When I was a little boy and day dreamt of what I wanted to be when I grew up I would always stumble through a list of professions I wanted to do, but what was repetitive in my head was that I wanted to help people. I wanted to be a lawyer or a magistrate as injustice was/is a pet peeve and was something dear to my heart. I actually really wanted to be my favourited performer on my favourite Tv show at the time.
When I was 6 years old, I desperately wanted to be Danielle Minogue or marry her, I felt singing and looking amazing would help people too.Dannii was the most popular girl on Australia TV! Young Talent Time was my favourite show and Dannielle was my favourite gal. I always knew Dannielle would grow up to have an incredible life and career.
Infact I had an amazing career on stage in my town and before my voice broke, I was poached rather ferociously by the Anglican Church to join their choir- I preferred their choir robes to my Catholic (tight arse) choice of no robes.
I swear to god the day I was born a midwife spat into my new born mouth.I think there was something planted in me that would one day bloom into a big ol Nurse who wanted to storm troop through the wards cure everyone and make that “clicky noise” when I shook a thermometer just like my aunty used to do… No matter how hard i shook that mongrel thing I couldn’t get it to CLICK!!!.. little did I know she had arthritic wrists and the thermometer was innocent.
I was a devout “A Country Practice” and “The Flying Doctors” fan and in particular LOVED Georgie Parker’s character “Lucy” . Lucy was super nurse to me and I wanted to affect people’s lives like she did and the best patient advocate like she was.
After my parents passed away in 1990 & 1991, I was talking to my Aunty one day about my life dreams and I recall telling her I wasn’t too clear on what I would become. As if my mother was channeling and spoke through Aunty Robyn she almost robotically answered .. “Craig, you will be a Nurse”. I was left feeling a little dazed, I had many relatives in the Nursing profession and as a kid I helped out with my father before he passed away- but never really entertained the idea of being a saintly, inspiring, clicky wristed Nurse!. I never felt I would be worthy of such status. I felt my Dannii dreams fading, good thing as I was fast approaching 5ft10, then sky rocketed to 6ft2 and looking like a rugby player, albeit a retired one.
I was 18 years old, I was recovering from a serious bout of Glandular Fever- my throat almost seized up and I almost choked to death one night. I had gone to the country to stay with friends for two weeks and it ended up being a year. I was annoyed that after my trial HSC exams I was still not cleared to resume the hectic timetable for the big final exams. I had loved living in the country again and wanted to stay.
I had signed up for a course in aged care and an incentive was that I was to be paid whilst I trained on the job. I had found a place to live, I was studying like crazy and I was best mates with the Director of Nursing daughter, who was also my age she had a raging crush on me. I broke her heart after a drunken night out after a yet another gruelling evening shift. Georgie begged me to come out drink until 4 am and boy did i come out!!! I bought the night to an abrupt end , I had confessed I was gay. I was expecting her to have already guessed, I had guessed wrong! she cried for 2 hours non stop! and oh by the way and we were due back at work at 6am.
By the time 7am rolled around we were giggling and carrying on like drunken pork chops, the DON/Mum standing at the end of the corridor screaming "I can smell you BOTH from here".
I worked such hours and heavy manual lifting and industrial strength nappy changes.I was in heaven when I was writing my reports and listening to the golden oldies stories but I was a young kid and my peers knew I wasnt destined to stay there for all my career. I applied for a job at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney and I put every effort and prayer into my application. The process was long and I waited.. and waited.
After an exam and a couple of interviews I was whittled down from over 4,000 applications from around the southern hemisphere to the last 80. I suited up for my final interview and I was carrying a leather man bag, slicked my hair( yes was even grown to my shoulders) , spritzed with Joop (yes it was THAT long ago) and pressed my dimples in a little deeper, smiled and charmed those old boiler panelists so much they thought I was sent from heaven.
I remember the day I got the letter stating I had been accepted, I immediately though of my parents and wished they had lived to see this moment as I felt the tears rumble to the surface, I put my smooth chin ( no beard till I was 27yrs old) up and BEAMED. I was to present to the Nurses Quarters at RPAH in a months time. My housemate had been accepted to go to the UK and work and we parted on our big journeys. Minogue music would go on to take me away from the reality of my nursing career.
I recall getting out of the cab on Missenden Road in Camperdown and thinking I had stepped into another “city”- within a City!.
I wanted to save the world and make a difference. I still do - most days.
After Nurse Jacintha Saldanah’s involvement in the recent the “Royal Prank”, the audio went viral after the 2dayFM show Dj’s Mel Grieg and Michael Christian had obtained access to Kate Middleton’s nurse and medical information via a prank phone call imitating the Queen and Prince Charles. The…
As many of you know, my friend/colleague passed away last friday from cancer. She was 36 years old and taken too soon. I tweeted about her last week upon hearing the news that she had passed away as I wanted her to not be a nameless statistic that cancer had taken.
The past week has felt like a lifetime has passed but tomorrow morning her fiancee, her family and friends will say farewell to Natalie. I have cried many times over the last 2.5 years for Natalie from the anger that she was diagnosed to upon hearing she lost her battle and I know tomorrow at her funeral will be no exception to floods of tears.
Although I personally do not know her loving partner nor her family, all of us from work agreed that we wanted to attend her funeral as we want her loved ones to know (by our presence there tomorrow) how much we love Nat and how we will never forget her.
When people pass away you generally hear ” oh they were such a nice person” and I am no different here with Nat. She TRULY was one of the nicest people I had the privilege to meet. She would LOVE to hear gossip but she never said anything nasty about anyone and quite often had a simplistic view on why people would behave in the way they do. Nat never argued, name called nor can any of us think of anyone uttering a bad word about her in the whole time she worked with us- You all know how bitchy Nurses can be too!.
I have found myself saying over the past week that If anyone was to be granted a miracle during such a brave battle during their cancer fight it was beautiful Natalie. Nat radiated such a gorgeous energy, did her work and she never complained.
During her later stages of her short beautiful life, suffering excruciating and debilitating pain Nat never wallowed in self pity and like the hurdles she had faced previously, she came to accept that death was coming for her and she was not frightened. This did strangely bring a slight sense of comfort to me knowing she had come to terms with death and I can assure you I personally couldn’t guarantee that I would be so gracious. This is a testament to the amazing traits of such an amazing character.
About 3 months ago, I saw Natalie at work. I was told she was coming to clean out her locker and she had resigned a couple of months before that. The day she emptied her locker I knew that day would be the final time I would see her.
I was preparing myself to see her, Nat had ended her chemo and radiation as it was taking its toll on her body and pain of it was unbearable. I was walking the corridors not making any eye contact with anyone at the risk of someone seeing me hold back the tears. I had no words prepared and I was so scared as to what to say.
Without any warning I turned the corner I see Nat walking towards me, she seemed vague, was looking around the corridors and making her way to the exit. I was quiet and stood still … I didn’t speak but Natalie looked into my eyes and merely said… “Craig!… Give me a hug” .. a hug I will NEVER forget and there is almost some humour to that hug…
About a year before hand I was standing at the staff allocation board and I saw Nat walking towards me she veered off and stood right next to me .. I saw out the corner of my eye that Natalie was looking up at me… as I turned to her I say ” hey Nat! what are you up to” .. She looked straight into my soul ( im sure ) and she said ” Nothing, I just have this feeling to hug you” without hesitation I said opened my arms and said “hug me now” …. ” hmmmmm Nah Craig the moment has passed” .. I have to admit I was kind of bummed she opted out as I would have hugged her ten times a day if she asked.
As Natalie hugged me that last time I was immediately reminded (mid hug) to that year before and now I was finally getting my hug I had so desperately wanted and waited a year for. When Natalie had first left us to have cancer related surgery I was in Europe and had learnt of her diagnosis/ surgery after I had returned. I was shattered for her then and when she returned she not once ever asked for sympathy and her ability to get back to work with such ease never prompted me to even consider pitying her but my admiration for her courage and her strength further sky rocketed.
Despite her now inability to have children, Natalie just simply responded ” maybe it wasn’t meant for me”. I cursed every religious Icon for allowing this to happen to such a saintly girl ( I STILL curse them) . How she felt really about the cancer diagnosis I don’t think I will ever know as Natalie just focused on everyday and accepted that this had happened to her. She amazed me and continued to do so until her last day on this planet.
We were all to have a chance to lunch with Natalie before she passed but readmission into the hospice prevented the luncheon to happen and she died the day before we were due to meet. I had heard many amazing stories of her partner who cared for Natalie and was an incredible man by her side all the way. It always made my heart swell to know such love was with her all that time. Natalie deserved this love. If I allow myself I let myself go to that place of acknowledging that If it happened to me now I wouldn’t have that partner by my side and that breaks my heart. I do however remind myself that at least there are real men out there like Natalie’s partner who do exist and do not runaway from such trauma and heartache.
Just to leave you with an example of how truly amazing and selfless she was till the end- a close friend had gone to see her in the hospice and our friend ( who has know Nat the longest and visited her every week for months and months) eventually broke down in front of Nat and cried her heart out. She could see Natalie’s decline and she just couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. Tammy apologised for crying and said to Nat “this is not about me, I know it” .. Natalie looked at our friend and concerned about her sobbing friend… said ” this IS about you too” …
I do take comfort in the hope that she is with her beautiful mother now somewhere and cancer/pain free. I just cannot shake that feeling that she should be HERE cancer and pain free.
It was awful for many of us who did not get to see her in the hospice before her death but she will never be forgotten nor will her amazing hug she let me finally have.
As Sydney starts to chill and we edge towards winter, ironically the Spring/Summer collections are being tweaked and finished for the start of Fashion Week. The temperature plummets as does the enthusiasm of some invitees I call them ‘the Faux” whilst for others- “The Enthusiasts”, it is when their core temperature will rise and the moment they live for is upon them for yet another year or the next 30 minutes of a shows collection.
There are You can categorise yourself as a faux or enthusiast judged on your excitement level when you receive your invite and your behaviour during the actual show.
Starting with The Faux, they are as chilly as the changing season and their air kisses barely make the mercury pulsate on the thermometer. They could not care less about being at a fashion event and are not afraid to show it and can amp it up a notch in the company of an enthusiast.
A Faux will perch and stare down their noses through the eye frames that are created by mostly European Fashion houses. Whether they need glasses for reading or for seeing is not relevant. Some may or may not fit or afford a Chanel suit but by god they will wear the label in any other way possible even by way of perfume- this is applied to enthusiasts too.
Some of them are like reluctant parishioners, dragged to church sitting there and feigning an interest whenever a camera or the gaze of the Designer is cast upon them. Designers are the high Priests or Priestess’s of the congregation, held in the highest of regard by those whom subscribe to their holy “cloth”. The Faux and The Enthusiast can either secretly believe that the Designer can be a satanic symbol. The uber Faux can be so evil in that they feel that they themselves are not of the heavenly calibre to afford these designs and they can feel condemned to fashion hell for not having the figure or finesse to wear them- but they wouldn’t dare show a lapse in their super human ability to uphold their impenetrable exteriors.
The faux sit and eye the models that grace these runways and consciously or not can compete in a battle with the models in a face-off - who wears the greatest scowl- the models are the superior beings after all they are adorned in couture. The faux acknowledge they themselves are more likely to be able to afford or obtain for free from their friend -the designer.
Ironic that the warmer tones of Spring/Summer collections are being shown and the faux will remain staunch when on show as their icy and motionless expressions, remain jaded: as it is NEVER out of style. With a blatant disrespect for the matter the hours of neither work nor the detail in the garments seem to ever please or enthral as they are passed by on the runway. The thought of wearing the designers clothing may rarely cross their mind nor would they feel compelled to even wear the designer in any effort of support.
Their ‘uniform’ consists of various hues that range from grey to black, they colour block- Literally! No colours, they completely block them, no prints and if black lipstick didn’t render them “witchy they would coat their barely present pressed lips with it.
Anna Wintour the editor of “Vogue” in the U.S has a global army whom tries to emulate her. Ms Wintour has her uniform for the battlegrounds of fashion week and she is almost militant in her styling and with her gaze. She is ready for battle with her helmet hair, her armour of floral prints, only leaving her arms to be quite vulnerable and the fur of an animal she could kill with her steely stare alone. Anna Wintour will often arm herself with a Talley, in the form of the ample Andre Leon Talley. Talley is flamboyant gentleman, who is, demure as a kitten, swipes like a lion and as venomous than the deadliest snake.
The “Army of Anna Wintour” is too, poised for battle. They emulate the arbiter of fashion, they have their helmet hair dos and their protective eyewear that shield them from harsh light and gives the room a hint that they resemble some importance in the fashion world.
The Enthusiasts are fashions friend and friends till the bitter end. They see and appreciate the art of the collections and as if they themselves created them from scratch can feel a sense of familiarity with them too. Sadly it seems to be the trend that the Enthusiasts tend to be positioned further from the runway, only as we rarely see a smiling face or a face in total awe of the show in the media. To position them so far from view is quite possibly a conscious decision as to not be tempted to charge towards the couture and be could up in a moment of hysterical blindness and (earth shatteringly) man handle the collection. They applaud in a restrained manner as to not aggravate the wasp personality traits of the faux and frustratingly remain seated when the Designer takes their bow at the end of the show.
They are the opposite of the Faux, these people are the ones who can live for a year on the whiff of an embellishment on the chest, shoulder or hipbone and gorge on the sparkle and the sound of a floor length gown being taken down the catwalk weakens their knees.
The enthusiast will race to their seats especially if they spot a goodie bag. The bags sustain them for the week, a Fashion Week survival kit. They are too excited to eat much any way but they will nibble on the freebie until the next show and the glasses of bubbles consumed are purely for hydration.
They envy the models life and are capable of perceiving that this is always how glamorous she is and that her make up is this flawless every morning when she rolls out of bed at 11 am and collects ten thousand dollars.
They are like the excited “Aunties” of the collections, the show is almost like the designer giving birth to these precious “babies” that are to be loved, adored and handled like a newborn baby. After all in the lead up to these fashion week shows, the enthusiasts are the ones whom are paddling in the deep end of the endorphin pool, pondering what to expect and predicting the colour palettes of their favourite designers.
It is note worthy that the Faux and Enthusiasts can share a love of gay men. A gay man is the perfect accessory for any fashion related event whether it is a fashion week showcase or a shopping excursion; they have the stamina and endurance to last the week or the whole day respectively.
An enthusiast or a Faux will sit there dying to tell anyone that will listen that they have a “stylist”, in a way they are correct as the homosexual man is mentally undressing his “doll” and picturing her in all that walks in the shows.
The gay man will encourage an enthusiast and inflate their ego (in an honest and heartfelt way) by way of nudging when something fitting for the wardrobe glides past them both. It is meant to be when the enthusiast locks eyes with her gay man; the timing precision is flawless as are the synchronised gasps.
* Written by a self confessed, heterosexually impaired enthusiast
I was tempted to start this post with today’s announcement of Dannii Minogue’s Madam Tussards statue reveal this morning in Melbourne BUT considering my very last post was Dannii ….. that would be too predictable.
I have been neglecting my blog for many months now and here is what I have been up to… in no particular order
1. Became a Godfather- bucketlist tick for SURE!
2. Started a Relationship and …………………………………………………became single again
3. Asked to be a part of an incredible foundation that is targeting bullying online (more to come from this for SURE)
5. had a beautiful Xmas
6. Spent time with peeps I adore and Love
7. MET and Christened the Godson
8. Working too much and alot of weekends
9. Almost gave up on men
10. Met some amazing people
11. posted sketches online
12. drank more in the last 4 months than the last 2 years
13. continued PT sessions…. could have done better on programme see previous
14. Remained a hopeful and Romantic person….. most of the time hahaha
From the moment I realised what love and marriage was, I have always thought that one day I would marry, the fact that I was attracted to boys never stopped me. As a child I always would talk about “when I get married” knowingly it would be to another boy.
I always thought Australia would be one of the first to legalise same sex marriage and as time goes on, my heart sinks- to think that we are not as forward thinking as I once hoped we would be, even back in 1980.
I have always been a romantic and I feel Love the same way any heterosexual person does.I cannot see how the leaders of this country have never been able to acknowledge and take action I even had a relationship with that lasted longer than my own parents marriage.
I am disappointed in the Governments that have and now run this country, why after all these years are we still fighting for such a basic right?. I have jokingly said in the past that gay people should not pay tax or make divorce for heterosexuals ILLEGAL.. until we are granted the right to marry afterall why should every other aspect of my life be acknowledged but my desire to marry?.
As a three year old in the sandpit, I still remember the moment that I wanted to marry a boy and it felt natural and very normal. I knew that boys did not marry boys but I thought by the time I grew up that it would be allowed to happen.
I was born in Sydney,I pay tax, I fill out the census, I am legally punishable should I commit a crime, I am responsible for my actions and I vote. I am a hard working Nurse in the NSW public health sector and currently I am not able to legally marry in my birth country of Australia.The same government who expects me to contribute as a person, does not feel that my right to same sex marriage is deserving of any recognition.
If anyone had told me at the time that it would not be legal in Australia in 2011, I don’t think I would have accepted it.That was 31 years ago and very sadly Australia does not lawfully allow for me to marry the man of my dreams. I may be single at the moment but I fully support and encourage for marriage equality for same sex couples in Australia and I still have that hope and dream in my heart from all those years ago.
To our Government I say to you, Its not too late.. stand up and show that we are a country that is taking the steps forward to make all of its citizens equal and that we are a country that is accepting and embracing of same sex marriage.
NOTE: I have written this post in great haste as I am due to be at work in 45 minutes.. helping to bring new babies into the world until dawn… It is my hope the babies coming into the world in 2011 will never have to be a part of this ongoing fight for equality, but study it in schools and it bewilder them as in their time same sex marriage would be legal.
" You are not a victim, but a lesson to us" - Lady Gaga in reference to Jamey’s death
Jamey Rodemeyer was a 14 year old boy ,a child, who took his life because he was tormented and bullied for being gay. I didnt have to know Jamey Rodemeyer to feel the empathy of what he went through nor to feel the sadness at his death.
Music can be a powerful tool in how it can affect our moods and what we learn in life. Now the internet seems to be a powerful tool amongst teenagers and is being used as a weapon to ultimately and destroy self esteem cause humiliation on literally a global scale. Bullying is becoming scarier and with the internet being a protective barrier for the bullies and big old red target for the vulnerable.
I can identify with Jamey how Lady Gaga helped him to get to the point where he did - before his death. I just wished that he was able to have continued to fight on. As the media keep mentioning… ” It didnt get better for Jamey”.
Jamey’s death made me cry and I have spent the last week reflecting on my own experiences of being gay in high school and how I was bullied. Kids have been and continue to be bullied and very heartbreakingly take their lives.
Growing up can be a blissful experience for many but for others the road can be a slightly more difficult path. Music tends to become a huge part of our childhoods in some ways its a tool to learn about the world and can be the only avenue for some to feel validated by how they see and how they are affected by the world.
I would revert to listening to music that made me happy and luckily for me the 90’s provided pop fairy floss that aided me in lifting my moods when required. Madonna helped to heal my heart by writing songs about her own experiences with the death of her Mother.. and Kylie & Dannii sang with happiness Love and always hopefulness. In my instance they were amazing role models where the family around me lacked in teaching me about the world and life.
When I was Jamey’s age I was 14,I had suffered sexual abuse, my parents separated, my older half sister had been taken to live with her real father. I would have to help with a sick and aging single parent, at 13 I was orphaned ( 10 months apart), living with the grief of their deaths, moved from my childhood home to a new school and new town and was living with family members whom considered me more of a burden than anything else. I was experiencing the early and ongoing battles of weight gain and I my sexuality was starting to be come identifiable. I was always taught in a very harsh way that my life was not the worst and I accepted that. I felt left to my own devices by the remaining family members whom where “doing their duty” to raise me and my sister. Abuse was rampant and very alarmingly accepted in my family and I was forced to grow up faster than I ever hoped or imagined.
As I hit high school I was becoming more outward in my sexuality, puberty had struck and more deeply introverted in character as to not draw attention to myself and like Jamey- I had female idols who’s music inspired me and made my world a better place. In 2011 it was Lady Gaga for Jamey and the Minogue sisters for me. I was tormented for even being a Minogue fan but always stood strong and proud.
In my school people also realised that Kylie and Dannii Minogue were becoming a gay icons and whom ever uttered their names or covered their school folders with their pictures like I did unapologetically, were prime targets for bullying. The quieter ones who associated with me would also suffer the slurs, It was gay by association. I was never outwardly flamboyant but I was thoughtful,respectful to my peers and to adults.I could be crippled in my shyness and sensitivity. However I did come with shoulder length thick curly hair that made permed women green with envy (that is the only thing i miss about my school days now).
Somehow I was voted onto student council every single year and the teachers would go on to elect me to be the sole student representative for the school council. I was respected by many and hated by many. I would never confirm nor deny my sexuality because as a teen I felt I did not want to nor have to. The time I chose to reveal it would be doing and it was not that I was ashamed of who I was, I felt that it was the only control I had at the time.
In years 9,10 and 11 I was with the popular group and I even had one point had a girlfriend. Everyone in that group knew I was gay without me having to say it. I think my girlfriend did too, at times but she was in love with Craig the person, not Craig the sexual preference. Needless to say I broke her heart and the other couples we hung out with went on to marry, are still married and have children.
I had notes put into my locker ” We all know you are a FAG” , “You will die from Aids” and after my exams one day I was one of the last ones to leave the exam room to collect my bag from outside the hall. I saw everyone staring at the wall, during the exam older kids had depicted me in drawings, in sexual positions with my friends whom they assumed too were gay. The WHOLE entire year had seen it and I didn’t cry but was embarrassed and worse my friends were dragged into it. The school did NOTHING ABOUT IT nor could they identify the handwriting all over it.I tried so hard to hide this from my family and at the age of 16 I came out. It was not looking for acceptance nor sympathy I told them that this is how it was and this is how it will be. I was still and will always be Craig as you know me now. My sexuality was also a part of me not who I was nor shall it be the only thing I would be known for. I refused to let this happen and I think still to this day I was able to be like this as I was one of the lucky ones whom had realised from a tender age that I will not marry the girl from the rich family as my dad had predicted, but a gentle and loving man. I wished that Jamey had felt that he too was entitled to feel this contentment. I recall the school showing concern as the end of year 11 was coming closer and the nominations for school captain were approaching. I was pegged as becoming atleast vice captain and primed by a few of my teachers. The only notice that the school took from the cartoons on the wall incident was that to have a gay captain or vice captain could be a mistake there was a negotiation that I would stay on the school council role and act in an advisory role to the new captains.. NO DEAL. I refused every school role offered to me and left the school instead. They couldn’t guarantee my safety nor would they take gay bullying head on. I cannot deny there were times in my teenage years when suicide crossed my mind.. There were days when I felt defeated, where I cried, prayed my Mum and Dad would come back and save me. I was angry that they were taken away from me. My mother was not their to once again help and assist me to take on my bullies like she had done with an older boy who had abused me when I was 5 years old. She unknowingly stopped one of his sexual attacks.
My own acceptance came from me wholeheartedly believing in a simple but powerful rule and belief that- I have paid for my ticket in this life, just like everybody else. I am not that different nor shall I be negated for being who I am.
I am sickened to think that there are people out there who are STILL making fun of Jamey even in the week since his passing.Nobody ever really knows how another is and can be suffering. It seems that to not cope is a sign of weakness and is shameful to some to admit. I personally think what is shameful is that bullying is not a punishable by law in this world.
I really do hope and pray that there is justice for Jamey and that the people who helped contribute to his bullying are made examples of and shown to the rest of the world that this not acceptable and as in actual life be accountable for their actions. This child need not have died nor shall be forgotten, like the other thousands of kids who have also taken their lives. My heart goes out to his family and to all that loved him.
I cannot help but have a heavy heart when I think about Jamey and nor can I shake that initial feeling of … That could have been me 20 years ago.
How do I put this into words? Will my words truly encapsulate what happened? .. Lets see.
Anyone who has known me for approximately 6 minutes will know that I have been a fan of Kylie Minogue since I was about 8 years old and I can now proudly add KYLIE herself to the list of people who now know this . Now let me add that I have loved Kylie since a time when Lady Gaga was not even born. Mid 1984 was when I first had any visual or auditory sensation involving Kylie.
Let me just clarify for you, there is no shame in sharing this story with you but I have been debating as to whether to share this post as I keep it so close to my heart and a moment I will treasure till my last breath. think there is an element of expectation I play up to when I speak of the Minogue sisters but if i am TRULY honest.. I think I would take a bullet for them.. literally.
The story takes place with Kylie’s “Aphrodite Les Folies Tour” was making its way to Sydney. I had my tickets in hand and was sneaking snippets from the show on youtube. I hate surprises generally and nothing had prepared me for what was coming my way. I was in my bedroom and received a text message from Charlotte Dawson.. asking me if was free on Monday night and if so to be “gay security” to an event.. to meet KYLIE.I re read the message a couple of times.. it felt like an hour had passed before I responded. I think it was about 3 seconds..My gay life flashed before my eyes and for about 5 seconds I thought this was a joke, but no Charlotte wouldn’t do that to me. I felt the blood drain from my face… my arm felt weak and I could hear my heart beat over the planes flying over my house at the time.
I don’t think I told a single soul for about a day and half.. I was stunned.. I wanted to tell the universe that FINALLY this day was coming… In 2 days time.
The Monday morning had rolled on and I was in my scrubs at 7am and setting up my operating theatre when a co worker casually asked how I was.. I looked up.. and my voice box EXPLODED and in micro seconds I had explained what was happening that night… She looked puzzled for a second as the words were still being processed in her brain then she SCREAMED….. I felt like screaming too but I am not always that gay.. (unless at a Kylie show) .. Word had spread faster than a hospital super bug through the halls of the Operating Theatre complex..The day rolled slowly I had played this event in my mind over and over since childhood and I was HOURS away from meeting Kylie. I was at work in my scrubs and finding it so difficult to concentrate..
In my head Im thinking I wish my parents had been alive to see this moment happen.
What was I going to wear? echoed through my head and out of the mouths of those who now knew… I had no clue.. How do I look more like Craigy and alot less like Shrek? come on standing next to a Minogue when u are built like Andre Leon Talley ( google him) .. its almost as terrifying as meeting the pop princess herself.
320pm hit and I FLEW out the door to go home, change and be at Charlotte’s By 5pm. Any good homosexual would break out into a nervous rash with that timeframe. A phone call in the cab from Alex Perry did not help my nerves but did make me laugh.
I get to Charlotte’s and I dont recall being overly chatty as I sat in my fave chair at her dining table… As Charlotte got ready I thought wow I wish it was so effortless and a clean experience when I was getting ready. I think Charlotte may have sensed how I was feeling as she swept into and out of the kitchen pouring me a MOFO glass of white.. and sensibly taking the bottle away..
In no time at all we were off to the cocktail party and some twitter convo and Kylie talk in the car enroute to WildFire.
Running into a friend outside the restaurant, I didn’t recognise at first, was very awkward an embarrassing.. I could have peed myself at this point and would not have noticed. I was not really expecting to see anyone I knew to be honest.
Once inside I had broken my “no alcohol till AFTER I meet Kylie” again by sinking some Chandon that made my skin tingle. I sometimes react to some wines. After meeting some people I chat to on twitter.. I felt more relaxed and for a time forgot why I was there! despite the Kylie chatter happening around me.
The first Kylie I met was Kylie Gillies from Channel 7’s ” The Morning Show” who at first .. thought she knew me. I politely reminded her that she and her camera crew had dropped me off at school once mannnnny years ago after interviewing my father one morning back when she was on prime news in Tamworth!. I she audibly gasped and I think her heart stopped. I reassured her that I was younger than I looked. She still posed with me for a photo. bless.
After sinking a couple of AMAZING cocktails with Lychee.. I met another Minogue fan-Shelly Horton who is extremely sweet. My instant impression was that she would be totally fun on a dancefloor. She out bubbled the Chandon on the drinks trays that were swooping amongst the guests.
I was DYING to and excited to meet kiss and hug fashionista and Super mum Melissa Hoyer, whom I have adored and respected for many years.She seemed impressed by my ability to increase my nervous heart rate to speeds beyond that of a Janome or egg whisk she may have encountered in her time. After Melissa had returned from her chat and photograph with Kylie, I had to ask.. “what do you say to her??”
I heard of and had been invited to be a part of a Flashmob led by Sydney drag queen Joyce Maynge- that was going to serenade Kylie that evening. I didn’t have the heart to decline them and say I was going to be inside Wildfire that night.
After some drinks and chatting. I heard the outside mob singing and cheering…flash bulbs were catching the corner of my eye. I unintentionally and rudely interrupted Charlotte’s conversation to say in almost a SHRILL… “I think Kylie is here” Annnnnnnd cue the adrenaline and endorphin rush the second I saw her manager Terry Blamey outside and then as I stood on tippy toes and I saw the back of her head( oh my god my heart was POUNDING)
Like in a movie… two people blocking my view separated and a visual direct path to Kylie was formed.I was on sensory overload, I am sure many people have conjured up heart attacks or strokes during this kind of and on much less than what I was feeling but I was determined to be up right and conscious . Twenty something years of waiting, praying, daydreaming and preparing was counting down to MINUTES,minutes until I would meet my idol Kylie Minogue..
Kylie moved through the crowd and was being introduced to newbies from the music and local celebrity scene and catching up with those she has known for years. I was in awe. In my head I kept thinking how could something so petite and amazing have this affect on me? ummmmm Who Cares?! was all I could come up with and now was not a moment to ponder. I soaked it all up and loved it.
Charlotte and Melissa kept encouraging me to go up and say Hi…. no amount of shoving got me to move. I would have stepped off the edge of a tall building first at that point if i had to choose that would have been easier. I was THAT scared to say Hi..
Kylie through the crowd as she made her way to the stage down the back of the restaurant.. I would get close enough to say Hi but choked.
In a what felt like a last ditch attempt.. Charlotte had postioned me near to the stage and I was to be her final meet and greet before hitting the stage.
There was a blurry moment of I dont know what happened then suddenly .. Kylie looks up ( im 6ft1) and smiles.. we make eye contact, she extends her hand and says “Hi” - with a smile.I saw that smile that I have seen in posters, books, magazines, TV and movies.. and it was aimed … at me.. Craigy…
I swallowed a CHUNK of saliva and blurt out … ” I have LOVED you since I was 8 years old” and the roller coaster began.Kylie smiled broader and let out a little squeal.. “Ahh Oh My God” she says.. our hands are still gripped.. I go to pull my hand away and realise she still has a firm grip on me. Kylie’s other hand comes down and pats my hand.
I was ok. I was fine.I had survived intial contact and the meeting wasnt ending anytime soon.It was almost as like the moment she touched my hand,I was calmed and cooled. She asked me if I was coming to the show and we started talking fashion and about her “shoe of the day” twitter pics.. ” Do you know how hard that is to do?’ .. I proceeded to open my can of gay and talk about a particular pair of shoes I had gay squealed over earlier that week! ..
In that one moment I felt like it didn’t matter that I was not a “Gay-lister” (what i call an A List Gay) and during our meeting it did not even seem to bother Kylie in the slightest. Kylie was LOOKING AT and SPEAKING TO ME and at first I was the one looking around the room almost too shy to look at her. I kept telling myself that This may never happen again and FOCUS. Kylie made me feel like I was the only one in the room for that meeting, even turning her back to the crowd to chat to me. I don’t think that Kylie was expecting to meet a fan fan especially at such an exclusive event. I vaguely recall the crowd standing around and watching us. I did hear someone say “she seems to know him” .
After our chat we got to have some pictures taken with Kylie and I was in heaven. Stunned, amazed and found it hard to concentrate for a bit. I would like to say a HUUUUGE thankyou to PAUL!! for snapping some unofficial pics too!
As official speeches were about to start for the event Kylie was being moved near to the stage and my parting words to her were “Welcome home Kylie” she turned back to me, smiled dipped her head into her shoulder her eyes sparkled and she almost whispered… “Thankyou”.
Whilst her record company made some speeches I was positioned next to Terry ( her manager from day 1) and at one point without even thinking and after his coughing fit subsided. I remember looking at him, he smiled.I smiled and then I said “I have loved her since I was a child and I want to say thank you for never giving up..EVER” Terry I think went to speak and swallowed a rising cough and SMILED and patted my arm.
A little setlist of her old and new hits followed and I was front row for that too! Also for her 3 Sydney shows where she smiled and gave me a little wave to me, I shamefully asked for her to look for me and give me a little wave during her Les Folies show the following evening.
After Kylie had left I was left paddling in a pool of endorphins and absolute gratitude to Charlotte for being such a sweetheart and making my dream come true. I was in a room containing people I have respected and admired for many years and I knew how lucky I was.
I was so dazed and returned to Earth just in time see Jonny from Stereogamous- whom I have know for a couple of years now.( Stereogamous Dj’d the event and created remixes of “Cupid Boy” my favourite track from the album “Aphrodite” ). Jonny gave me the most incredible post Kylie meeting hugs. I really needed it and I can tell you that Jonny is known not only in Sydney but GLOBALLY for his hugs.
Chatted with Ryan “Fitzy” from Nova who introduced himself and his gorgeous wife. Fitzy looked me up and down and was kind of bit baffled why a shaved head boofhead like me was there.. I must have closed the lid on my gay can by this time.. I think I had shut down a little. When I explained I was a Kylie enthusiast he was intrigued.
I plan to get a “Minogue tattoo” after and if I ever get the chance to meet Dannii Just to mark the events and a little something to have forever. I know that there will be an “Angel” in my tattoo to represent Charlotte. So I need to start planning because if one dream comes true doesn’t mean a second one cant. :D
Charlotte will always be very special to me NOT only for the opportunity to meet Kylie Minogue but I will ALWAYS be there to be her “Gay Security” in life and not only just for events. A moment in my life shared with a beautiful girl with a glittery big heart, who took one for the team and made my dream come true.
It STILL catches me off guard at times and I have flash backs to that moment, I am left dazed and smiling.. it can only be a good thing right?. I look at the attached photo with this post - taken by Charlotte on her phone just to remind me that it happened.
I thought about all those times I had supported and encouraged others succeed in their dream, suddenly it was MY turn. So many people tried to take that moment from me by being negative and asking why did it not happen to them but I couldn’t get caught up in that but stand up and let that moment wash all over me and I was deserving.
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed living it.
I have been a Kylie Minogue fan since I saw her perform with younger sister Dannii On YTT. I remember jumping around the room dancing to them sing “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” didn’t know all the lyrics but I didn’t take my eyes off the screen.. all i could think .. was ….” Oh my god-There is 2 of them” I was in heaven!!
I lived in a small country town, in the upper hunter valley at the time only ever had two television stations and Neighbours which Kylie was starring on at the time.. was not on the channels we had.I was about 8 years old and until then I had only heard of and loved Dannii. To me Dannii Minogue was a superstar and the only reason I tuned in to watch Young Talent Time.
Over the last 25 years or so.. I have followed Kylie’s career and always found myself defending her to people, explaining what it was I loved about her or bearing the brunt of many Kylie jokes, put downs and negativity… as many of you Kylie fans understand what I am talking about … When I explain that as a kid, I would lock myself in my room and play my Kylie Cassettes and Cassingles to escape the awful things that was happening in my household and to my family … many reactions later in life was.. “oh i get it .. just like Muriel did with ABBA in “Muriel’s Wedding” .. Ummm no but if that helps you understand then yes..thats what it was like… LOL
I was an avid fan of “Smash Hits” magazine and would clip out every Kylie Minogue picture I could find.. “Locomotion” had hit and my Kim Wilde and Bananarama Cassettes were at the bottom of the draw because Kylie now took pride in my stereo and wasnt budging anytime soon… nor did it for many decades.
My Teacher/Headmaster would make fun of me, and Kylie…. It drove me insane and I would get so annoyed and bored by his unrelenting jibes.. I took matters into my own hands one morning as I woke early to dismantle my posters from my wall … walked to school with my arms FULL of posters and I …….”KYLIE BOMBED” the class room.. People walked in and i watched their eyes widen and scan the walls and blackboard… and there I was sitting at my desk in the empty class room as if nothing had happened.. I had covered his desk in a massive poster of Kylie snuggling a stuffed lion… Secretly he was amazed.. and loved it.. I was so annoyed I had placed my fave poster behind me as I almost broke my neck turning to look at it 400 times an hour for that week..
When my parents passed away in 1990 & 1991- I was heartbroken, scared and grieving was not acceptable to many of my family members around me.. I would literally lock myself in my room and escape from what was on the outside of those doors and create my own sanctuary and Listen to my Kylie and Dannii albums, sketch, and flick through magazines and books about the smiling Minogue sisters. It was what made me happy and it was the only way I knew how to get through this souls shattering time. I will always be grateful to them for NEVER giving up, as they inspired me as a child to never give up.
I didnt get to attend my first Kylie concert till I was in my 20’s and saw “FEVER” tour in Sydney. Kylie rose up onto the stage for “Come Into My World” I held my breath and as Kylie came up through the stage a massive lump rose into my throat. The second she opened her mouth to sing the lump in my throat disappeared. I then could understand why fans would cry and scream at artists like Michael Jackson etc. I felt like I wanted to cry but I didnt. I think it was more the fact that I had waited so many years to see Kylie perform live and finally there she was on the stage. My seats were hideous but I didnt care.. She sounded amazing and I could just see her… thankgod for the screens.I felt myself wanting to have a silent tear because even though it was Sydney Entertainment Centre I felt like .. I was in the same “room” as Kylie and suddenly she was REAL!!! I felt like I was 10 years old again and loved every minute of it!!. . I felt like I was a little kid again. ..The costumes for Kylie were from my favourite European designers.. Dolce & Gabbana. It was the perfect evening..I walked out of the Entertainment Centre beaming and humming La La La… La La..La La La from “Cant Get You Out Of My Head”.
When Kylie was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2005, I was shattered.. For an assortment of reasons.. That same week I had some tests for a lump where boys shouldn’t get a lump.. and fortunately for me it was a cyst but i got those results the day Kylie announced She was diagnosed with breast cancer.. I recall being in the shower and I started to cry.. cry that I was ok but also I couldn’t stop thinking that Kylie was not well.. I had seen a pap shot of her in Paris a week or so earlier.. she was smiling and waving.. i said to my now ex partner.. “she doesn’t look well.. somethings wrong” … I attended the travelling exhibition that was in my city a few weeks later and signed a book for her.. “My tickets are still on the fridge” I looked at them everyday and knew she would return… As most of you know,I am a Nurse and all I could think was the woman who helped me all these years but entertaining me with her music and career was suddenly ill..
Having worked in the Operating theatre and seen (unfortunately) thousands of women battle the same illness .. I never once thought Kylie would not make it.. Not giving her super human status but in my heart I just knew she would come back and finish “Show Girl” tour.
I saw “The Homecoming Tour” twice in Sydney and again the lump in my throat rose with her as she returned to the stage… I remember the banner in the crowd ” Our Disco Missed you” .. AMEN- it sure did!!!. Not long out from finishing her final round of cancer treatment..Kylie returned to her “second home” the stage and wowed the audiences with her spectacular “Homecoming Show” and followed it up with a rare behind the scenes documentary “White Diamond” capturing her putting the show together then hitting the road.
When XTour hit Sydney.. All i could think was … What cancer?! She was happy healthy and sounded incredible!!I was eight rows from the front and in awe that Kylie was metres away from me…
I have never actively went seeking her out when she was on tour or when I was in the same city. I secretly wanted to but would never do it. Little did i know or ever dream that the next time Kylie Minogue toured Sydney that my dream would come true……..
After watching the ABC’s Four Corners program last night I cannot sit back and do nothing and I hope you too will sign this petition to Ban live Export of Australian Cattle to Indonesia. To watch those poor cattle treated like that deeply saddens me and I urge you to PLEASE try and watch the segment and then you will see exactly why I am so passionate about this..
The Following is MY opinion and I encourage you all to watch the video or the entire segment on iView and make up your own mind.
If you feel by the end of watching the story that you would like to help… sign any petition you can on this matter, as they will be forwarded to the government or you can write directly to your local member of Parliment!.
I admit that I myself, eat meat- although today I have not nor have any desire to anytime soon!.I am against the practices shown on the program and believe that this treatment of the cattle and these methods should be illegal..
I personally think we should enforce a ban of the cattle, until the Indonesia changes their practices and I would hope that some kind of regulated authority is doing regular checks of slaughterhouses.
I acknowledge that our farmers who struggle enough will be damaged by this ban but I think we need to send a strong message to Indonesia, and any other country who practice this cruelty.
When I was a teenager, I was very secretly doing fashion sketches and flicking through Vogue .. afraid someone would detect my love for high end fashion and illustrating them. I protected my sketches fiercely and never wanted anyone to deter me . It was bad enough I was an out and proud flamboyant…. ……………………………………….Kylie fan!!
I had heard that there was a Sydney Fashion Designer called Alex Perry, and he was “kinda expensive” .. rightfully so I recall thinking at the time.
From the very start I was fascinated by his creations and always admired that he was braver than I would ever be and not only sketching and designing BUT creating!!!!!!……
I still to this day- attribute Alex to rescuing Australia from bringing fashion from the 80’s too far into into the 90’s..Whilst many of peers were clinging to the 80s, Alex in the first part of the 90’s, went a little further back and bought old Hollywood to Sydney!.
"The Perry Pinch" as I call it -references his commitment to creating the perfect silhouette. Alex takes a beautiful woman to another level by taking her in at the waist with his signature corset, still a trademark piece in almost all of his collections and pieces today in 2011.
After meeting my fashion idol, I walked away from that meeting imaging how i would have felt had someone told me when I was 17 ,that one day I would meet Alex Perry and he would know my name!.
You know what?! Alex Perry Is not actually good for my health…as I am left tight chested, drowning in endorphins and Breathless after watching the models walk in his gowns..
As a “Perry boy” once said ( and continues to live by)
" Forget Valentino, Nobody does RED.. like Alex Perry" -Craig Campbell-Wyburn
I have always been a fan of Princess Beatrice and after the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, I admire her even moreso.
With Facebook (of course) already having a page dedicated to her hat within hours of the church service, there has been an onslaught of interest and disinterest in her choice of headpiece.
I would go as far as to say that Beatrice has always been a little edgy with her style. As she travelled with her father - Prince Andrew and her sister Princess Eugenie to Westminister Abbey It was apparent from her headpiece that she was going to grab some attention and I think it was a bold choice.
Philip Treacy designed the hat that Princess Beatrice wore to yesterdays wedding.Mr Treacy was also famously responsible for the hat that Sarah Jessica Parker donned to the London premiere of Sex and The City- the movie- again considered a hit and miss with fashionista’s .
For many years, her mother Sarah Ferguson aka Fergie has been noticeably absent from major Royal events. I often wander how Beatrice and Eugenie feel about this royal snub of their mother, but considered “senior” like their father, they are required to attend Royal ceremonies regardless.
I love that Beatrice took another bold move with her outfit..I hoped that she wanted to make an impact and little bit of a F*ck you to Prince Phillip and the other royals who refuse to have her mother attend events
I think she looked amazing. Her “antlers”,her nod to the female reproductive system have been thrown around in descriptions so far but I will say that she gave a nod to LADY GAGA!! even with her eye makeup.. she looked Princess GAGA!!! Put your paws up!