Paddy Quilter-Jones, the 14-year-old son of Labor MP Stephen Jones, has reacted to his father’s heartfelt viral speech, saying he gave him permission in the hope it would inspire other LGBTIQ+ children.
The politician gave the widely-shared speech about his “courageous” son to parliament on Tuesday night, during the debate on the federal government’s Religious Discrimination Bill.
“I cried the first time I saw it. It was a really beautiful speech,” Paddy told ABC News Breakfast.
“I saw it and I thought, wow, this is really important for people to see and for people to hear.”
Dad Stephen Jones asked Paddy for permission before delivering the speech, and Paddy agreed.
“I felt nervous because I didn’t know what the reaction from people who saw it was going to be,” Paddy said.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen after that speech was made.
“But I told him, yes, I think it is important for you to make this speech.
“It’s more important for young children who are gay, trans, they need to know that there are people out there that are just like them and who are supporting and loving them.”
— Stephen Jones MP (@StephenJonesMP) February 8, 2022
MP Stephen Jones candidly shares anxiety for son’s safety
In the speech, Labor frontbencher Stephen Jones discussed his family’s grief at the tragic suicide of his gay nephew Ollie.
Jones also discussed his son, describing the 14-year-old as “beautiful, creative [and] more courageous than any boy I have ever, ever met.”
“[Paddy] moves seamlessly between the wardrobes of men and women,” Jones said.
“He wears heels that give me vertigo and has more handbags than his sister.
“I love and support him unconditionally. I brag about his talents to anybody willing to glance at his Instagram page.”
However the MP explained he also felt anxiety as a parent, knowing his son may be targeted for his gender expression.
“I worry myself sick every time he leaves the house,” he said.
“I think to myself, ‘You look beautiful, but do you have to go out looking like that?’
“The love and protection that he enjoys with his mother and his friends and his family is very different to the reception that he may receive in the outside world.”
In response, Paddy told the ABC it was more important to him to express yourself authentically.
“I think when he said, ‘Do you have to go out looking like that?’ my answer is yes,” Paddy explained.
“Because when I go out looking like that, I am being me and I am being true to myself.
“It is so much more important for me to just be who I am, than to be blending in.
“I want people to see me and I want people that are just like me to know that there are other people like you and you’re not weird and you are loved and you have got a community.”
This week one speech calling for more protection for LGBT kids touched hearts.
Labor MP @StephenJonesMP‘s public tribute.
His son, Paddy Quilter-Jones joined us to explain what it meant to hear the emotionally charged dedication. pic.twitter.com/8R3zXpkcrv
— News Breakfast (@BreakfastNews) February 9, 2022
Paddy Quilter-Jones is a makeup artist, and shows off his amazing skills on TikTok and Instagram.
After Stephen Jones’ speech in the parliament, the teenager also weighed in on the divisive debate in a TikTok.
“There are young gay and trans Australian kids that need to know there are people fighting for you,” Paddy said.
“I am fighting for you. My dad is fighting for you.
“And there are so many others that are fighting for you, so you can to grow up in a world where you don’t have to hide who you are.”
@makeup.wpaddie ❤️ @news.com.au @stephenjonesmp #imwithpaddy #fyp #gayaustraila #thankyou #transaustralia #nsw #parlement #stephenjones ♬ original sound – Makeup.wPaddie
Morrison government withdraws Religious Discrimination Bill
The contentious Religious Discrimination Bill passed the lower house overnight after a marathon all-night debate.
But the long-delayed legislation faced an uncertain path through the Senate. Later on Thursday, the Morrison government withdrew the Bill indefinitely.
It’s now all but guaranteed not to pass into law before the upcoming federal election.
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