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lgbtiq history

From the dawn of time until modern days, history recorded instances of same sex love, diverse sexualities and genders. LGBTIQ history documents the people and culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people throughout time. Most ancient civilisations left stories of same-sex love and gender diversity. Many documented people often referred to as third gender, usually people we now describe as intersex or transgender. While the Middle Ages gifted us increasing documentation of LGBTIQ history, at that time, persecution of LGBTIQ people increased. During the Renaissance, the oppression of LGBTIQ people by the Catholic Church increased. Many European countries imposed the death penalty for homosexual acts. Lighter punishments often included some form of mutilation, for both men and women. The serious study of homosexuality began in Europe in the 1700s. The German novelist Karl-Maria Kertbeny first used the word homosexual in print in 1869. It derives from the Greek homos meaning same, not the Latin homo, meaning man.  Thus the word describes both male and female same-sex attracted people. After the Stonewall Riots in New York, considered the beginning of the modern LGBTIQ Rights movement, LGBTIQ communities began to combine in more formal organisations than previously. From the 1980s on, many countries of the western world decriminalised homosexuality. Reforms also took place regarding same-sex marriage, and other LGBTIQ rights. The increased visibility of LGBTIQ people obviously led to greater documentation of them and their culture. LGBTIQ historians also made increasing efforts to reclaim their own history. As a result of censorship and oppression much LGBTIQ history is lost. In addition to the accidental loss of history common to all communities, LGBTIQ history was subject to deliberate destruction in a process known as gay erasure.  

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, …

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 …

Rodney Croome

The University of Tasmania yesterday created veteran LGBTIQ activist Rodney Croome an honorary doctor of letters. Rodney noted with gratitude the support of his partner Raf, his mother, and his late father. He also spoke of the “many courageous and kind people I work with to advance equality.” 1988 Salamanca Markets Rodney Croome first came …

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, …

Queer Objects

Queer Objects landed on my desk this week — a captivating pop-up museum of queer history. “Queer lives give rise to a vast array of objects,” writes Otago University Press of this remarkable book of objects edited by Chris Brickell and Judith Collard. Dino Hodge I flick through the book and immediately come across a …

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