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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 …

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 …

homophobes

Homophobes are certainly a strange breed, particularly the activist types. What drives their innate bigotry toward LGBTIQ people? In fact, research exists to indicate where some of their bigotry originates. But the conclusions of that research are often not welcomed. Homophobes Some people quietly dislike or harbour prejudice against LGBTIQ people. But others make lots …

LGBTIQ conversion

Within fifteen years of the word ‘homosexual’ coming into common usage, the search for a cure was in full swing. Indeed, LGBTIQ conversion therapists are nothing new. There is a long and undistinguished history of quacks attempting to profit from social prejudice against LGBTIQ people. 7 minute read In 1903 the Brisbane Truth mocked the …

From at least 1969 until 1973, the Australian government funded the torture of gay men. Grants from the Medical Research Endowment Fund subsidised Dr. Neil McConaghy’s experiments with so-called ‘aversion therapy’. Long Read: 10 minutes As Victoria and Queensland move to ban ‘conversion therapy’, we look back to a time when the Australian Commonwealth actually …

Fortitude Valley

The beautiful Bettenay sisters were once Brisbane’s ‘it’ girls. After Joy declined actor Ray Barrett’s proposal of marriage, he instead wedded sister Audrey with Joy as bridesmaid. In later years, one of the sisters ran a second-hand shop in Fortitude Valley. Edna Bettenay never married. She promoted 50/50 dances, played piano in the Upadian Band …

WorldPride 2023 in Sydney occurs on the fiftieth anniversary of a momentous year of Gay Liberation in Australia. The first gay and lesbian rights organisations only emerged in the previous four years. However, by 1973, Australia’s gay liberationists by outing themselves, protesting and lobbying were able to garner public support from church leaders, the media, …

australian gay law reform

On 18 October 1973, the Australian House of Representatives passed a motion calling for the repeal of anti-gay laws. That motion was the first significant vote on Australian gay law reform in the country’s history. The vote served no immediate practical purpose because such laws were generally a state responsibility. However, it paved the way …

fortitude valley

Destiny Rogers recalls a misspent youth in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. In the mid-1970s, Fortitude Valley possessed two distinct identities – the day-time Valley and the night-time. Fortitude Valley by day Once a famed retail hub, local businesses still hoped suburban shopping malls would prove a passing fad. Perhaps Brisbane shoppers would again favour Brunswick Street.  …

homosexual invasion

Thirty years ago this month the Queensland National Party alerted voters to a looming homosexual invasion. As the dying government flailed in search of a lifeline, they latched onto homosexuality as a lifebuoy. The Canberra Times reported on Premier Russell Cooper’s battle cry. A Labor victory would, “open the floodgates and see a sea of …

Fortitude Valley

Destiny Rogers recalls a misspent youth in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. In the days before the Fitzgerald Inquiry, crims and corrupt police ran much of Fortitude Valley, though in 1976 when she arrived from the country, the corrupt underbelly of Brunswick St stayed out of sight and,  for most people, out of mind. After twelve years …

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