Drag star Etcetera Etcetera slams Religious Discrimination Bill

religious discrimination bill etcetera etcetera sydney rally protest taylor square community action for rainbow rights
Images: CARR/Facebook

Sydney drag performer Etcetera Etcetera has delivered a powerful speech against the Morrison Government’s Religious Discrimination Bill.

The RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under star, who is non-binary, addressed a protest rally against the contentious draft legislation in Sydney at the weekend.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced the third draft of the contentious legislation to parliament two weeks ago. He has framed the bill as “a shield, not a sword” to protect Australians of faith.

However LGBTIQ advocates and others warn it will permit discrimination against LGBTIQ people, women, and minority groups.

Last week, the federal parliament wrapped up for the year, leaving the bill in limbo over summer.

On Sunday afternoon, NSW LGBTIQ group Community Action for Rainbow Rights held the rally against the bill in Taylor Square.

Addressing the crowd, Etcetera Etcetera recalled their struggles with their identity at school and slammed the Morrison Government’s priorities.

“I have spent the last 23 years of my life coming to terms with who I was because I spent 13 years in incredibly religious, conservative school systems,” they said.

“In these school systems, I was taught the way I am is wrong. I was taught that by teachers, peers and parents of my friends.

“If I didn’t have the support that I needed in those schools and if I didn’t have people standing up for me when I was at my most vulnerable, I would probably not be standing here today.”

‘They are afraid of our beautiful souls’

Etcetera Etcetera accused the federal government of wanting to “erase the protections for our young queer people in schools.”

“They want to erase protections for queer people in institutions because it suits their so-called religious freedom,” they said.

“The words I hear uttered by these right-wing conservatives are the same words I heard uttered by my bullies at school.

“And that is all they are: bullies.

“They are afraid of our beautiful souls, our beautiful right to express who we are.

“You know what they’re ashamed of? They’re ashamed of the fact that they will never love themselves as much as we love ourselves.”

Etcetera Etcetera went on to say the Religious Discrimination Bill “does not represent all people of faith.”

“My family and friends of faith have told me these right-wing conservatives pushing this religious freedom bill don’t represent them,” they said.

“[And they] do not represent ordinary Australians who wish to practice their faith in peace.

“It represents a fraction of this society which wishes to take away everything that generations of queer people have fought for. Shame on them.”

“I will not let that happen again to people around me. We need to protect our queer youth from governments like ours.”

Etcetera Etcetera slams Morrison Government’s priorities

Etcetera Etcetera told the rally the government’s priority should instead be on Indigenous incarceration rates, violence against trans Australians, women’s rights and refugee rights.

“This is what our government wants to focus on. Instead of fighting for protection for those who are most vulnerable in our society,” the drag performer said.

“Shame on them. For almost more than two years they have tried to bring this bill up in different forms.

“They have always been bringing up ideas to quash the voices of people like us who wish to speak up for ourselves and those we love.

“We will not be silenced, I refuse to be silenced… Scott Morrison, are you listening?”

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    9 December 2021

    Congratulations must go to Etcetera Etcetera for their brave and inciteful speech.

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