12:58pm: Arriving on Eastern Avenue, I see an oppression (collective noun) of queers. They’re brandishing trombones and yelling outside the Catholic Society marquee. Catholics are clustered around in “Men + Women = made for each other?” shirts. This is going to be good.
1:04pm: The talk is about to start. James Parker, the speaker who stopped being gay after therapy that was Definitely Not Gay Conversion Therapy, has stuck a sign on his podium that reads, “GOD LOVES GAYS & EVERYONE ELSE (LGBTIQ- QIAAPUSA)”. What is PUS? I do not ask.
1:05pm: Parker asks for a moment’s silence to remember his dead gay cousin who died of a drug overdose because his gay civil union didn’t work out. I’m unsure, but I think this could be performance art.
1:08pm: Parker says he was the gayest kid in school and university. He even WALKED gay. He was so gay that he had gay sex with over 200 gay men.
1:11pm: After all this gay sexing, Parker says he found love with “Steve”, a human man.
1:17pm: Trouble in paradise. There’s ANOTHER MAN. His name is… Oh, wait. It’s Jesus. OK.
1:21pm: Parker is saying that he dumped human man for spirit man, and went into therapy – “BUT NOT CONVERSION THERAPY DO YOU HEAR ME” – to help him with this new stage in his life.
1:27pm: Parker is saying therapy helped him realise that because he was abused as a child and adopted, he caught The Gay.
1:30pm: “I put up a wall in the womb against real men and real masculinity.” I… I see.
1:32pm: “Gayness is a cul- de-sac.” Oh, no, you lost me.
1:35pm: Parker reckons prayer helped him notice women and their hair and their curves. No one suggests to him that he might be bisexual. Now I cannot stop thinking about Ellen Page’s breasts.
1:40pm: Parker is saying he was CURED of his gay – just like 10 or 12 other men in Western Australia whom he reckons he met last week. I’m now think- ing specifically and obsessively about Ellen Page’s nipples. This isn’t unusual, Parker is just exacerbating the situation.
1:48pm: Parker is bringing it home strong by encouraging all the gays to follow in his footsteps and come to God because “there is an eternal Daddy waiting for all of you! God is Daddy!” There’s not many things that could distract me from thoughts of Ellen Page’s breasts, but this last sentence is definitely one of them.
1:55pm: We end with some questions from angry queer onlookers, all of which Parker rebuffs with some version of “GOD LOVES YOU”. To be honest, I doubt this.
1:58pm: The Catholics disperse and so does the oppression of queers – my ears are still ringing from the trombone. This was just another day in the life of a queer person in Australia in 2016.
2:00pm: One quick Google image search for “Ellen Page” confirms: I’m still heaps gay.