Overcoat Issue Three: Dreams — Editorial

Posted on September 28, 2012

Our editor, Alexandra Gibson shares some insight into the thinking behind our latest issue of Overcoat.

This issue we look at the concept of “dreams” — psychological, motivational and interpretive. During the production of this issue, I have been reading Daryl Dellora’s book, Law, Life and Love about the life of former High Court of Australia Justice Michael Kirby. While subjective, his dream growing up was one that has been shared by many around the world.

“[Mid 1950s] About once a week the front page of the Daily Mirror or the Daily Sun was filled with stories of people, often distinguished people, who were being humiliated and shamed because of their arrest on the basis of their sexuality. So I knew this was a very dangerous and shameful thing, that I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself — and I didn’t really feel that ashamed of myself. But I knew that that was how I was expected to react to it and therefore to keep it quiet, including from those who were closest to me — my family.
This is the real mischief that is done by such laws and attitudes and teaching — that at a critical moment in a young person’s life they have to hide their reality from those who are their greatest source of love and strength. But that was what you were supposed to do and ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ lasted a long while in Australia, and I just went along with it. That was just part of the reality of those days.” (Kirby in Dellora, pg.43).

Kirby believed he would live a loveless life, until he found a degree of acceptance and eventually love with life partner, Johan van Vloten. He publically announced his homosexuality in 1999 while serving as a judge on the High Court of Australia. This must have taken enormous personal courage and a huge amount of support from Johan. They are still together today.
I believe this to be the equality dream of our generation and while there are positive developments every day, my dream is that my peers have the sense to favour equality over politics, tradition or personal prejudice.

Read through the wonderful and inspiring Overcoat Issue Three: Dreams for free.

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