Home' LOTL : April 12 Contents There’s no denying comedian Magda Szubanski is a funny
woman, but no one was laughing when she decided to brave the
mainstream media and announce on national television that she
was gay. Not a little bit gay but gaygaygaylttlebitnotgaygaygay...
It was a brave move from a woman whom hitherto had been
exceptionally quiet when it came to the subject of relationships; but
when Marriage Equality asked Magda to make a statement for the cause,
the comedian felt she had to finally put her sexuality out in the open ...
Not only this, Szubanski says that most importantly she was finally
ready to come out. “I have been building up to this for years,” she says.
“ The therapy process has been helping me to get myself good and solid. In
truth, like every gay person, I have been constantly coming out for years,
ever y time I meet a new person. But coming out to 20 million people
bring s a whole other order of complexity ! I wanted to make sure I didn’t
botch it. In life, as in comedy, timing is everything.
“Also I was asked to make a statement in support of marriage equality
and there was no way I was NOT gonna do that. And there was no way
I was gonna come out in favour of marriage equality and NOT tell the
whole stor y. Bottom line, it just felt like the right thing to do...”
Szubanski’s statement immediately threw her into the spotlight and has
earned her instant status as a gay spokesperson. While the comedian says
she feels a tremendous responsibility to the LGBTQI community for
her new gay icon status, she admits that she wants to use that cultural
cache in the “the most compassionate, wise and effective way I can.
“In some ways, just getting on with my life is the best way to do
that,” says Szubanski. “ There are a lot of LGBTQI people out there,
of all ages, who are strug gling and I want them to know they are not
alone. I K NOW how that feels. Being in the public eye in some ways
I am a channel for those feeling s of grief but also of joy. And I want
to say, ‘yes, it does g et better’,” she smiles.
While she is happy to have spoken out about marriage equality,
Szubanski says she “just wants to g et back to the ver y serious business
of being funny.
“I think the best thing I can do is to be a role model for being
a successf ul, happy gay person not just become the gay ‘Eddy
Fortunately there’s been no backlash to Szubanski’s outing .
According to Szubanski the response has been “over whelmingly
positive” with only a few negative comments making their way
through. She’s received 1000s of “beautiful, loving , ‘go Magda!’
- type statements from people from all walks of life”. And as for the
neg ative comments, she says they “are water off a duck’s back.
“As my friends in the leg al profession say ‘matter for them’. What
other people think of me is none of my business. Not at this age! But
I also think that my coming out gave a platform to that vast, silent
majority of people who are supportive but have no forum in which
to voice that support.”
For Szubanski this outpouring of public support has been one of
the best thing s about her coming out process. “I don’t feel guarded
any more,” she says. “I have enormous respect for the inherent
common sense of the Austra lian people. I think we are a naturally
ver y ‘live and let live’ society.
“Also receiving love and support from friends and family. My
family have been so amazing ! My little old 87-year- old mum, my
big brother and sister, my nieces and nephews were all there in the
studio to support me...
“I know how lucky I am to have that family support and it breaks
my heart to know that some people don’t have that.”
In f act Szubanski says her mum has been a “total champion!” of her
coming out process. She describes her as “fiercely loyal”and states that
the pair of them have be en on quite a journe y. “And god bless her, at her
ag e she continues to open her heart and her mind.”
Fortunately Szubanski couldn’t have chosen a better time to come
out – support for marriage equality is at an all time high and the timing
of her statement coincided with Mardi Gras season, which gave the
local LGBTQI folk another cause for celebration.
“Can I just say the re ception I got at Mardi Gra s.... and at the MQFF
opening ...my God!!!” she exclaims, before adding that “in another
sense I also feel more congruous with myself. It’s be en an emotional
roller coaster, like buying a house or getting married, and I’m sure it
will continue to be so. I am lucky to have great friends and good coun-
During her inter view on The Project, where she proclaimed her gay-
ness, Szubanski commented that if there was a pill to cure being gay she
wouldn’t take it, which caused me to ask how she felt about people who
were sent to re- education centres to ‘cure’ them of being g ay. Szubanski
turns serious, stating “I think it is cruel and inhumane and, frankly,
pointless and wastef ul. We know it simply doesn’t work. All it does is
cause miser y and suffering for all concerne d.
24 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Lifestyle | Profile
24 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Out and Proud
Magda Szubanski raises a voice for Marriage Equality...
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