Home' LOTL : August 2011 Contents 10 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Lifestyle Opinion / Profile / Travel / Food / Stars
The couple, who have
been together for four
years and engaged for
two after a ver y romantic sky
diving proposal by Sandy, said
they have only recently been politically active. They
joined a workshop by Australian Marriage Equality,
and claim it was the start of a journey to stand up
for what they believed in. The right to marry is
incredibly important for them, and Sandy’s children
from a previous marriage, Dylan, 9 and Matthew,
11. “Louise is the love of my life, my soulmate, my
other half, my heart and soul. I can stop looking ,”
says Sandy. “I want to give my children the security
of knowing that Mama Lou is never leaving us; we
are joined together forever through marriage.”
Sandy confesses she is a ver y private person,
and so it was difficult to
be a ver y public figure, but
inequality has forced her to
stop taking a backseat.
“Sandy is the light in my
life, my other half,” she says. “I want to have a say
in my partner ’s life. We are tired of waiting for
things to chang e, at least this way we get to be a
part of the fight.”
She says both their families and friends,
including Sandy’s ex-husband, have offered their
full support, despite some negativity.
“There ha s been a wonderful flow of support from
the LGBT community, but there have also been an
attack on our family from others,” says Sandy. “ We
have tried not to take it personally, but rather use their
comments to know what we are up against.”
The pair is par t of a religious cong reg ation, but
don’t believe marriag e and religion to be mutually
“ You don’t have to be religious to want to get
married,” they say. “Marriage is about a lifelong
comm itment to one another and about civil rights.”
Their plan when they finally meet Julia is to
simply share their lives with her.
“ We want her to understand that she needs to
represent all Australians not just some and we hope
to touch her heart and at least get her thinking a
different way,” says Sandy. “ We have no illusions
about grand outcomes for the dinner, but it’s a start.”
Dylan and Matthew also have a message for Julia.
“ They want her to explain to them why she doesn’t
think we are a family and why we are different to
other families with a mum and dad,” says Lou.
As the new festival administrator for Midsumma,
Melbourne’s premier LGBT festival, 25-year-old
Monique Thorpe has her work cut out for her.
The part-time Masters of Law student will
be hands-on for the administration of the
annual event as well as marketing, volunteer
management, fundraising and sponsorship.
For Thorpe, the question was not, why join
Midsumma, but why not?
“Midsumma sets itself apart from other
‘pride’ festivals through the emphasis placed
on visual arts, literature, comedy, dance and the
representation of the diversity of the GLBTIQ and
Allied community,” she told LOTL.
There’s a sense of hometown pride for Thorpe, who
grew up in Somers, on the Mornington Peninsula; she
says festival opener, Carnival and T-Dance, now held
at Birrarung Marr on the banks of the Yarra River, is
her most treasured Midsumma memory.
“I have always loved events and queer
community alliance,” she states.
“Walking into my first Midsumma Carnival
was like all my dreams had come true! I was
only young and was so impressed to see so
many people ‘like me’ in one place and all proud,
celebrating and having a great time.”
Thorpe says she is passionate about live
entertainment, and would ultimately love to
practice law in that area.
“I have no doubt that I will be the poorest
lawyer around, bit of a bleeding heart, but in my
mind it’s important for the future of events and
live entertainment that they continue to be a
protected and financially viable occupation.”
Organising the three-week festival is a year-long
occupation, and although Thorpe said she and her
Midsumma colleagues are pretty organised already
for 2011, she predicts some challenging moments.
“As the festival gets closer I foresee the
challenges in being able to let go of work at the
end of the day and walk away. We all want to
deliver an amazing experience for the community,
if only there were more than 24 hours in a day to
get it all organised.”
Intentional or not, lesbian couple Sandy
Miller and Louise Burke have become
something of a symbol of the fight for
same-sex marriage since they won a
dinner with Julia
Gillard as part of
the recent Getup!
Sandy Miller &
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