Dear Mariam Veiszadeh,
I sorry that half of Australia has voted against people of your religion being allowed to immigrate to Australia. While I don't know what it like to be black or of not the mainstream religion of a country, I have a black skinned friend who is often the only black person in the room, so to speak. I wonder how he feels. He copes, just, at times I think.
What you have to understand is that while Australians like me try to be tolerant and accepting, women in long robe Darth Vadar black with their faces covered is very alien to us. More than that, it is quite horrid and rightly or wrongly we feel these women are repressed.
We hear endlessly about Moslem terrorism and it is a serious problem. Assuming you are a Melbourne person, you would also know of the dreadful Moslem crime family here in our western suburbs.
May I ask you that why in spite of you wearing a head covering, supposedly about modesty, why do you have perfect makeup and perfect eyebrow plucking and painting? I really don't get that at all.
Facts, figures, strictures, news stories, discrimination, personal experiences, work mates, religion, culture, food, opinions and everything else have flowed into to my life about Moslems.
I was once identifiable as a gay person when I travelled on a bus, mostly by the way I dressed and just a touch of subtle make up. Just a touch, mind. I am now old and not really recognisable as a gay person. Does the younger me ring a bell for you?
I have had 'fun'with some Moslems over the years, make of that what you will. But you know Mariam, not once in my life have I ever heard anything positive about gay people from people of the Moslem religion. I have heard about male rape, vigilantes, hanging and stoning though.
While it might be about thirty years apart, your bus trip may not have been dissimilar to mine, yet your religion shows no acceptance or tolerance towards people like me. Even the Moslems at my work have no acceptance or tolerance of gay men. They accept me because they can pretend I am not gay and I don't wear it on my sleeve.
So, sorry Mariam, I am among the half who did not vote but would have to stop Moslem immigration. Not once in my life have I heard a Moslem say anything positive about gay people.