Eric Abetz has spoken of the pain of spending years hiding the fact that he was a bigot from the rest of society before finally deciding to out himself.
“I always knew that I was different from the other boys when I was growing up,” said the courageous Tasmanian senator on a special edition of (un)Australian Story last night on the (un)ABC. “They’d never want to stick their nose into other peoples lives and tell them how they should live whenever we’d play games like ‘politicians and voters’.”
“As a boy Eric loved getting into my bedroom drawers and playing dress ups,” said his mother. “It was mainly the white bed sheets. He’d pop one over his head and spend hours in front of the mirror pretending to set crosses on fire.”
In a wide ranging interview Abetz talked about the difficulty he had in accepting his bigotry and how he tried to fit in by not flying into an apoplectic rage at the thought of people other than those just like him having the audacity to want equal rights.
“I’d spend all day in a vegetarian cafe pretending to listen to K.D. Lang songs and then sneak off at night to certain notorious public toilets where I’d tryst with total strangers to flood internet comments sections with sweaty, anonymous trolling,” confessed Abetz. “When I finally told my family they were very supportive, except for that one lefty uncle who just shook his head. They said they’d suspected it all along because I’d always gone to Book Week dressed as Hitler.”
Abetz celebrated his coming out by appearing on the bigots float at this year’s Mardi Gras. His proud parents watched from the crowd as the float drove the opposite way down Oxford Street and heckled the other floats.