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LGBTIQ opinions and in-depth reads
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 …

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 …

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