of my tweets, made after the vandalism of the Pitt Street Church steps, simply said that we, as queer folk, would continue to live our lives. In the space of the next few days, I was told to shut up, to keep my hands off “our” kids, to stop spreading filth. I was also told I should kill myself, that I should “get AIDS and die”, and that I deserved to be hanged. And this was mild compared to some of the vicious things sent to other LGBTQIA+ people.

Even on the Trans Day of Visibility, viewers of livestream broadcasts of the rally bombarded the accompanying chats with both hate and threats. Here’s just a sample:

“That crowd needs a truck to drive through them.”3In 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of people counter-protesting a far-right, white supremacist rally, killing one and injuring 35.
“Where’s a shotgun when you need one lol.”
“Disgusting pedos!!! Get away from our children!”
“Protect the kids!”
“Save the kids bash a tranny”
“Uganda’s got the right idea!”4 Uganda passed a law in March this year that would punish anyone who engaged in “homosexual acts” with death.

And then there was Belfield.

NSW Senator Mark Latham planned to give a speech at a local church denouncing the “trans agenda”. A small group of queer rights activists decided to hold a peaceful “speak-out” protest on the other side of the street from that church. Upon learning this, a man named Christian Sukkar who is a member of the “Christian Lives Matter” group, posted a video in which he urged men to go to the church to confront the protesters, “grab them and you drag them by their fucking hair and you fucking get them out of there … you fucken shake them up”.

The result? A large mob of men, many wearing Christian Lives Matter tshirts, armed themselves with rocks and bottles and violently attacked the protesters. People were terrorised. The thugs punched people in their faces, and were caught on video delivering coward’s punches to the back of protester’s heads. And yes, protesters were dragged to the ground by their hair. Police were completely outnumbered, but nonetheless tried to shield the protesters from harm – they were also attacked.

All of this took place in one month – and I haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the truly frightening hate that is out there.

We are not hated for anything we’ve done. We’re not targeted for having committed any crime. We are being attacked simply for being who we are.

Anti-trans people will tell you that it’s about “protecting the children”. They’ll parrot easily provable lies that claim we are predators. They’ll say women are not safe from “men pretending to be women”. They’ll rail about women’s sports being “invaded by men”.5Keen-Minshul and her followers, in particular, love to scream in the faces of people they suspect to be trans women, “You’re a man! You’re a man!” They’ll scream that governments are bowing to the “trans agenda” and taking away parental rights, that kids as young as 10 years old are being subjected to horrific medical abuse because of “activist” doctors and politicians. And they’ll rant about drag queens preying on little children and “sexualising” them while pretending to read them stories.


It takes barely any work at all to expose these claims for the lies they are. Doctors cannot simply decide, on a whim, to overrule parental rights. There are provisions for situations like family breakdown and parental abuse where a doctor may contact welfare authorities, designed to protect children, but these are extremely unusual and subject to strict rules and scrutiny. Men are not rushing to medically and surgically transition in order to steal women’s gold medals. Neither are they subjecting themselves to a lifelong regime of medical intervention with all its complications just so they can go into a toilet and attack someone. Go look it up for yourself, and you’ll see just how quickly these lies fall apart. I’ll wait.

As for the claim that trans folk and drag queens are paedophiles… well, this is the same boogeyman that queerphobic groups have been trotting out for some decades now, except that back in the 1970s and 80s the target was gay men. Otherwise, the rhetoric hasn’t changed. Baseless claims that by their mere existence, trans people endanger children. Lurid stories about depravity and filth supposedly taking place at drag queen story time, and of children being “sexualised” by having drag queens paint their faces and encourage them to dress up in glitter and sparkles.6If you’ve ever been to a market, you’ll know that these exact things happen every week, and no one screams then about the cute makeup on a happy kid’s face.

Ironically, these same groups are utterly silent about the proven institutionalised child abuse in organisations like the Catholic Church, sporting clubs, and the Scouts. Horrific abuse carried out by cis straight men, and systematically covered up and excused for decades. When victims and their families rightly wanted to protest outside the funeral of Cardinal George Pell, some of the loudest voices condemning them were the same self-anointed “protectors of children” who attack trans folk on a daily basis.

Too many people are taking the lies on face value, though. For a while, I thought I could understand why some might be misled – when a lie is told with enough assumed authority, supported by “evidence” that doesn’t tell the real story, and endorsed by elected representatives and some of the loudest voices in mainstream media, people will tend to go along with it. But the facts are out there, easily findable. So at best, we’re looking at laziness. At worst, wilful ignorance.

And that doesn’t account for the outright vicious hatred directed at trans folk for even existing. People go out of their way to tell us we are mentally ill, perverted, disgusting. We’re told to “get help”, to “keep it to ourselves”, to “not inflict it on the rest of us”. Complete strangers make a point of telling us that we “just need a good fuck” to sort us out.7And if that sounds horribly familiar to you, it should. So-called “curative rape” is a long-established part of hatred towards marginalised groups. We’re told we should all die or be killed.

Why? What have we ever done to cis folk that they should do this to us?

How does our having different pronouns from the ones others think we should have hurt them? What does it matter to them if we wear a dress or pants? What rights will they lose by us existing? How are they harmed by us living openly as the genders we know that we are and not the ones imposed on us?

They’re not. The idea that cis folk are somehow going to be disadvantaged if we are not ruthlessly suppressed and excluded from being a normal party of society is an old one. You don’t have to think back very far to remember the hysterical bleating coming from opponents of marriage equality. They claimed that allowing the marriage of two men (or women, or any couple that wasn’t cis and heterosexual) would somehow destroy the very notion of marriage itself. And yet here we are, six years after marriage equality became law in Australia, and strangely, heterosexual marriage has not, in fact, been affected in the slightest.

It’s no surprise that Christian fundamentalists – or at least, those calling themselves Christians – are right in the vanguard of this crusade of hate. LGBTQIA+ people have been targets for their vitriol for over a century. These “Christians” have advocated using everything from incarceration, to electroshock treatment, to abusive “conversion” practices in order to erase queer people from existence.8Oh, and let’s not forget the ones who just think a bullet is the best solution. Some of them say it’s because they love us and want to “save” us. Here’s a hint for you – if you’re calling for us to be subjected to abuse and violence, you don’t love us.

Others are just proud of their bigotry. They bleat about how we’re not “normal”, how an artificially created gender binary is “fact”. They condemn us for having sex that isn’t some IKEA “insert tab A into slot B” procedure. And they see nothing wrong with using violence to enforce that.

Oh, and lest you think that this is confined to one month, or maybe it’s just something that happens in the United States … think again. This level of hate is what Australian trans folk have to deal with daily. Turn on the news, and we’re confronted by stories about drag queen story time being shut down because of threats of violence and harassment. Go on Facebook, and you’ll see posts from the most unexpected people wanting to know why we just can’t “keep it to ourselves”. Go on Twitter, and our little tweets celebrating some aspect of our queer existence draw hate and threats from complete strangers halfway around the world. And let’s not forget YouTube, where simply typing “trans” into the search bar produces hate and lies in its top results.

Watch Parliament, and we see politicians like Pauline Hanson, Malcolm Roberts, and Alex Antic spew disgusting lies into Hansard and call for laws to be passed that would deny us healthcare and force us into a miserable life of denying who we are. We also see politicians who claim to be our allies minimising the situation as a “fringe” issue designed to distract voters from the “real” concerns of Australian society.

Our lives are not fringe issues. Over 60% of us will experience depression, and half of us will contemplate suicide at least once in our lives. Half of us will be sexually assaulted, overwhelmingly by cis heterosexual men. Trans women of colour, in particular, will be targeted for assault. Not because we’re trans, but because we are confronted daily with a society that, increasingly, hates us for even existing.

People like Keen-Minshul, and organisations like the National Socialist Network, can freely scream their lies and hate from the very steps of our state Parliament. Queerphobes can broadcast these same lies on every mainstream media platform. In Victoria, South Australia, and Western Australia, there are currently no laws to protect us from public vilification or discrimination.

And yet even supposedly rational, fair-minded people wonder why we take to the streets and march for our rights. After all, what possible rights could we want that we don’t already have?

The right to live our lives openly and in peace as the genders we know ourselves to be.

Without being vilified for being who we are.

Without being discriminated against.

Without being accused of horrific crimes that we have never committed.

Without being threatened with harassment and violence.

Without laws being passed that are designed to abuse us.

Without being driven to the point of suicide by people who think we shouldn’t exist.

Without being afraid of being bashed, raped, or murdered by people who think they’re righteous crusaders for some imagined moral standard.

But make no mistake. We don’t “want” these rights. We claim these rights.

They can paint over our steps. They can deface our murals and tear down our flags. They can spew their hate and their lies. They can spout their nonsense and their conspiracy theories until they’re blue in the face.

We have always been here. We are not going anywhere. They won’t chase us back into the shadows, and they won’t make us cease to exist. We will not sit down, we will not shut up, and we cannot let hate win.

But we need allies. We need you. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking it doesn’t affect you, you’re not trans and you don’t know anyone who is. Respectfully – you’re wrong. Transphobic hate and violence affects everyone. Your families. Your friends. Your children. If you turn a blind eye, you send a message that you are happy to live in a world where diversity is criminalised and viciously suppressed. That you condone horrific abuse against the most marginalised and vulnerable people. That you are perfectly content to be fed lies by people in authority who know they are lying.

I’d like to believe that you are not that kind of person. I desperately want to feel that you are compassionate, and wise, and courageous. That you care enough about other people to even do the smallest things. Read about us in our own words. Learn about being an ally. Encourage your workplaces to respect our gender identities. Call out lies when you hear them. Support local LGBTQIA+ events by asking your councils not to be intimidated by hate. Sign petitions. Maybe even stand with us when we counter hate and lies screamed into a microphone.


The 2023 NSW State Election

Hiya folks.

NSW is going to the polls on March 25, 2023, and if you’re a proud citizen of Australia’s most populous state1Or if you live there and you hate it, we’re not judging you, you should get out and vote.

We won’t be covering this election on the site, since as Victorians we know little of the local issues particular to New South Wales, but if you’re covering it, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll happily link to you.

And finally, here are some tools to make voting easier:

The Democracy Sausage at the End of Time

It’s almost over. Finally. One more evening blessedly free of election advertising, a day of voting accompanied by traditional election food1And here’s your link to a live map of polling booths where you can get your democracy sausage and maybe a tasty cake or two, and at least a glimmer of a result by the time we all go to bed tomorrow night. It’s only been two weeks, but wow, it seems so, so much longer. Part of it is that we’ve been living in a state of shadow campaign for months. Mostly, though, is that the sheer ugliness that’s been on display has contributed to a feeling that it was never going to end. That somehow time stopped and we were going to be caught forever in an endless cycle of photo ops, promises, attack ads, lies, and hate. But thankfully, we finally get to move on. It may not be the actual end of time, but hopefully it’ll at least be the end of some of the worst behaviour I’ve ever seen or experienced during an election campaign.

Investigating the policies of those who would govern us is usually fun for me. I love the research, I love digging through the rhetoric, talking to experts, and writing all of it up in the hope that it might provide some help to voters. This election campaign, though, has not been fun. It has been day after day after wading through relentless bigotry. I’ve read thousands of words vilifying already marginalised groups, recommending that it would be a great thing if those people were further abused. I’ve forced myself to examine even the most hateful of policies, the ones calling for me and my friends to be actively persecuted, and tried to provide perspective. There was no way to keep my feelings out of this, but I wasn’t going to make a pretence of objectivity about issues that were based on a tissue of easily provable lies.

I’ve lost count of how many times I read policies or heard people say that Premier Dan Andrews and his government should be jailed, attacked, and even killed. I watched a candidate pursue a young person handing out election flyers for another party even after they tried to walk away, and I watched her get right in his face and then complain that he’d “pushed” her. A Labor Party volunteer ended up in hospital requiring surgery after he was knocked down by someone who was upset about past lockdowns. Centrist candidates were subjected to some really disgusting comments by social media trolls. All the while, the loudest media voices acted even worse than they normally do. Not content with the usual spin and distortion, they conducted a smear campaign full of hit pieces that were utterly hysterical and riddled with lies and bias.

Right now, there are probably people reading this who are saying to themselves, “Well if Dan wasn’t such a dictator, we wouldn’t have to act this way”. Or maybe, “But we are just doing what God wants us to do”2And yes, I’ve heard these exact sentiments from many groups – anti-vaxers, paranoid sovereign citizens, certain media outlets, anti-LGBTQIA+ people who claim to be Christian, just to name a few.. To them I say this: no one forced you to assault people. No one forced you to lie. No one held a gun to your head and told you to harass, vilify, and abuse people. You have always had the option to disagree and criticise, but that doesn’t give you a licence to throw any form of respect or decent behaviour out the window. And it doesn’t give you the right to try and silence other voices with violence and hate.

I want to believe that the outcome of this election will make some of this vile behaviour die down, I really do. I fear that it won’t, no matter who wins. I fear that if Labor wins again, there could be reactionary violence from certain quarters. And I fear that if unhinged, hateful parties hold the balance of power, that Victoria could start to look very much like certain states of the USA.

I desperately, desperately, want to be wrong about that.

For the record, this is how I voted.

Legislative Assembly: The Reason Party received my first preference, followed by Labor and the Greens.

Legislative Council: I numbered 15 boxes below the line. Reason was first, followed by Labor, the Victorian Socialists, and the Greens.

I will not tell you who to vote for. I’ll simply ask that, when you step into that booth, you think about which parties and Independents are providing concrete policies aimed at the good of all Victorians, and which are promising divisiveness and inequality.

Good luck out there. And may your democracy sausage be tasty, and your onions be appropriately placed.

Failure to Communicate

Our aim here at Something for Cate is to provide voters with information about the preferences, candidates, and policies of those parties and individuals who make the decision to run in elections. We do this by examining websites, social media accounts, news, and video – and sometimes we have to dig for it. When we can’t find that information, especially on Independents who may not have funds or time to create and maintain a web presence, we reach out to them and invite them to comment on a series of questions that concern the major issues being canvassed in the campaign as a whole, and any areas of specific interest to their individual candidacies.

For this election, we contacted the following Independent candidates via Facebook:

  • Fred Ackerman (Western Metro, Group E)
  • Mehdi Sayed (South Eastern Metro)
  • Walter Villagonzalo (Western Metro, Group U)

Unfortunately, only Ackerman responded to our initial inquiry. We sent him our list of questions, but received no further response.

The other candidates did not respond to our first attempt at contact. A fourth Independent, Esther Demian (Western Metro), was unable to be contacted at all.

This is both deeply frustrating and sad. Often there are nuggets of gold hidden in the policies of these Independents. There may also be landmines. The problem is, we can’t inform you, our readers, if we don’t have anything to explore.

As things stand, we can’t provide either positive or negative recommendations. We don’t think anyone should infer anything about these candidates’ motivations or commitment, either. Our reason for this post is to let readers know that we have not overlooked or discounted these Independents, but were just unable to find any details to bring to you all.

It’s possible one or more of these candidates will see this post. To them we’d like to say, drop us a comment. We’d still love to correspond with you.

Giving a Damn

The reason this site exists, and the reason that Cate Speaks existed before it, ultimately comes down to the fact that we’re the kind of people who give a damn about politics. We want to know what the promises are, and what the quality of the promisers is.

And the bare minimum we expect is this: that candidates should at least make an effort to pretend they give a damn too.

I say this because I’ve just found three parties in a row who are courting the votes of Victorians in this election, but without going to the effort of doing anything more than running a few candidates. Now, it’s true that this is a common flaw of the campaigns of independents too, but I’m more forgiving of that – independents have fewer resources, and the one they lack most tends to be time. In addition, many of them are first-timers who have underestimated just how difficult and time-consuming the task of running for election actually is. They get a pass.

The United Australia Party, Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party do not.

For that matter, neither do the New Democrats or Sack Dan Andrews, both of which are led by people who have previously been involved in election campaigns and can reasonably be expected to know better.

We believe that these five parties, irrespective of any other considerations such as policy or integrity, do not deserve your vote. Because if this is how much consideration and effort they’re going to put in at a time when they’re actually courting you – none – how much do you think they’re going to care about you when they no longer need your vote?

They work for you. Make them.


So, it wouldn’t be an election unless there were some candidates we were unable to locate.

Some of them are out there, just not really doing much. This includes the New Democrats (Kaushaliya Vaghela as their most visible member), the Restore Democracy Sack Dan Andrews Party (Tosh-Jake Finnigan, ditto) and independents Fred Ackerman, Storm Hellmuth and Mehdi Sayed. For these candidates, we’ve reached out to them on Facebook with the following message:

Hi there. My name is Loki, from Something for Cate, a website that analyses the policies people are taking into elections (I’ve included a link below). As you are a candidate in the Victorian election this year, we were wondering if we could send you a short list of questions about your positions, and post the answers on our site?

We’ve also included Walter Villagonzalo in this group, because although he does have a site, it’s more about what he’s done in the past than his plans for the future.

We’re giving them until next Sunday to get back to us – time is running out, after all.

There are others whom we have not succeeded in locating at all:

  • Colin John Mancell (Northern Metro)
  • Esther Demian (Western Metro)
  • John O’Brien (Eastern Vic) — NOW LOCATED! Thanks Simon!

So we probably won’t be writing much about them.

Getting ready

Okay, a day of tinkering and moving things around and adding things, and this site is a few steps closer to being ready for the Victorian election. In particular, we’ve populated the lists of parties running in the state upper house with the most up to date information we have on who is running (you can find those in the sidebar, under the heading Victoria — Region by Region), and we’ll be keeping those updated (and even putting them into the correct ballot order once actual ballots are certified).

Coming up next, we’ll have a post about how voting in the Victorian upper house differs from voting in the federal upper house, and then we’ll start getting into the actual reviews of parties and candidates.

Those of you who get email updates on this site may have received a flurry of emails this afternoon, because we have been working on the site, getting it ready for the next election, and we forgot to turn off those notifications – sorry about that folks, please don’t put us in your spam filters!

Voting for Victorians

Hiya folks. Hope you’ve all been keeping well since the Federal Election.

For those of you who live in Victoria, you’re probably aware that we have an election coming up on November 26.

So now’s the perfect time to check your enrolment, although if it hasn’t changed since May, you probably don’t need to worry, since the federal enrolment information is shared with the states and will be identical. But if you’re unsure, you can confirm your details here. Even if you haven’t moved, you may want to check just to confirm which electorates you are in, as the state electorates differ from the federal electorates, and there has also been some shifting of boundaries – so even if you haven’t moved in the last four years, your electorate may have.

If you have moved since then, or are going to be moving before the election, you should update your address, which you can do here.

And finally, if you’re new to all this, you can enrol to vote here. If you are updating or enrolling, the deadline is Tuesday, the 8th of November, so you have a little less than a month yet to take care of that.

Early voting begins on November 14, and the VEC will be releasing the information on where you can vote (before and on election day) on November 2 – they’ll be putting a link to those details here.

We’ll be back soon with an explainer on how the Victorian state electoral system differs from the Federal system in the next little while. Be seeing you.

Abortion in Australia

Hi folks. We’re not planning on making a habit of this, but some issues are too pressing, too important, to remain silent about. So here we are.

We have watched with great dismay and disgust the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision of 1972. This is a terrible thing for reproductive rights, for women in America and for humanity everywhere. It does not directly affect us in Australia, although it may serve to embolden certain conservative voices over here.

To our American friends and allies, we offer our empathy and our support. We see you, and we are here for you.

Ironically, the recent American decision returns that country to a situation not unlike that in Australia: the laws are different in every state.

First off, this article has a good summary of the laws surrounding abortion in each state (you will need to scroll down past the story to find it). There are a lot of common features, but every state has its own peculiarities. In addition, this summary does not include information about the exclusion zones surrounding clinics (i.e. the areas in which anti-abortion protestors are not permitted to gather), so we have briefly summarised it below:

  • No Exclusion Zone: NT, SA & WA
  • 50m Exclusion Zone: ACT
  • 150m Exclusion Zone: NSW, QLD, TAS & VIC

If you are in need, or think you might be in need, of an abortion, there are places you can reach out to and people you can talk to about this:

Finally, if you find yourself filled with rage and horror at the Supreme Court’s decision and what it might mean for Australia, there are constructive things you can do with your anger. The fight to ensure reproductive rights is far from over in Australia: our existing rights need to be protected, maintained and extended. Here are some folk who will be glad of your help:

Please note that none of these lists are complete, and we welcome additional suggestions to add to them.

How my Democracy Sausage was made

Well now. That… that was really something.

When I volunteered to carry on in Cate’s name, I thought I knew what I was letting myself in for. Cate made it look easy, but then, I saw only the democracy sausages, not their making.

Making them is much more difficult than I realised. Writing isn’t that hard, reading isn’t that hard (a few grammar challenged sites to the contrary), but thinking, analysing, comparing – and most of all, trying to do so from an assumption of good faith, if not actual objectivity1I don’t actually believe that objectivity exists, anywhere, so I don’t beat myself up about that – that, friends and neighbours, is hard work.

I’ve learned a lot from doing this. About how to do it, and how to do it better next time (and yes, there will be a next time). About myself, which was a surprise. And I’ve learned a better appreciation of my dear friend Catherine, too.

I mean, I’d read almost every post she ever made on Cate Speaks, but I read them as they were published. It’s when you sit down and read multiple posts about the same parties over the span of a decade, that you see not just how the parties change over time, but how the person writing them did. It should come as little surprise that Catherine improved as a writer over this time, or that she took this work more seriously the more she did it.

But I hadn’t noticed, until the contrast was right there in front of me, the growing sophistication and subtlety of Catherine’s perceptions over the years. One understands these things in a general way, that we change as the years pass, hopefully into a better version of ourselves. But in reading four posts about the same party written a few years apart each time, that understanding is no longer general, but specific, almost quantifiable.

Writing these posts, carrying on this important work, has been a privilege, a responsibility, and an honour. Thank you to each and every one of you who read these, who posted comments, or sent links to friends, or let us know how much you appreciated this work. We didn’t do it for the praise, but it’s still nice to receive it.

The other thing I didn’t foresee going into this was that it was running headlong into my grief at Catherine’s loss. I felt her presence and her absence constantly. For the first week or so, I wanted to ask her if I was doing it right approximately every half hour. Let me tell you, it’s not imposter syndrome when you actually are replacing someone.

That’s all I have for now. See you back here when the Victorian State Election draws closer, and thank you for your time. It means the world to me.

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