Bronte is a full-time, out and proud gay Civil Celebrant. He's also a regular newsreader on JOY 94.9 and is also a kayak fisherman, veggie gardener, foodie and keyboard player.
What motivated you to join GLOBE?
I joined GLOBE because I was looking for an peak organisation that supported businesses owned by members of the LGBTI community. For a start-up business, any assistance we can get from such a peak organisation is really helpful - particularly around increasing our profile and reach within the LGBTI community.
What do you love about being a celebrant?
Being a celebrant enables me to help people celebrate events in their lives that are really important. It draws together a heap of things I have experienced and skills I have developed - for example, As a former English and Drama teacher, I know how to work with people to put together ceremonies that are authentic, interesting, polished, enjoyable and memorable. And I know how to deliver them appropriately, tailored to the audience. I don’t do boring (unless I’m asked to)!; having been a senior public servant means I have advanced writing and speaking skills, as well as the people skills that enable me to write and then deliver a ceremony that works really well for people; being an out and proud gay guy means I have a deep understanding of LGBTI issues and people can be assured I won’t react inappropriately to whatever is said in meetings with them; my high level of negotiation skills means that I can work sensitively and effectively with the partners, friends and families of LGBTI people who have died, to provide the funeral or memorial ceremony that the deceased person wanted. I’m a friendly and engaging person, genuinely interested in people. I want to find out and tell people’s stories, as it’s often that which makes their ceremony different from others. It also helps that I’m an organised professional, when it comes to putting things in order and taking care of the legal paperwork. I love the fact that people invite me into their lives and entrust me to develop and then deliver one of the most important milestones in their entire lives. I get the best seat in the house and I never take that for granted.
If you could speak to your 18 year old self, what advice would you give them?
Understand that the world is essentially straight-focused and that LGBTI people adapt their behaviour to make straight people feel comfortable. That said, be yourself, be safe, and be confident in your own abilities. Don’t compromise your values. And remember that family members may not be your greatest supporters. Don’t let negative thoughts in your head. And remember that you’re not everyone’s “cup of tea”.
Have you had mentors or role models in life that you've looked to? If so, who?
I have had several. One is a friend who has known me forever. She is a former paralympian and I am inspired by her on a daily basis - I admire her resilience, courage, good humour, and her wisdom. I have always admired Paul Keating - he’s intelligent, witty, scathing when he needs to be and he takes no prisoners on things he believes in. And he thinks deeply before commenting on stuff. And one of my best friends has been a wise mentor to me - she is 88 years old, and we talk daily. She gives me advice no one else does, has a steady, consistent set of values and a cackle that I love.
If you would like about marriage ceremonies, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows ceremonies, naming ceremonies, funerals or memorial ceremonies, we encourage you to visit gaycelebrant.melbourne