It’s a big Happy Birthday to Stephen Bates MP, Member for Brisbane, Australian Greens Spokesperson on LGBTIQA+ and Youth, and Australian Greens Whip.
Born November 23, 1992, in South London, Stephen moved to Yeppoon Queensland as a teenager.
The former retail worker told parliament in his maiden speech that two pivotal moments shaped who he is and his politics. His experience of working poverty-wage jobs, and coming out as gay.
“Both impacted me deeply and forever changed how I saw the world.
“I spent my teenage years knowing I was gay and doing everything in my power to hide it.
“I told myself I would force myself to get married to a woman, have kids, and live in the suburbs.
“Because that is what you did. That is what you had to do. That is what was expected of me.
“I was lucky enough to have a very supportive family to come out to.
“But I spent years hiding myself because I couldn’t see anyone in my world that was openly gay.
“I made a promise to myself once I came out. If I ever found myself in a public role, that I would be open and proud of who I am – hence the rainbow gear,” he said, referring to a rainbow ‘bin chicken’ ibis badge, and rainbow watch strap.
“That I would be that person that I never saw growing up.
“Because if I can even help one person out there then this life will have all been worth it.”
Stephen Bates won the seat of Brisbane for the Greens at the 2022 election despite strong Labor and Liberal campaigns in the much-coveted seat. Originally appointed Greens Spokesperson on LGBTIQA+ and Youth, he recently added the role of parliamentary whip for the Greens to his responsibilities.
Thirty years old today. Many happy returns Stephen Bates MP. 🏳️🌈🎉🏳️🌈
The words of politicians and extremists on the right have real world consequences. The mass shooting in Colorado Springs at an LGBTQIA+ club is another example of these consequences.
If we are to combat hate and discrimination, we must be active in using our voice for equality.
— Stephen Bates (@stephenbatesmp) November 21, 2022
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