Watch: 1998: Club Trix, Cairns. Post Mardi Gras Week

club trix post mardi gras

In the 1990s, numerous international holidaymakers travelled to Cairns in North Queensland following each year’s Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. In 1998, local gay bar Club Trix laid on a week of post-Mardi Gras entertainment.

Scroll down to watch the vid.

Looking back at the shows I performed that week, I can’t help but think ‘How many of those jokes would I get away with today?’🫢

I don’t think we were more horrible people in 1998. Your mileage may differ. Reflexive moral superiority is a defining characteristic of numerous unoriginal social media comments.

But ageism, sexism, fat-shaming and slut-shaming all slipped easily from the tongue back in the day. As did jokes about death. I think perhaps darker times. Death and illness remained a constant in our community, and black humour was ever a coping mechanism.

The following contains frequent offensive characterisations, high-level coarse language, and drug references. Fortunately, we were able to edit out the male strippers and spare you the gratuitous nudity on flagrant display at Club Trix that week. 😝

Fat Jokes

My targeting of Eva with fat jokes makes me cringe a little now. But then I remember that was her schtick — being a little larger. She did the old eat-a-whole-cream-cake while miming a song thingy. Audiences loved it.

If you think that’s bad, a standard of drag shows twenty years earlier was a pregnant bride miming to Always Something There To Remind Me and then giving birth to a black baby at the end of the song. Racism — pure and simple.

So I’m not here to say ‘Oh it was different times’.  Some of the jokes we used back in the day were inexcusable, and I was no angel. I said much worse than you see here. I’m just lucky no video survived or I’d undoubtedly be cancelled. Why did we do it? I can’t really remember now  — alcohol probably played a role – and a yearning to be ‘cutting edge’ and get laughs.

But I am glad we’re better today. Just about any joke has the potential to offend someone. But we should all be offended when humour is used to punch down on the already marginalised, oppressed, and disadvantaged. That was never funny. I find myself quite getting used to this woke shit thank you very much.

More Cairns:

Under the mango tree at Rusty’s Pub in Cairns.

My night on the town with Pauline Hanson in 1998.

2007: those we lost too soon – Ross Stokes.

Cairns Tropical Pride’s Community Hero Awards.

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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

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