It’s incredibly offensive to erase the history of LGBTI Australians


Forget what you know about the history of LGBTI rights in Australia, and discount a large chunk of your own lived experience. If you read the latest piece from News Corp’s Des Houghton, it can simply be brushed away.

Less than a week ago, the government announced it’s plan for a $122 million postal survey to determine if they’ll consider bringing in legislation to remove discrimination from the marriage laws.

The country will endure months of debate about the topic. We’ll also increasingly be forced to listen to a cavalcade of unrelated issues as those opposed to giving the genuine love of LGBTI couples equal recognition. They’ll try to dilute the discussion claiming it’s about education, religion and battling political correctness.

We’ll also face people who will try to rewrite history, they’ll paint a different picture of our lives. In some cases it’ll paint us the most negative way imaginable. Sometimes we’ll be described as having wonderful lives that just don’t need the extra recognition of marriage equality.

Des Houghton in The Courier Mail says gay and lesbian people don’t face any discrimination in Australia. Not anymore. All that intolerence and gay bashing was phased out in the 1970s.

“We all know the intolerances and the gay bashing culture that was commonplace in Australia right up until the 70s.

“Now homosexual couples are accepted and have full legal rights.” Houghton writes in the Courier Mail.

So any intolerance you’ve experienced post-1979 is rare and quite uncommon… Which is odd because I was apparently six years old when this gay bashing culture ended.

Apparently it was all tidied up just 12 months after the NSW police abused the ’78ers.

Memories of how LGBT people were treated during the HIV/AIDS crisis is removed from this version of events. The effects those Grim Reaper advertisements had, is casually forgotten.

Set aside the testimony that was recently given at the inquest into the death of Scott Johnson, a man who was found at the bottom of a cliff in Sydney in 1988. The court heard about gangs deliberately bashing gay men.

Never mind the Tasty raid in Melbourne was in 1994.

How about the death of Perth man Warren Bachelor in 2013. When sentencing his two killers to life imprisonment, with a minimum of 21 years before being eligible for parole, the judge said their actions were motivated by prejudice and hostility.

Forget that the United Patriots from stood in the Murray Street Mall with a megaphone and accused gay people of being pedophiles less than 12 months ago.

Don’t worry that children of LGBT people and queer teens were targeted on social media just a week ago.

That’s just a few of the experiences and events that have made the headlines. Never mind the thousands of lived experiences of people who have lost jobs, been kicked out of home, been abused, assaulted and discriminated against.

Its bad enough you want to debate the value of our relationships and families, but lets not completely rewrite history. That’s offensive.

Graeme Watson

Support OUTinPerth

Thanks for reading OUTinPerth. We can only create LGBTIQA+ focused media with your help.

If you can help support our work, please consider assisting us through a one-off contribution to our GoFundMe campaign, or a regular contribution through our Patreon appeal.

Become a Supporter→     Make a contribution→ 


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

You must be logged in to post a comment Login