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pompo christie Palmerston atherton tablelands

As #BlackLivesMatter protests continue across the world, statues commemorating divisive historical figures come under fire. At Milla Milla on the Atherton Tablelands, a statue commemorates two people, one white and the other Aboriginal. The white man is Christie Palmerston, a noted explorer, and the Aboriginal is his ‘companion’ Pompo. Milla Milla sits at the top …

gene saint legendary brisbvane drag queen

Smiling postie by day, legendary Brisbane drag queen by night, Gene Saint lived a long full life. The elder of Brisbane’s Rainbow community passed away peacefully last week aged almost 93. I met Gene in the early 70s at one of Dame Sybil Von Thorndyke’s annual Queen’s Birthday Balls. I thereafter received invitations to his …

lgbtiq history australian lgbtiq history timeline 1902 2000

The Australian LGBTIQ history timeline of the twentieth century begins with male homosexuality prosecuted as a criminal act in every jurisdiction of the newly federated Commonwealth. However, the last 30 years of the century saw every one of those laws consigned to history. While the law only explicitly criminalised male homosexuality, all members of the …

Joe Exotic Tiger king gay mulleted cowboy

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness brings to the small screen an unbelievable cast of real-life characters. The Netflix docu-series highlights Americans who conduct ‘big cat rescue’ operations. They then house the lions, tigers and other big cats they ‘rescue’ in for-profit roadside zoos. The series star is undoubtedly Joe Exotic, a gay mulleted cowboy, …

Kamp Kult secret history same-sex marriage 1930s

Just days before Christmas 1931, the Arrow newspaper regaled its readers with the story of Sydney’s Kamp Kult.  The paper marvelled at lavish ceremonies including the coronation of a Queen and same-sex weddings. At the time, Sydney suffered in the throes of the Great Depression. Men struggled to find employment and riots broke out over …

gay love letter

Most of what we know of LGBTIQ Australians in the colonial era comes from court and prison records. Australia’s earliest known gay love letter is no different. Indeed, it is the letter of a convict to the person he loved most — a man he knew he would never see again. Denis Prendergast (or Pendergast) …

william lygon earl beauchaump

William Lygon, the 7th Earl of Beauchamp, seemed destined for a life of greatness when an aging Queen Victoria appointed him Governor of New South Wales at the age of just 27. And indeed, during his life, he played important roles in the administration of the Empire. However, in 1931, disgrace came upon him. Disgrace …

Australian LGBTIQ history timeline

Australia’s documented history of sexual diversity predates the arrival of the First Fleet at Botany Bay. Indeed, the Australian LGBTIQ history timeline begins with a 1727 shipwreck, the details recorded in a journal written by a ship’s officer. Pre-colonial history There is no record of LGBTIQ people in First Nations communities of the pre-colonial era. …

Sir William Wellington Cairns Queensland Governor

In 1876, the Porpoise steamed into Trinity Bay, carrying officials tasked with establishing a port. They named the new settlement for then governor of Queensland, Sir William Wellington Cairns. But the fourth governor of Queensland never saw the settlement that bore his name. Indeed, he departed from his post within six months of the founding …

keyboard fiction Brisbane drag storytime wilson gavin

The trauma that began with the disruption of Rainbow Families Qld’s Brisbane drag storytime last Sunday continues. Following the death of protest leader Wilson Gavin, efforts to tweak the narrative to fit personal and political agendas flooded both mainstream and social media. The inaccuracies of keyboard fiction, when repeated often enough, become accepted wisdom.  What …

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