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LGBTIQ opinions and in-depth reads
supermum Shelley Argent

Shelley Argent is a mum on a mission. From putting up posters in men’s toilets to taking the fight for equality to Canberra’s heavyweights. Shelley has become a force to be reckoned with who wants nothing more than to see her two sons treated as equals. QNews recently visited Shelley at home and, over freshly …

chips channon nazi-loving

Long-forgotten politician Sir Henry Chips Channon is about to enjoy a new lease on life decades after his death. Publication has begun, over three instalments, of his unexpurgated diaries. Channon’s bitchy and salacious revelations of the rarefied circles he moved in will provide immense entertainment to history buffs and royalists. Unfortunately, the avalanche of bon …

failed gay seduction deathbed confession thomas mun

A British museum recently acquired a 1750 pamphlet detailing the deathbed confession of Thomas Mun, executed for various crimes in that year. Mun speaks candidly about various exploits including an account of a failed gay seduction. Executed for robbing a mail coach, Mun apparently handed the manuscript to his jailer on the morning of his …

lgbtiq+ valentine's day for all the lovers

For much of history, Valentine’s Day remained off-limits to all but heterosexual lovebirds. Indeed, most societies excluded romantics of diverse genders and orientations from the public celebration of their love. But times have changed in much of the world. So here are some LGBTIQ+ Valentine’s Day love quotes for all the lovers, however, and with …

shelley argent PFLAG+ National Spokesperson retires

Shelley Argent stepped down this month as PFLAG+ National Spokesperson. In that position and others, she advocated tirelessly for LGBTIQ+ rights over more than two decades. Shelley Argent, however, told QNews she will continue to advocate behind the scenes. “I’m a mother. Mums don’t retire. It’s a job for life. As the mum of an …

Dr Albert W Noll

The author came across Dr Albert W Noll while researching the recent publication COON: more holes than swiss cheese. The young Boston dentist enjoyed notoriety for his appearances on the Boston stage during the 1890s. He usually performed in drag, either as a white woman or in blackface as a ‘mammy’ caricature. Born into Boston …

ned kelly

Although a national icon, Ned Kelly remains something of an enigma. The most famous bushranger of them all stares out at the world through a slit in his armour plate helmet and everyone makes of him what they will. Despite Red and Ellen Kelly not registering Ned’s birth, documentation indicates a December 1854 birthdate. In …

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 …

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 …

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