One Gay Australian: This is How to End Homophobia Down Under

Written by | Gay Voices

dakote rae speaks lgbtqi+

Dakota Rae is a gay Aussie who grew up in a homophobic community, but often returns home to see the progress made. It’s impressive, says Dakota, but more needs to be done.

My name is Dakota Rae,

I am an Australian adult film actor and model for Cheeky Boys Australia.

My life wasn’t always as great as it is now, this is the story of my hometown. Growing up in a small rural town in outback NSW called Lightning Ridge, I noticed that LGBTQI+ was something that wasn’t accepted in the town by many people.

I’d always hear the words gay, faggot, poof and queer used in general conversation and that’s not just in the youth — it was also among the adults. It was homophobic; even at some of the kid’s birthday parties I’d go to, the games would be homophobic such as “The last one to reach the other side of the park would be gay,” and parents would fully support these types of games.

There was one openly gay guy in Lightning Ridge who always liked to colour his hair rainbow and his eyebrows rainbow, he’d paint his nails and wear big leather boots. I really admired his bravery to step out in public with pride and not ever caring about what names the town called him.

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The one thing about him that made it hard for me to come out is gay was that he set an image in the eyes of the community that all LGBTQI+ people were like that.

In 2016, when I moved to the Gold Coast QLD, I came out as gay and was fully supported by my friends and family. I did go back to my hometown in Lightning Ridge where people would often approach me and say “You don’t look or act gay…”

At this stage I felt confidence and I didn’t care what anyone thought of me, and I explained and showed them that LGBTQI+ isn’t a personality or a dress code but it is the preference of love and feelings. Some people like cats, others like dogs. Some people like red and others like pink. You wouldn’t hate your friends or family for liking a different colour, animal or TV show than you do, would you? It’s the same with being LGBTQI+.

You might not like it. But you don’t bully, fight or kill us for what our preferences are. Lightning Ridge in 2019 has an expanding LGBTQI+ community, and is now more accepting than ever before. It feels amazing to be able to walk around and be seen as a normal person in my hometown as it should always have been.

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I believe that communities in small/rural towns in Australia are less educated about LGBTQI+ people. They have the odd handful of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in those towns, but sometimes it can be a very discreet life because of homophobia and transphobia from lack of LGBT+ education and resources.

There’s less support in regional communities for those who are LGBTQI+, and I think we all need to make a change with educating in schools. Just like how most schools both public and private schools teach scripture and have religious classes, I strongly believe that schools and community organizations should give the positive message that “it’s okay to be LGBTQI+.”

Smaller towns should celebrate Pride and Pride month to help make a small community gather and to set the image that being LGBT+ is supported.

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Last modified: September 13, 2019