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gay history


Gilbert Baker march 31 the rainbow flag pride flag

How much do you know about the PRIDE Flag?

Variations of Gilbert Baker’s PRIDE Flag are almost universal today. It flutters gaily on the wind at numerous PRIDE marches and festivals. But how much do you know about this enduring symbol of the LGBTQIA+ communities? Scroll down for the video: Performance, Protest & Politics: The Art of Gilbert Baker. In all its variations, the …

friend of dorothy judy garland

Friends of Dorothy: Judy Garland, PRIDE icon

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

sydney truth judy canova

Homosexualists take over the streets of Sydney

In March 1932, the Sydney Arrow fretted that homosexualists were taking over inner-city streets and marking their territories with the sign of the Three Mullets. The homosexualist colonisation apparently occurred as a consequence of recent police action to drive infamous womankind from the streets. Foul mincing perverts immediately took up the space vacated by sex …

gay love letter

LGBT history: Australia’s earliest known gay love letter

Most of what we know of LGBT 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) …

drag queens at war anzac

Drag Queens at War: Forgotten ANZAC legends

Drag Queens played an essential role in two world wars: braving enemy fire to boost troop morale. QNews has documented some of the hundreds of Drag Queens who served our country in our free pictorial PDF eBook, Drag Queens at War. Drag Queens at War: World War I Fred Reade, an original ANZAC, was also …

brisbane club gay blackmail henry sankey

Henry Sankey: Gay Blackmail at Brisbane Club 1886

In the long decades before the decriminalisation of gay sex, men risked not only imprisonment but also gay blackmail as Henry Sankey discovered in an 1886 Brisbane Club case. The short-lived Brisbane Club featured in this story has no connection with the club of the same name, established in 1903 and still operating today. The …

Moonlite Nesbitt Grave

Bushrangers Moonlite and Nesbitt for heritage register

The Heritage Council of NSW is considering listing the graves of bushrangers Captain Moonlite and James Nesbitt on the state heritage register. James Nesbitt died in a shoot-out with police at Wantabadgery in 1879. When he saw James shot, Moonlite raced immediately to his dying friend, apparently oblivious to the danger to himself. According to …

Queerways Walking Tour gay walking tour

Explore Melbourne’s queer history on a walking tour

Put on your best walking shoes for an enlightening journey through LGBTQIA+ history across Melbourne with Queer-ways Listening and Walking Tours. Beginning on February 17 with Collingwood: West, attendees will take a meandering walk to several places of queer significance including Rose Chong Costumes, Sircuit, and the 86. Then on March 2, the Collingwood: East …

sailors sodomy homer baker thomas keene

Is It True What They Say about Sailors?

On August 13, 1853, sailor Raphael Gallenti began a sentence at San Quentin prison in California for sodomy. Not the last San Quentin inmate convicted of sodomy, nor even the last sailor. Prison records also contain photos of Homer Baker and Thomas Keene, convicted in 1908. Comics once routinely asked ‘Is it true what they …

LGBTQIA+ community members on Australia Day Honours 2024

Paralympic champ, 78er among LGBTQIA+ Australia Day Honours

A 78er, a Paralympic champion, a HIV/AIDS pioneer, and a longtime community volunteer are among the LGBTQIA+ Aussies recognised in the 2024 Australia Day Honours. More than 1000 people across Australia have been recognised in the 2024 Honours List for their achievements and service to the community. Robert French (above centre), a 78er and longtime …

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