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LGBTIQ opinions and in-depth reads
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 …

greatest homophobes all time

The greatest homophobes of all time include people from ancient times till our own. Homophobes generally don’t limit their animosity to men who conjugate with other men. Their malice extends towards anyone who doesn’t fit the sexual and gender norms of the day. Therefore lesbians often suffered prejudice and persecution throughout history despite the relative …

transgender parenting mother father freddy mcconnell birth certificate

By Ruth Pearce, University of Leeds The UK’s High Court has ruled that Freddy McConnell, a transgender man who gave birth to his child, does not have the right to be registered as a “father” on his child’s birth certificate. McConnell, who is transgender, has indicated his intention to appeal. At present, people who give …

identity and gender glossary

Sometimes confused by the plethora of identity and gender expressions used these days? The rainbow communities are a glorious and diverse coalition of genders and sexualities. We’ve compiled this glossary of identity and gender terms to help out. As some humans become more open-minded to the diversity of human experience, minorities feel better able to …

Ben Bjarnesen

Domestic and family violence (DFV) can affect anyone, including people in previously healthy relationships. Senior Constable Ben Bjarnesen received a Churchill Fellowship to conduct research into enhancing the Queensland Police Service (QPS) response to domestic and family violence. He also has personal experience of an unhealthy relationship. Ben shares his own story and offers advice …

gay old time

‘A gay old time’ once meant either just a light-hearted moment or a lewd adventure, depending on the circumstance. Adults used the word as code, enabling them to speak of ‘distasteful’ subjects in the presence of innocents. Old newspaper clippings demonstrate the general public understood both meanings despite the regular bleatings that gays ‘stole’ a …

Bill Edwards Brisbane Victoria Burgulary

In September 1906, Constable Donnelly of Brisbane arrested William Edwards on a warrant from Victoria for burglary. The policeman already knew Edwards, a popular and personable barman at a city pub. Donnelly made the acquaintance of the short, slightly built Bill Edwards 14 months before. However, in all that time, he never suspected, until informed …

alan jones 2gb

Alan Jones is, many people believe, a misogynist. Yet the most common word used for him by online detractors is arguably the most misogynist in the English language. Similarly, people usually scathing of homophobia don’t hesitate to call Jones a ‘bitter old queen’. What do we do about a man who brings out the worst …

voyager disaster royce dunbar rolls royce

As a kid, Royce Dunbar collected Matchbox Rolls Royce’s – toy cars – and dreamed of owning a real one. Perhaps a childish notion but dreams can come true and after an eventful life, including surviving the Voyager disaster, Royce ultimately owned a Roller. Born in Western Australia during World War II, he enlisted in …

Rose Cleveland Precious and Adored: The Love Letters of Rose Cleveland and Evangeline Simpson Whipple

Rose Cleveland served as First Lady for her unmarried brother for fourteen months in the 1880s. Although history remembers her as First Lady to President Grover Cleveland, she deserves recognition in her own right and for her great relationship with the love of her life, Evangeline Whipple. A new book Precious and Adored: The Love …

jesus martyn iles israel folau australian christian lobby

Martyn Iles of the Australian Christian Lobby and Israel Folau like to discuss the Bible. Although neither is a minister of religion, they are two of the most prominent Christians in Australia today. When they discuss the Bible or the teachings of Jesus Christ, they both  invariably mention homosexuality. So one might assume a preoccupation …

same sybil von thorndyke laurie deane queens ball

Most readers will not know the name Laurie Deane. However, most over 25 years of age, know of Dame Sybil von Thorndyke, legendary founder, hostess and director for forty years of Brisbane’s Annual Queens Birthday Ball, now the longest running gay event in the world. A sensationalist tabloid once breathlessly reported that Laurie Deane lived …

friend of dorothy judy garland

Judy Garland, the gay icon once called the ‘The Elvis of Homosexuals’, died on this day in 1969 (22 June). Gay mythology long connected her funeral with the Stonewall riots and therefore the birth of the Pride movement. Gay historians however, dismiss the connection. One explained the rioters “were not the type to moon over …

Bullamakanka Pearl of the Outback

Pearl of the Outback, our regional correspondent, takes us back to Bullamakanka and a colourful local identity. Mr Humphries is the doyen of women’s fashion out in the never never, beyond the black stump. Avid readers will recall the gent I previously christened Mr Humphries. For the uninitiated, he is a VERY gay blade who …

LGBTI Equality Rodney Croome Coalition Government transgender rights

Rodney Croome is a long-time LGBTI equality advocate. As a strategist in numerous campaigns for equality, Rodney says our community can still make change and meet threats under the re-elected coalition government. I won’t sugar coat the election result: Australia has the most socially and religious conservative government in a generation. Many leading Liberal moderates …

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