Her name is Shelley Argent and I think she is just the most amazing woman I’ve ever known of; and I’ve only known of her for 24 hours. How’s that for having an impact. Let me tell you the story.
All started yesterday afternoon when a dear colleague was filling me in on the new Gay Marriage ad she’d seen – it reminded her of me. See I am incredibly passionate about the legalisation of gay marriage and equality for homosexuals. Anyone who’s been to this page before will know that. My blood boils every time I think that in 2011 I am still discriminated against by my government. I don’t care what the church or religious organisations think or believe, only my government. They are the catalyst for change.
There is nothing YouTube can’t provide you with, nothing. Had the video in 10secs, here it is…
I loved ‘the mum’ instantly, and I of course loved her message. But what struck me about it is that Shelley Argent OAM herself had ‘”spoken and authorised” it. Who is this woman? What is she about? How do I not know about her?
Another quick search and I learnt Mummy Argent has been at this for a while. Here is her ad from Sept 2009 directed at then PM Kevin Rudd.
With each moment this woman is becoming more and more my hero. But I want to know more. Google I go, here is her amazing bio from when she was the Queensland Senior Australian of the Year 2011! My Anna Bligh never lets me down.
"Shelley Argent’s path to becoming one of Australia’s most successful advocates for gay and lesbian rights began in 1998 when her son told her that he was gay. Determined that he not be considered a second-rate citizen, she has devoted herself to encouraging understanding and acceptance of all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Shelley immediately became an education volunteer with the then Queensland AIDS Council and completed studies to gain competencies in HIV/AIDS education and emotional support. When she came across Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), which was not particularly active at the time, she reinvigorated the organisation and became its driving force. As its current President she offers support and information to families and friends of gay and lesbian people. When her son first came out she discovered there were very few resources or written material for families, so she began writing a series of educational booklets. Shelley is a courageous and loving mother who has not only supported her own son, but has also been a leader and great support to other families. She is working for a world where her son can enjoy the same rights, respect and privileges as everyone else. ."
Not only is she a fierce advocate for gay marriage but Mummy Argent also RUNS PFLAG IN QUEENSLAND! This warms my heart beyond belief. PFLAG are a truly special organisation and the work they do with the families of gays and lesbians is priceless. This woman is a saint in my eyes.
And just when you think it can’t get any better… I discover that Mummy Argent had written a piece for The Punch yesterday to coincide with the broadcasting of her ad. I beg of you to take 5 minutes to read it. Every word of her piece rings so true for me. Here is one incredibly smart, passionate, considerate, contemporary woman who takes the bull by the horns. I love this piece. An excerpt…
“We parents provide our children with all of the love and support we can give. We hope to provide them with the best education and provide for their every want and need. But we can not provide our sons or daughters with equal rights.
Only the government can do this.”
I love and adore Shelley Argent and I want to do everything I can to support her activism. In a very short space of time she has become iconic in my eyes. She is not only an amazing mum to her gay son but I dare say a fabulous mother figure to the whole gay community.
She is my new hero!