GAY MEN AUSTRALIA (1)
In many ways the Australian gay scene is similar to the scene in many other western countries, and it is usually fairly easy for visitors to understand Oz ways - the language is another story altogether, but "g'day mate" starts to sound natural after a while!
Australia today is a diverse multi-cultural society with many fairly well-accepted non-traditional lifestyles, including gay ones. However Australia's British/Christian background has meant a long hard fight to overcome some of the strong religious or legal obstacles to being gay here. Blatant homophobia, harassment or violence against gays used to be fairly common, but as with most other western countries the situation has improved considerably in recent years. Most levels of government in most states now actively act against discrimination based on sexual orientation to at least some extent. Violence and discrimination are not unknown however, and opposition from the extreme religious and political/social fringes is still common even to such broadly popular gay events as the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Despite the fairly high level of tolerance or acceptance, a lot of gay men are still closeted because of family attitudes or for religious reasons, or for fear of discrimination at work or in their community. Many feel isolated because support groups and social events are not evenly distributed, particularly in country areas. The more anonymous lifestyles of the bigger cities are an acceptable escape for some, while others take up the struggle of creating acceptance and support for gays in their local area
Stereotypes still abound in Australia, and the typical Aussie "bloke" and his "mates" may still shout "poofter" at some "fuckin' queers", but the "fuckin' queers" are probably just as tied up in their butch or bitch or whatever roles as the "real blokes" are in theirs. To keep breaking down the stereotypes, positive gay role models are increasingly common, with openly gay politicians, teachers, and characters in TV shows - which is not to say that other gays in politics, education or the arts don't have a hard time, like England and the US Australia has its share of those outed and/or ousted in the line of duty
So all in all it is a mixed bag, but for most a great place to be gay - either permanently or as a visitor!
Find the perfect “Ozzie” accommodation and more on: http://www.gaytraveller.com.au