Back to blogging!
I apologise to my followers. In life we receive challenges on a daily basis, and then sometimes we receive even bigger challenges. Eleven months ago my mum died. She was old, but her death was sudden. The grieving process can be very difficult to get through at times.
So I’m going to talk about other, happier things that have happened in the last few months. This list does NOT capture everything I have done, but it gives you an idea:
- In November last year, after we played our bit to ensure a positive outcome in the postal ballot (there was simply too much news to put on the blog, but I kept up to date on my Twitter feed), my husband Mitchell and I were with the crowd at Queens Park in Brisbane when the result was announced. We hugged, cheered, and wept tears of joy. The only emotions that swept over me were elation and relief. Finally, it was going to happen!
- Instead of my rushing back to work, we went to the Treasury Casino instead and had a glass of bubbles to celebrate. We ended up in a bar to have our drink, and spread the good news. And then where we were dawned on us. When Mitch and I were married in 2015 in Vegas, our wedding was livestreamed. It seems that in addition to the 12 people at the wedding, about 250 people in 5 countries also watched us get hitched. One of those was in Brisbane- in that very bar- armed with her iPad and a glass of champagne to celebrate our nuptials. What a moment!
- When the vote in Parliament was announced, we were of all places in Phnom Penh for the ILGA (International Gay, Lesbian Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) Asia conference. I will be posting separately about that amazing, inspiring conference and what happened when the vote went through.
- In January I spoke at the Equality Now conference in Melbourne. Again, although late, I will be posting about that too.
- In February, I presented for Iris Education in Brisbane to doctors who dealt with trans issues. One of the matters I commented on was the requirement in Queensland for trans people seeking to change their gender marker on the birth register to be divorced. To my amazement, subsequently the Queensland Parliament moved to correct this – and with bipartisan support. I made a written submission in support of the change.
- In March and again in May I presented about the changes caused by the amendments to the Marriage Act.
- In March I presented at the South African family law conference about surrogacy issues, and was fortunate enough, although missing out on the 40th anniversary of Mardi Gras, to go to the South African Pride event instead.
- In April I attended an IVF clinic in Portland, Oregon. After that it was off to the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys annual meeting in Kansas City- and then the American Bar Association’s family law/ART conference in Nashville, where I presented. Somehow in the midst of that Mitch and I attended an event for the Wichita Women Attorneys Association- along with some fun as friends of Dorothy in Kansas.
- In May/June, I attended the annual meeting of the International Academy of Family Lawyers in Tokyo, including the launch of the Asia Pacific Chapter. I am a committee member of the LGBT Committee and the Parentage/Surrogacy Committee of the Academy, as well as a member of the Chapter.
- During all of this I remained busy at work, and continued my work as a member of the Equity and Diversity Committee of the Queensland Law Society.
- Reviews have been undertaken of surrogacy laws in South Australia and surrogacy/ART laws in Western Australia. I have made both written and oral submissions to each.
- Currently the review of the family law system is underway by the Australian Law Reform Commission. I made oral submissions, at the invitation of the LGBTI Legal Service.
- And finally, last October in Sydney I again chaired the meeting of the LGBT Family Law Institute Australia. The next one is in Brisbane in October- and planning is well under way for another successful event.
Introducing me at one of my presentations in March, a long time colleague described me as which Stephen Page- Stephen Page the lawyer, or Stephen Page with all his other activities in addition to fulltime legal work. He then said that I was an Energizer bunny!