Dive Into The Archive: What was happening in August 2004?

This year OUTinPerth is marking its 20th birthday. Launched as a free street press magazine in July 2002, the publication remained in print until 2019 when it transformed to a fully digital model.

In this series of posts we look back at individual issues of the magazine and see what was happening in our community in years gone by.

In August 2004 Q Fest was on the cover, alongside an advertisement promoting the upcoming launch of Perth’s Pride Festival, that year the theme of the festival was ‘Skin’. Q Fest was a celebration taking part in the town of Cue.

Inside editor Paul Bluett addressed a recent complaint to the magazine. A reader had called up the office and voiced their displeasure that the previous issue had featured several stories about HIV.

The reader argued that if straight people picked up the magazine they would assume that “all gays had AIDS”. Bluett understandably was having none of it, dedicating the editorial to highlighting the importance of HIV education and prevention.

In the news there was an article on University of Sydney researcher Jackie Mikulsky, who was seeking high school aged LGBTIQA+ people to share their experiences of secondary education, with a view to promote better inclusion practices in the future.

Lobby group the Equal Rights Network welcomed the news that Superannuation providers would be required to recognise same-sex partners following a recent change in government legislation.

The Howard government was also attempting to rush through legislation to change the Marriage Act, reframing the legislation to distinctly say the marriage could only between a man and a woman. The legislation would eventually pass and remain in place until 2017.

Western Australia’s state government were preparing to conduct a review into the state’s anti-vilification laws. Brian Greig, who was a federal senator for The Democrats at the time, argued that the legislation should also include vilification against LGBT people.

The local community was getting excited at the prospect of a new LGBT venue opening in Northbridge. A liquor license had just been granted for Eurobar, which would later open on the Lake and Aberdeen Streets in Northbridge.

Community organisation Prime Timers celebrated their first birthday, while Gay and Lesbian Community Services (GLCS) marked their 30th anniversary. Today they are known as Living Proud.

In sad news, people mourned the death of John Kable who had volunteered with many local groups including the WA AIDS Council and Spectrum WA – a social and support group for gay Asian men and their friends. Kable had passed away a few weeks earlier following a battle with cancer.

Comedian Margaret Cho was interviewed, she’d gone on to chat with OUTinPerth many times over the years. Cho was promoting her latest DVD but told fans she hoped to make it back to Australia in 2005.

Connections show of the month was The Anastasia Show featuring Delta, Kandi, Barbie and Titanica.

In the music section we were listening to The Cure’s new album, and also loving Jamie Callum, Buffalo Daughter and Avril Lavigne. Newcomer Katie Melua didn’t impress our reviewers with her songs being described as forgettable before they’ve even finished playing.

There was also a footy tipping competition being run between several local identities, their winnings going to local charities. At Round 17 of the competition Ruth Wykes from Women Out West (WOW) magazine was one point ahead of Trish Langdon, the CEO of the WA AIDS Council. Years later we brought back a footy tipping competition, current co-editor Graeme Watson has described it as the dumbest idea he’s ever had.

OIP Staff

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