After I began in comedy, a outstanding male comic requested a colleague of mine if he thought girls had been humorous. He stated no, probably not. To me, that was laughable.
I by no means doubted my funniness. Firstly, there was the hilariousness of my Scottish mom, Margaret, and her cousins, a number of the most piss-funny folks I’ve ever met. Secondly, I had my father Peter’s perception in me. He raised me to imagine that there was nothing, completely nothing, man might do lady couldn’t.
My father was born in Warsaw. He was a fancy man – very robust, but in addition heat and delicate in a whole lot of methods. After I was youthful he could possibly be powerful on me, in all probability as a result of he was nonetheless caught within the trauma of World Conflict II.
Dad was 15 when Hitler invaded Poland. He hated what the Germans did to the Jews, and at 19 grew to become a part of a Polish execution squad to kill Gestapo. The subsequent yr he was captured and despatched to a few prisoner of battle camps. When the Russians liberated him, he went to Scotland, the place he met my mom.
Dad by no means complained in regards to the camps. To some extent he handled it like a lark, which was a helpful technique to view it. He spent three days in a cattle truck with pneumonia, which he stated cured him of pneumonia, prefer it was nearly humorous. He by no means dwelt on the previous.
Coming to Melbourne in 1965 was a brand new life for Dad. A textile technologist who labored at ICI, he grew to become this actual suburban man. However in so some ways he wasn’t, as he’d sing Polish songs whereas mowing the garden in his shorts and terry-towelling hat.
He confirmed his love for me in some ways. He was affectionate and would kiss and hug me. My dad and mom got here to the openings of all my exhibits.
Dad died in 2006. I want he’d been round to see my memoir, Reckoning, printed, as he would have been happy. For his child, who descends from a father or mother for whom English was a second language, to write down a ebook that was so nicely obtained, would have made him proud. Additionally, as a result of it tells the Polish aspect of the Holocaust, which is often ignored. And for him to know that I liked him, flaws and all.
My brother Christopher is eight years older than me. We had been actually shut once we had been little, however in our teenagers we belonged to totally different generations. From my late 20s we grew shut once more.
Christopher is an actual blokey bloke who rides a Harley. I used to be actually nervous to come back out to my dad and mom [Magda came out publicly in 2012], however he got here with me. He was my champion.
He’s there for me in tough instances. If I’ve a relationship breakup, I can completely speak to him about it. He’s additionally some of the lovely fathers and grandfathers I’ve seen.
My first crush was Blackie Norton, the nightclub proprietor performed by Clark Gable within the 1936 movie, San Francisco. I am unable to let you know why; I used to be three.
After I was about 13, my finest good friend Kerry, from Croydon Excessive College, steered we practise kissing, so we might do it with boys.
I acquired a boyfriend, Sasha, the son of Polish associates of my dad and mom. I used to be actually into him, however it petered out. Over time, for no matter causes, it grew to become apparent to me that I used to be into girls.
Dad was a implausible storyteller, as was Mum, proper up till her demise in September. However Warwick Taylor, my English literature instructor at Siena Convent, gave me a proper appreciation of how a author can form language.
Warwick was such an fanatic. All of us knew he was homosexual. It was nice to see him being so flamboyant and fabulous in a Catholic convent college. He additionally initiated the theatre program.
After Reckoning was launched, he wrote me this lovely letter. Boy, did it make me cry. To get his approval meant loads. We had been in telephone contact and had been going to catch up, however then he died. I used to be so unhappy about that.
George is implausible to speak to and is beneficiant together with his mind and artelect. He opened me as much as – and this might sound pompous, however f… it – the sacredness of storytelling. There’s nearly a mythological depth to George’s work.
When detractors name homosexual males snowflakes, they don’t know. Folks say gays are thin-skinned and delicate, however I am like, “You do not start to understand how robust these individuals are.” A few of them survived the AIDS plague. To me, these males are phenomenal.
Sisters screens on Wednesdays at eight.40pm on Channel 10.