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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 …

lesbian flash mob female factory

Although convicts in Australian penal colonies endured harsh conditions, some resilient folk made the best of a bad lot. None more so than the lesbian ‘flash mobs’ at Hobart’s Cascades Female Factory and other associated ‘houses of correction’. Cascades Female Factory Cascades Female Factory functioned as a workhouse for female convicts. Set up in 1828, …

domestic and family violence

If you suspect a friend is experiencing domestic and family violence, you can offer support. While your friend may not immediately act to end their situation, your support may lead them to consider their options. Bringing up the subject of domestic and family violence can prove challenging. Often an abused person struggles with self-worth as …

first documented homosexual act

Australia’s first documented homosexual act dates to before the First Fleet sailed into Botany Bay. Indeed, it happened even before the birth of James Cook who later claimed the eastern half of the continent for the British Crown. At 3:00 pm on the afternoon of 30 November 1727, two teenage boys enjoyed a sexual encounter …

Brisbane Pride 1990 Ivan Nunn

2020 marks the 30th anniversary of Brisbane’s first Pride celebration, Brisbane Pride 1990. Ivan Nunn was there that day with his camera. Ivan snapped unforgettable images of the day Brisbane’s LGBTIQ communities burst defiantly from their closets, never to return. Back in June 1990, male homosexual sex acts remained illegal in Queensland. However, with the …

drag queens

Destiny Rogers recalls a misspent youth in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. In the mid-1970s, she met some of Brisbane’s most exotic creatures — the drag queens of Fortitude Valley. About quarter past ten every Saturday night, the jeering and catcalling began. It only ever lasted about five minutes. Generally busy reading a book, I never took …

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