Dame Joan Hammond: coming out at 80


dame joan hammond coming out at 80 lolita marriott

At a social function on her 80th birthday, Aussie opera star Dame Joan Hammond showed coming out at 80 is no problem when she unexpectedly introduced her partner of 55 years, Lolita Marriott.

Odds & Sods: snippets of queercentric news coverage from Australian media in years gone by.

Coming out at 80

Lesbians on the Loose reported that Dame Joan addressed a charity brunch at the Victorian Arts Centre on the occasion of her 80th birthday.

“Dame Joan said she wanted to speak of something she had never spoken of in public.

“She said how important friends were.

“How rare it was to find even one close friendship that would last a lifetime; that she had been fortunate to have had one friendship of this kind, which had survived through all manner of difficulty.

“She said that Lolita Marriott was shy and would never appear in public. But it was to a great swell of standing acclamation and warmth from the audience that she introduced her friend who said: ‘I am the lucky one’.”

Dame Joan Hammond & Lolita Marriott

After starting out as a champion golfer, New Zealand-born Joan studied to become an opera singer. Lady Gowrie, wife of the then Governor of New South Wales, helped raise funds so she could further her studies in England.

Dame Joan Hammond became a world-famous opera singer but struggled to cope with the demands of her newfound celebrity. Her golfing friend Lolita Marriott offered to travel with her as secretary/manager. Joan agreed and the pair were inseparable companions for over five decades. ❤️

Lolita died in 1993 and Joan in 1996. Her tombstone sums up the great achievements of her life.

Loving Companion of Lolita Marriott.
Singer, Sportswoman, Vocal Teacher.
A Great Australian.

Dame Joan Hammond singing One Fine Day from Madam Butterfly.

Coming out:

You can come out at any age. Here are some tips to ease your journey.

Coming out to Granny – a personal memoire of the 1970s.

And how not to do it: Lib MP: out for milliseconds, tells us we’re all wrong.

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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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1 Comment

  1. Andrew
    5 July 2023
    Reply

    Dame Joan was my singing teacher and confidant… she always signed correspondence with love from herself and Lol!
    It was wonderful introducing her to my partner Cliff & making the SunAria final while she was with us. She shared in my successes… a dear friend.

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