Of course, a book about Shelley Argent is going to address the Marriage Equality debate. However, Just a Mum co-authored with Leanne Edmistone documents not only the battle but also what brought Shelley to it.
Shelley Argent always wanted a family. Growing up in a dysfunctional family, she dreamed of a loving family of her own.
Despite challenges along the way, she achieved that with husband Don.
Shelley holds back nothing in the telling of her life story.
At times, I laughed until it hurt. And sometimes I shed tears.
Shelley’s is a powerful story.
Then, in 1995, James came out to his mother.
In 1995, son James came out to Shelley and then the family as gay.
“I’d never knowingly met a homosexual person in my life,” says Shelley.
She won’t mind me saying we all know she made up for lost time in the years since.
Fearing for his future in a world of ignorance and legal discrimination his mother determined to not put up with the status quo.
And thus, the world came to know Shelley Argent OAM — educator, advocate and lobbyist.
As Queensland president and National Spokesperson for Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbian and Gays (PFLAG), her decades of tireless work helped ensure state and federal policy and legislative reform, culminating with marriage equality in 2017.
Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2006 Australia Day Honours, in 2011 she was also Senior Queenslander of the Year.
Shelley’s co-author Leanne Edmistone is a multi-award-winning journalist. She lives in Brisbane with her young sons and partner Mandy.
Shelley’s is a great story, and very well told.
Rodney Croome AM sums up Shelley’s story beautifully in his forward to the book.
“She was just a mum who wanted both her sons – one gay and one straight – to be treated equally by the law and society…
“She often commented how her son, James, had to work twice as hard to be considered half as a good, just because he was gay.”
Undoubtedly a great read, Just a Mum also offers more.
The book is an important accounting of important moments in our histories as LGBTIQ communities. And it provides an important guide to future actions.
To again quote Rodney Croome AM.
“If you want to know how to change things for the better, observe Shelley Argent. Be inspired by her dedication, passion, innovation and practicality. Let the rare activist fire that burns so bright in her heart light the same fire in yours.”
Queensland Book Launch.
Shelley Argent – Just a Mum
With Leanne Edmistone
Tuesday 09 July 2019
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop
For other state launches check out QNews.com.au
Book available in coming days from www.shelleyargent.com
For information about book launches in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart check out the book’s Facebook page.
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