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  • Our Queer History Museum | 2020s


    Scroll down to read about this artwork…

    The Laws and Notable Events

    2020 – SA removes the gay panic defence.

    2020 – ACT bans conversion therapy.

    2020 – QLD bans conversion therapy.

    2021 – VIC bans conversion therapy.

    2023 – QLD allows transgender people to legally change their gender without having any sort of medical transition.

    2023 – QLD ‘non-binary’ is legally recognised as a gender.

    What is Conversion Therapy?

    Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice intended to ‘change’ a person’s sexuality or gender identity or expression. Attending such a therapy can lead to depression, anxiety, drug use, homelessness and suicide. Conversion therapy can range from talk therapy to physical, medical and religious methods.

    Queensland School Controversy

    In January 2022, a religious p-12 school in Queensland sent a contract to all of its students, that they would be required to sign if they wanted to continue to attend the school. Under the heading “Family, Marriage, Sexuality and Gender”, the contract stated that any sexual act outside of a heterosexual marriage is “sinful and offensive to God and is destructive to human relationships and society”. The contract also states that they will only enrol a student “on the basis of the gender that corresponds to their biological sex.” and that the school maintains the right to exclude a student if they do not adhere to the contract. Staff members weren’t safe either. They were also asked to sign a contract that stated they could lose their job if they were openly homosexual. After this contract was sent out to students, there was a massive amount of backlash. People all over Australia, including gay comedian Christian Hull, called out the school for being transphobic and homophobic. The principal of the school responded with a contradictory and misleading statement: “{school name} does not judge students on their sexuality or gender identity and we would not make a decision about their enrolment in the College simply on that basis”. After the nationwide controversy and Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying that he “did not agree” with the document, the school withdrew the contract and apologised for making its students feel discriminated against, but maintained that they have the right to practise their religious beliefs.

    The Rainbow Shoelace Project

    The Rainbow Shoelace Project was a simple idea from 12-year-old Abbie Kelly that began in March 2022. As a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community starting high school, Abbie was scared of experiencing homophobia and bullying. She wanted to create a subtle way to show others that they’re not alone, and that they have allies. So she put six little rainbow beads on the shoelaces of each of her shoes. The thought being that when people feel hurt from being bullied, they would feel sad and look down, and seeing a little rainbow on someone’s shoe would make them feel safe. Abbie still experiences bullying and homophobia in her high school but she’s determined to keep going with the shoelace project, having distributed over 160,000 across Australia. With the help of her very supportive Mum, Abbie packages and sends the beads for free. Abbie has been contacted by volunteers in Canada, The United States, The United Kingdom and New Zealand who want to help her distribute beads internationally.

    Still to come

    NSW and WA still require transgender people to medically transition before they can legally change their gender.

    NSW and WA don’t legally recognise ‘non-binary’ as a gender.

    NSW, NT, SA, TAS, and WA still allow the practise of conversion therapy. Across all Australian states, men who have sex with men and transgender women are required to undergo a 3 month abstinence period before donating blood.

    Thank you for visiting Our Queer History Museum.

    Thank you to Ruby Wyatt-Carter, Diversity Group young people and our local LGBTIQA+ elders.

    (This image and related history are part of the Our Queer History Museum project.)