Public opinion – Treated badly
10 April 1975
Newspaper Clippings Collection
The Advocate (Burnie, Tas.) printed the following letter from a Karl van Dieman, deploring homophobia, and calling for compassion, love and awareness of ourselves and others:
“As an overt homosexual who recently arrived in this area, I am aghast at the public attitude. I cannot comprehend the lack of understanding of the homosexual male in the community. Naturally any sexual ‘deviation’ is a matter for the individual, and not something for all to know. However, any form of open dialect on the subject is treated with the usual comment, “It’s unnatural.”
Recently I was to attend a luncheon at Ulverstone. My lover and I arrived to be greeted by underhand, cruel comments from onlookers. This is a blow to any ego, and not only caused us to be humiliated, but also made us afraid. Never before had this happened. I was born in Amsterdam, where we are held in equal esteem with anyone else. Our love is open and, thus, usually understood.
I am also Christian, and it is important that the homosexual gain recognition through the Church. The ‘gay’ church functions widely in other states, but not in Tasmania. Can anyone find reference to homosexuality in the words of Jesus? Is it only St Paul who makes this reference? All we desire is understanding which can be brought about only by compassion, love and awareness of ourselves and others.”