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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 …

Lilian Cooper and Josephine Bedford australian lgbtiq history timeline

Phyllis Cilento has, in recent years, been lauded as Queensland’s great female medical pioneer, a title that rightfully belongs to another woman. However, the true story of Queensland’s ground-breaking female medical pioneer is a tale of not one, but two magnificent women, Lilian Cooper and Josephine Bedford.  “This is the story of Lilian Violet Cooper, …

Gary Venamore QNEWS

A 2018 review of suspicious deaths in Sydney found that 27 of the 88 were probable gay hate crimes. QNews looks back at the unsolved 1968 murder of Brisbane gay man Gary Venamore. Despite a $250,000 reward for information, that crime remains unsolved. At the age of 35, Gary Venamore still lived at home with …

Lady Phyllis Cilento Dr Phyllis Cilento

In Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech to the Senate this week, he called for a return to predominantly European migration and described gender diversity as “garbage”. Senator Derryn Hinch described the speech as “disgraceful, racist, homophobic, divisive, misogynist, spiteful [and] hateful.” But Anning’s opinions echo those of Lady Phyllis Cilento after whom a prominent …

Freda Mae Terry Lewis drag queen

In 2017, Queensland passed laws to enable gay men to apply for expungement of historic gay convictions from the years before the state decriminalised homosexuality. However, eligibility requirements mean the convictions of men such as Alf Stanton, aka Brisbane drag queen Freda Mae West, will stand. Arrested in 1954 for buggery by the infamously corrupt …

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