My name is Christine. I appeared on the SBS Insight show titled Women on the Edge. The show was about homeless women.
For me, appearing on the show involved some very major decisions.
Probably my first concern was the most trivial – I hate the way I look. My self-image is of myself as slim and I am now fat. Weight rather than age is my issue. How would I look on camera? Would I panic and freeze up and not be able to say anything. Would I humiliate myself in public?
My second concern was the more important one. I had worked in a very competitive and often blindingly nasty industry, where we pretty much all know one another, and many of us wish we didn’t. Although, at 67, I am technically retired, I still need to get odd bits of work to make life on the pension bearable. Was I throwing away all chance of getting work again by “coming out of the closet”?
I rather blindly went ahead anyway, despite my reservations. I took public transport to Sydney – a 5 hour trip – to do the filming that night. Imagine my horror when, part-way through the filming it became clear that we were being blamed for our own situation. My fear response is fight rather than flight, so I started to arc up, and by the time I had taken another 5 hour trip to get home, I was ready to do battle.
Part of my anger was that I had only agreed to do the show if they had some focus on solutions. Not a solution in sight. The theme of the show was helping young women avoid the same future, not helping those of us already living without a permanent roof over our heads. We were irrelevant – just a tool to educate young women.
Well goody, but we are suffering now! So I started the Facebook Group, Housing Alternatives Australia, and started recruiting movers and shakers from it to form working parties. This website is the result of the efforts of one of those working parties.
As women, we can do anything. So let’s combine our efforts to make the Facebook Group and the Web Site go viral. We will be invisible no more. It is time for all of us to get out of that damned closet!
Please share, share, share!