Court sequel to 2020 Drag Queen Storytime Tragedy


drag queen storytime tragedy shelton diamond
Images: Supplied & Lyle Shelton Facebook

Monday will see a sequel to the 2020 Drag Queen Storytime tragedy. Lyle Shelton will appear at the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal consequent to comments he posted about performers at the event.

The Rainbow Families Qld event took place at Brisbane Square Library in inner-city Brisbane on January 12, 2020. Performers Diamond (Dwayne Hill) and Queenie (Johnny Valkyrie) read age-appropriate books to a small gathering of parents and children.

Then, students from the University of Queensland’s UQ Liberal National Club barged into the room, chanting loudly. Diamond and parents quickly ushered the protestors to an adjoining room. However, the students continued to chant loudly while protest leader Wilson Gavin remonstrated with Diamond.

The protest garnered significant media coverage and a social media backlash against the protest.

The following morning, Wilson Gavin, a young gay man, described by his aunt as ‘a very tormented soul’, died by suicide.

Lyle Shelton

Shelton was formerly managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby. In 2017, he was a leading voice of the failed NO campaign against marriage equality. Since then — deep breath needed before proceeding — he stood unsuccessfully for Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives at the 2019 election, worked for a Queensland LNP politician, was endorsed, then disendorsed by Fred Nile as his successor in the New South Wales Legislative Council, and finally joined Family First. He appears to be campaigning for Family First at the Victorian State Election today.

On January 16, 2020, he posted a blog about the Drag Queen Storytime tragedy headlined WHY “QUEENY” AND “DIAMOND GOOD-RIM” ARE DANGEROUS ROLE MODELS FOR CHILDREN. 

(Diamond uses the name Goodrim for adult shows but not for family events.)

Diamond and Johnny Valkyrie lodged a complaint with the Queensland Human Rights Commission alleging vilification. They said Shelton’s post incited hatred, severe ridicule, and serious contempt toward them.

The Queensland Human Rights Commission ordered compulsory mediation. Shelton recently complained that he’d rather chat with the queens over coffee.

“Mediation presented a good opportunity for dialogue with the drag queens, but that discussion would have been much better voluntarily at a café or office – not by compulsion in a Commission. This is how disagreements over public policy should be settled, not through court cases about hurt feelings.”

The hearings will take place for three days commencing at 9.30 am on Monday, November 28 in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, 259 Queen Street, Brisbane.

The hearings are open to the public so community members may attend and offer moral support to Diamond and Johnny.

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at destinyr@qnews.com.au.

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