FABORIGINAL: Steven Oliver On Being Black, Gay, Sad And Fabulous – Australia News


Recently, Aboriginal writer and performer Steven Oliver delivered a speech to staff from the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet. Quite a few people laughed, then cried. Then laughed again. And then there was more crying.

So where do I start? I guess the beginning would be good but what exactly is my beginning? Where does a man of Kukuyalanji, Gangalidda, Waanyi, Woppaburra, Bundjalung, Biripi, Irish, Sri Lankan and South Sea Islander descent, begin?

Some would probably say it’s where and when I was born. A small country town about 800km inland from Townsville called Cloncurry, on the 20th of August, 1975 at 4.30pm.

Yes, that’s right. I recently celebrated my 42nd birthday. I know, black don’t crack.

To be honest, I just wanted to mention my birthday so you could all go, ooh he looks good for his age. Then I’d pretend to be all embarrassed and go, stop it! You’re making a black man go red.

Anyway, I digress, which I do all the time as you’ll probably learn during the course of this speech. Don’t be surprised if I get to the end of my allotted time before I even go on about my beginning. Which at this point, I’m still trying to work out exactly when, where and what that was?

I should also mention I cry a lot. Happens all the time. I’ll be sharing stories that are very personal to me so I get upset. Sorry if you think you were going to be laughing the whole way through my speech, but I’m extremely adamant in my belief that if you want me, then you get all of me. Probably explains why I haven’t got a man. I give them too much too early and scare them off. And in case you’re wondering, yes, I am advertising I’m single. Hopefully…

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