I love my job, I wouldn’t swap it for the world. I am dedicated to providing an entertaining show with songs, stories and humour. For me, it’s always been about making people happy. Today, a note was passed on through my office from a lady called Trish who has stopped coming to my shows because I do the same ‘routine’ and I ‘rub my sexuality in the faces of my loyal fans.’ No matter how hard I try, I can’t please everyone. I need to remember that.
The only ‘routine’ that has reoccurred in my show is a story about a lady in the toilet (which did actually happen so many years ago) – whenever I leave this story out of the show, I have people expressing their disappointment. So when I add it, it’s always with new twists and turns, never quite the same thing twice. At the most, it’s 11 minutes long, I really wouldn’t mind if you chose to go to the bar at that time, check your phone, pop to the loo. It would seem that others still enjoy this story and it’s variants.
As for rubbing my sexuality in faces, that is certainly not my intention. If you come to my show, you see an honest woman being herself. Perhaps in the beginning of my new found freedom almost 2 years ago, I may have spoken more about my personal life but I see this kind of criticism as a reflection of Trish’s internalised homophobia than my rubbing of faces. Trish paints the picture of a ranting lesbian who fists the air with an “I’m here, I’m queer” speech. Not so, I am just me and part of me is my sexuality and that’s going to come up from time to time. Sometimes in a funny way, sometimes in a song or the story behind one. I’m afraid I can’t apologise for that. You, Trish, are one of the reasons I remained in the closet for so many years. You simply can’t say that you accept my sexuality but wish for me to remain quiet about it. That’s not fair, not to myself and not to the thousands of fans that have expressed feelings of acceptance and inclusion since I told my story. Don’t just say you’re OK with it, learn to BE OK with it, it’s easy, just open your heart, open your mind. I could be your daughter, your granddaughter.
One story that I refuse to stop telling is that of my visits to entertain the Australian troops around the world. On this ANZAC Day weekend, I have been proud, once again to tell the story of Poster Girl and to have it played at many dawn services around Australia. I came home from my first trip to the Middle East bursting with pride at the hard work and dedication I had witnessed from our Aussies over there. I ached for the families who hoped and prayed for their safe return. I wrote the song after receiving criticism for ‘supporting the war.’ No, I don’t support war, I support troops, there’s a huge difference. Whether Trish likes it or not, this is a story I will be telling and a song I will be singing until I can no longer take the stage, it’s a part of me now. Bless every single one of those Diggers who come along to my shows to hear that song, this is my tribute to you.
Next week, I will be performing at the Urban Muster at Caboolture and Trish has tickets, not because I am there, she no longer comes to my shows due to the aforementioned complaints. Trish has written to me in an attempt to get me to tailor my show to her liking.
There are 8 changes to the songs in the setlist since I performed in the area last, it is important to keep the show ever changing. There will be, however, some songs and maybe even some stories that will be the nails to Trish’s chalkboard, the pin to her balloon. Am I sorry?
Oh, and Trish, don’t be surprised if there’s something in the show especially for you. Does anyone remember Helen from Ipswich? (insert evil laugh).
OK, so my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek here but the fact is, my job is about making people happy and for 20+ years, I’ve been pretty successful at it. I work REALLY hard and yes, I’ll admit, I don’t love getting criticised. I am strong and I can take it (and I’ll swirl it ’round in my head and dish it back with a whole lot of laughs) but can we spare a thought for those not as well equipped for these attacks? Social media is a wonderful means of communication and contact but it’s also a dangerous place. Please, think before you poke and prod at the heart of someone’s existence. Think of Charlotte Dawson, bless that beautiful heart who just couldn’t take any more.
So Trish, your comments are best left for the dinner table when you’re bagging Beccy Cole to your friends, and as my Mum would say, you don’t deserve my heart and what a shame for you, because it’s really huge! I think I see more colours in the world than you. I am, after all, a child of the rainbow.