They say that there are a set of questions that will lead to two people falling in love, provided they are honest. To celebrate Pride Week, Woroni sat down with the 2018 Queer* Officer, Matthew Mottola, to ask the question: can we fall in love with our 2018 Queer* Officer? Here are Matthew’s responses to our 26 questions.
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
There are a few people I could think of. From public figures, activists, and comedians. All of them would make for colourful dinner conversation, however, right now, I would love nothing more than to share a home cooked meal with my mum. It seems like she has the solution to everything.
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
While having the spotlight is fun, it’s also really tiring. I don’t think you have to be famous to make a change in the world.
- Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Over the past week, I’ve made around 300 phone calls for the Marriage Equality campaign. Dead calling people, or indeed, calling people for the first time can be a bit scary. Even still, you can never really anticipate what someone on the other line is going to say. I will jot down a few key points perhaps, about the reason why I’m calling. But organic interactions are the best type of interactions.
- What would constitute a ‘perfect’ day for you?
Being able to go radio silent and head into nature for the day. Perhaps a tea, some food, and some good company would be part of that mix. I do enjoy a good road trip.
- When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
Good luck catching me signing to someone else! I sing to myself a lot when I cook but rarely in the shower.
- If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
These holidays I saw my Nonna for perhaps the last time, in her retirement home. She doesn’t speak English anymore, and she really doesn’t have a solid perception of reality. For this reason, I’d prefer to retain the mind of my 30-year-old self.
- Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
Because I would hate to die naked or when my room is messy… I’ll probably die tripping over my messy room on the way to the shower.
- For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
For my mum, who has always been there for me and has (in my humble opinion) raised me well.
9. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
- Although inevitable, talking about the death of my family is distributing enough for me.
- Take four minutes and tell us your life story in as much detail as possible.
I was born and raised in Melbourne to two hard-working parents. I grew up closer to my mum than my dad, and this relationship didn’t change much after they divorced. Living with a single parent, money was tight, and mum took a night job at one point to save some money. As a child, I learned that if I wanted something, I had to work for it. I moved high schools in year nine after being outed and bullied, and in my new school, I found a new home (after a bit of time). I describe myself as a student activist and someone who loves the company of others.
- If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Having a better memory of the tasks I was supposed to do.
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
I would like to know if I’m on the right track/what more I need to do to achieve my goals.
- Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
A lot of the things I want to do just require more hours in the day, or for me to not work retail hours. Most of the things I dream of doing involve travel of some kind.
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Getting as far as I have, considering my history of mental health.
- What do you value most in a friendship?
Loyalty. The ability to confide in a person and rely on their support.
- What is your most treasured memory?
I don’t think I have one, but living away from home I’ve learned to treasure and better appreciate my time with family.
- If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
I would like to think I wouldn’t change too much but probably would change inherently. I might drop out of uni to work more so I can see some things in the world that I wanted to see.
- What does friendship mean to you?
Someone who is always there for you. After a day, a month, or a year. You see them again and it’s like nothing has ever changed.
- How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
I don’t think it was happier, but I certainly think that my mum’s side of the family is close and that has impacted the way I was brought up. We all have our issues, but we’re still close.
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
As I indicated before, we are really close. Closer, I’d say, than most might be. We talk about two or three times a week and she knows everything about everyone. I can keep a secret to the grave, but I’ve probably told most of them to mum!!
- Complete this sentence: ‘I wish I had someone with whom I could share …’
A relationship. Because at the moment I can share everything else with my friends and family.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
A friend bought me a donut the other day and I really, really, needed the comfort so I just burst into tears.
I also cried when I said goodbye to my best friend who I surprised for her 21st
- What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
I have a reasonable list of jokes that I find distasteful.
- If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
These holidays I have taken a bit of a mental health break. I’ve also started to re-connect with old friends or start to kindle new relationships. I would regret not doing enough or not telling people who appreciative I am of their friendship.
- Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
While I own some expensive items (laptop, teapots, Xbox, TV etc.) I don’t think I have a significant enough attachment to any of my worldly possessions. That being said, if there’s a fire, I’ll let you know what I grabbed
Matthew Mottola is the 2018 ANUSA Queer* Officer