It’s nearly Christmas and this year is nearly out completely. Welcome 2017…almost. This year has been quite a big one for me in a few ways. I met Andrew Bolt in the flesh in Melbourne at a book signing. My gosh he’s tall! Seriously, that was the first thing I noticed. As I’ve said countless times before, he’s nice and softly spoken. The time he was at Costco at the signing, he didn’t get into an argument once. Then again, maybe most people there had the same views. He was happy to have a photo with me. A few times. Other than that, there was little interaction between him and me. That was in September.

I started my dream course about a month or so ago – Certificate IV in Professional Writing and Editing through Open Colleges. It’s been good so far. I’m one assignment down and hoping to be another one down before the end of the day. After I stop stuffing around here and on social media. :). My writing in general has been getting better, although I know I need to keep an eye on spelling and grammar. When you’re trying to put down your ideas as quick as you can and don’t edit, it’s quite a mess. I should’ve learnt from school – to plan more carefully to avoid my writing looking like a dog’s breakfast. Anyhow, I’m trying now. Next year, it’ll be even better. I hope.

Talking about blogging, I’ve learnt a bit this year. Joining the Blogger’s Corner on Facebook was a great decision. Any question you ask are answered by someone in the group. It’s a real supportive community. Writers/ Bloggers Network is also good. It’s great to get feedback, and getting readers to your blogs. That’s what may aim has been this year, at least for the last few months; gain new readers on any of my blogs. I want to continue in these groups and gain more information on how to get to the next level: buying a domain, etc, plus build a social media profile.

Talking about social media, I’ve really gotten into that this year, including two platforms that I thought, frankly, I thought I’d never use – Instagram and Pinterest. They’re both real fun. I was actually surprised at how many of my friends use Instagram. It’s quite easy to get a few followers. I have over twenty followers at the moment. Pinterest is a bit trickier. Not to use, but to gain traffic/ following. I’ve got three, which is something. Maybe I should have stuck with one theme for the boards I have. I’ve got one on music I like, my blog posts, writing tips from other Pinterest users, motivation articles and memes and my blog posts – all the posts from here, Asexuality in a Sexual World and PowerGirrrl. When I start blogging for real, I’m hoping to use Pinterest along with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to promote my posts and gain a following from all those platforms. My Facebook page for this blog has done surprisingly well this year. What’s mostly surprised me is where a number of my followers are coming from – mainly Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates. And I don’t write about Asia or the Middle East. I’m still grateful and I hope that all my followers enjoy what they read and get insight into different issues.

 

On a news. national and global –  well, ideally, things would improve in 2017. This year has seen some absolute atrocities, particularly in Syria. I haven’t wrote much about it, but I have heard and read what’s in the media about it. It’s been heartbreaking. I have never seen or heard of so much atrocity in my life. I hope those that have to flee find safe havens in other countries where they can flourish. I know the West, particularly Europe has been on edge about migration, but there are people in desperate need. We I think particularly need to help the minorities escape possible extinction in those areas. Apart from opening our hearts and letting refugees in, I’m not sure what else the world can do.

I hope the culture wars cease, especially around same – sex marriage. I’ve been appalled of tactics from both sides. While I get why LGBTQ+ people are angry, I can’t condone some their attempts to intimidate others, including the Australian Christian Lobby, into silence. I was appalled at the lack of reporting and commentary on the bomb threat made against Melbourne’s LGBT radio station Joy 94.9 FM. I was particularly disappointed at the staff at Mamamia and Andrew Bolt for not condemning it. I do applaud Dee Madigan and Paul Murray for speaking out against it on Paul Murray Live, though.

Safe Schools Program also dominated much of the discussion and debate this year. Accusations of “grooming were made and it had been criticised by many sexuality and gender experts. I don’t think its creator Roz Ward did the program any favours when she exposed her true colours (or colour) on Facebook and through a talk which was filmed. A number of experts on sexuality and gender identity accused the program of being inappropriate, especially in primary schools. Ward herself admitted that the content of the program was based on what she learned in gender studies. To be honest, I think a program like Safe Schools could’ve been beneficial for LGBTQ+ students and their families – it could’ve sparked interesting and insightful discussion among teachers and students and made students struggling with their sexuality or gender identity safe to talk about their struggles. Unfortunately, I think it was hijacked by the far Left, too much of the content was deemed too inappropriate and it went downhill from there. Rather then help LGBTQ+ people, I think it ended up doing the opposite in a lot of ways – it ended up confirming to conservatives – the worst of stereotypes about the LGBTQ+ community. Two prominent LGBTQ+ people – transwoman Cate Mcgregor and Eric Abetz’s staffer Josh Manuatu, who is gay, vocally opposed it. Yet, haven’t slowed down until recently. The Australian reported on a new program, allegedly put together by Ward and others, to teach about “modern homophobia”. From what I read about it, it’ll only end in tears.

As has been covered, there has been a huge backlash against progressives/ those on the Left. Donald Trump’s victory in the U.S. Presidential Election and Brexit in the UK needs to serve as a warning – people won’t be lectured to anymore. They won’t be told to shut up. This is what makes me lament about the way the same – sex marriage debate has turned out in Australia. The LGBTQ+ community won’t win allies, in fact, they may just lose them. Also too, everyday people want to have their concern heard – about jobs, migration, taxes, etc. This is why Pauline Hanson gained so much popularity in Australia this year. Regardless of what you think of her politics, I actually think that people can take a leaf out of her book – listen to people. Don’t just run to pet causes. People have concerns about jobs and migration, etc. And they’re not all racist. Not all people who are worried about the way the education system is going and Safe Schools is homophobic or trans – phobic. Stop stereotyping! I hope we can move past this and allow others to have their say and that the LGBTQ+ community will continue to gain acceptance.

 

Anyway, that’s my rant for today – and maybe for the rest of the year. I hope that everyone has a great Christmas and a happy new year. Stay safe and enjoy time with your friends and loved ones.

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