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henry bramston john bramston robert herbert confirmed bachelor

When Robert Herbert and John Bramston sailed home to England after six years in the new colony of Queensland, John’s younger brother remained. A ‘confirmed bachelor’, Henry Bramston played a prominent role in Brisbane life but was quickly forgotten after his death. Robert Herbert, private secretary to Sir George Bowen, arrived in Brisbane in November …

Herston Robert Herbert John Bramston gay premier henry bramston confirmed bachelor

In the century when ‘the love that dare not speak its name’ became a euphemism for homosexuality, Queensland’s first premier and his longtime male companion enjoyed a companionship that not only spoke its name but bequeathed it to posterity. Robert Herbert and John Bramston combined their two surnames into one and named the home they …

the cooyar tragedy gay panic defence

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of The Cooyar Tragedy, perhaps Australia’s first example of gay panic defence. The newspapers of the day gave that name to the murder north of Toowoomba in 1920 of David Frederick Hawes (Fred). The man charged with the murder, Henry Arthur Dale (Harry), pleaded Not Guilty based on what we …

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 …

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