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lgbtiq history australian lgbtiq history timeline 1902 2000

Australian LGBTIQ history timeline: the 20th century

The Australian LGBTIQ history timeline of the twentieth century begins with male homosexuality prosecuted as a criminal act in every jurisdiction of the newly federated Commonwealth. However, the last 30 years of the century saw every one of those laws consigned to history. While the law only explicitly criminalised male homosexuality, all members of the …

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Joe Exotic: the shocking true story of Netflix’s Tiger King

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness brings to the small screen an unbelievable cast of real-life characters. The Netflix docu-series highlights Americans who conduct ‘big cat rescue’ operations. They then house the lions, tigers and other big cats they ‘rescue’ in for-profit roadside zoos. The series star is undoubtedly Joe Exotic, a gay mulleted cowboy, …

Australian LGBTIQ history timeline

Australian LGBTIQ history timeline: 1727 – 1901

Australia’s documented history of sexual diversity predates the arrival of the First Fleet at Botany Bay. Indeed, the Australian LGBTIQ history timeline begins with a 1727 shipwreck, the details recorded in a journal written by a ship’s officer. Pre-colonial history There is no record of LGBTIQ people in First Nations communities of the pre-colonial era. …

Sir William Wellington Cairns Queensland Governor

Queensland’s 4th governor: Sir William Wellington Cairns

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 …

lesbian flash mob female factory

1840s lesbian flash mobs: secrets of the 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, …

drag queens

Secret history of Fortitude Valley 4: 1970s 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 …

LGBTIQ conversion

Australia’s long history of LGBTIQ conversion therapy

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 …

When the Australian govt paid a quack to torture gays

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

Secret History of Fortitude Valley 3: 2nd Hand Rose

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 …

australian gay law reform

Federal Parliament 1973: baby steps on 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 …

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