It was an immense delight, and honour, to meet and share tea, conversation, stories and inspiration with the wonderful Peter de Waal - such a gorgeous person and one of our great LGBTIQ+ elders.
Peter and his equally terrific partner Bon enabled so much over the years, not least the vital public breakthrough with the ABC Chequerboard program in 1972 - including the famous first ‘gay kiss’ on Australian TV. Bon’s subsequent sacking as a church secretary was also but one part of the religious and other repression that then issued, but his and Peter’s willingness to stand up and speak out in those dark days has helped bear such fruit and should continue to empower us today. Watching the original Chequerboard program with Peter was deeply moving, particularly in hearing Bon speak so powerfully (as a then would-be Anglican priest, cruelly treated by his Church - not only in Sydney - which still has to grow up into humanity) reflecting life-giving faith as well as life and identity, and in hearing much more from Peter of accompanying stories, complexity and background. Without heroes like Peter and Bon, some of us would not be here today and certainly where and how we now are. Huge thanks therefore continue to be right and proper (as they say in some liturgies) and I certainly hope we may all meet again.
With many thanks again to '78er and fellow Pitt Streeter Meredith Knight for her friendship, inspiration and liaison in bringing us together.
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.