In the "early days", Anne Tudor says it was common practice to avoid pronouns and personalising any stories about her partner - even when answering what she had been up to at the weekend.
You did not acknowledge.
To mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia - better known as IDAHOBIT - which was held on May 17, Ms Tudor's concern was for young people still trying to navigate their way to an identity that fits amid a persistently politicised arena.
The 2021 Victorian Senior of the Year said so much had changed in the past 50 years in recognising sexual and gender identities could be more than just gay, lesbian or transgender. But it was still never easy for LGBTIQA+ people.
Pronouns now have become so much a part of identity and recognises the complexity of sexual identity and gender identity, especially for trans-kids who are finding their way to the identity that fits right.- Anne Tudor
"There's more than acceptance now, it's almost normalising...Nonetheless, a person will always face their own mountain if they do come out and identify with what is a minority group," Ms Tudor said.
"Pronouns now have become so much a part of identity and recognises the complexity of sexual identity and gender identity, especially for trans-kids who are finding their way to the identity that fits right - and they may not end up trans-people, and that's okay too.
"My biggest concern is for the psychological damage done to young trans-adolescents, our most vulnerable group because they're working out so many things - and we all know how hard it is to be a teenager - especially when you have privileged, educated people politicising and defining their existence. That is cruel and despicable."
Ms Tudor is a retired teacher and clinical psychologist. Originally growing up in Gordon, Ms Tudor returned to live in Ballarat in Victoria's Central Highlands with her partner Edie Mayhew and found greater acceptance and support.
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Together they championed dementia awareness across the nation after Ms Mayhew was diagnosed with early-onset dementia just shy of 60. They were one of the first couples to marry when Australia's same-sex marriage laws came into effect in late 2017.
Ms Tudor was a special guest for City of Ballarat's community IDAHOBIT events on Tuesday afternoon. This included a flag-raising ceremony alongside younger LGBTIQA+ member Paige Thomas.
"The challenge is easier if you can see around you all sorts of identities functioning just fine," Ms Tudor said. "...There will be some who can triumph over the challenge more than others. It's still not easy."
City of Ballarat also unveiled a rainbow hearts flag, featuring more than 850 hearts joined together in a show of support for diversity in love. The flag was crafted in a series of community workshops run by City of Ballarat youth facilitators at the Ballarat and Sebastopol libraries.
City of Ballarat mayor Daniel Moloney said days like IDAHOBIT were important in breaking down societal stigmas and making Ballarat a city of inclusivity.
"IDAHOBIT gives us all a chance to celebrate the LGBTIQA+ people in our lives that mean so much to us personally and who make up a significant part of the Ballarat population," Cr Moloney said.
"It's so important for everyone in our community to take a stand against discrimination in our community and stand side-by-side with one another to create a stronger and more inclusive Ballarat."
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