What a weekend! Sydney was awash with colour, glitter and all things fabulous last Saturday night as around 10,000 people participated in the annual Mardi Gras Parade, and over 100,000 lined Oxford and Flinders streets to watch. The Parade, now in its 36th year, is one of the largest and most iconic LGBTI pride celebrations in the world, and the official Party afterwards one of the largest of its kind. This week’s edition, we give you a wrap-up of weekend, complete with eight pages worth of photos.
In other news, we reveal a new anti-homophobia campaign that attracted big names from all of Australia’s major sporting codes, including Harry Kewell and the elusive Alessandro Del Piero. We also report on plans to have a rainbow flag installed at Sydney’s Taylor Square in the interim before a permanent LGBTI memorial artwork is installed; moves in NSW Parliament to end forced divorce of trans* people; a special health and addiction theme for our opinion pages; a preview of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival: Big Gay Day in Brisbane, and much more
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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: NEW-LOOK STAR OBSERVER COMING SOON

March 21 marks the last day the weekly edition of the Star Observer hits the streets, but it will become an exciting new-look monthly publication from April 17.

This monthly publication will have a focus on news features, in depth stories and profiles, analysis and opinion. There will be a round-up of news bulletins from the month, as well as a variety of arts/entertainment, lifestyle and culture feature articles.

There will also be far more pages in our monthly edition than the weekly, and along with the extra in-depth content mentioned above, this will also provide an opportunity for high-quality design and layout production and striking images | Read more

 

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NSW:  ‘GAY PANIC’ REPEAL LEGISLATION INTRODUCED TODAY

NSW Parliament has just introduced a bill to repeal ‘gay panic’ laws and it is expected to be voted on in the next few days.

The bill to amend the Crimes Act (re: provocation) was successfully introduced by Christian Democrats upper house MP Fred Nile today, but debate was adjourned for five calendar days.

NSW Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby policy officer Jed Horner said the bill was expected to “fly through” once parliament voted on it in the coming days | Read more

 

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NSW: LAUNCH OF ‘WE’RE WAITING’ SEES MASSIVE SUPPORT

NSW Parliament House was recently the scene for a fundraising launch of Australian Marriage Equality’s latest campaign to spread the message of marriage equality to regional Australia.

Held last Tuesday, just under $50,000 was raised at the We’re Waiting event that featured former High Court judge Michael Kirby and New Zealand MP Louisa Wall as guest speakers. The fundraiser was the first time an official LGBTI event has been held inside Parliament House during the Mardi Gras season | Read more

 

We're Waiting Australian Marriage Equality Launch

 

OPINION: BLAST: THE STORY OF AN INJECTING METH ADDICT

“RELAX. Trust me”. I did. A brief prick, he pulled back on the plastic and the tube went red. He then pushed the syringe towards me. A second later I coughed and was overcome by the most erotic, euphoric experience of my life as the meth touched every part of my body.

Even thinking about it now, my heart beats faster and this was more than a decade ago.

I walked into Adelaide’s Mars Bar and saw this hottie. The chase was on. His name was Seb and boy did he make me work for it. Months after first locking eyes, countless gym sessions, even some solariums, he finally relinquished those precious 10 digits of his mobile.

Within two months we would be naked in bed in a hotel in the Adelaide Hills. Drugs were part of our fun, whether by pipe, pill or powder. Money was never a problem as we both held down professional jobs | Read more

 

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SPORT: DEL PIERO, KEWELL, JACKSON AND MORE SPORTS STARS STAND AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA

A NEW anti-homophobia campaign to air soon will for the first time in Australian sporting history feature major names from multiple codes, including Sydney FC’s Italian superstar Alessandro Del Piero.

The You Can Play series of TV and radio adverts set to air in early April will feature the likes of Del Piero, Melbourne Heart footballer Harry Kewell and Australian basketball export Lauren Jackson | Read more

 

Del Piero

VICTORIA: SHEDDING LIGHT ON CHALLENGES OF LGBTI ACCEPTANCE IN DIVERSE CULTURES

A CONFERENCE on same-sex attracted and sex and gender diverse (SSASGD) young people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities gave the LGBTI community a chance to discuss the challenges of supporting youth in between two worlds.

The recent Colour of Youth conference saw Melbourne’s LGBTI community and the city’s cultural and religious community leaders come together to grapple with some of the issues facing SSASGD young people with culturally and religiously-diverse backgrounds.

A highlight of the day was a panel discussion on religion, where representatives from both Judaism and Islam made arguments for using religious teachings rooted in equality and acceptance as a basis for rejecting the persecution of LGBTI people | Read more

 

Colour of Youth

 

NATIONAL: DEPARTURE OF UNION BOSS GIVES HOPE FOR MARRIAGE EQUALITY SUPPORT IN LABOR

THE national secretary of a powerful right-wing union and prominent campaigner against marriage equality has announced he will step down from his role after more than 30 years of influence within the Australian Labor Party.

Joe De Bruyn, a right-wing ALP factional leader with a reputation as gatekeeper for MPs, announced he would leave his position at the head of the Shod, Distributive and Allied Employees Association next October, and vacate positions within the ALP next year | Read more

 

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OPINION: JAMIE JACKSON – YOU ARE GREAT, BUT YOU COULD BE SO MUCH MORE

I FIRST met Jamie Jackson a few weeks before this year’s Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras at the Stonewall Hotel.

My first impression of Jackson  the victim of police brutality and the face of a huge social justice movement that swept the Sydney LGBTI community turned self-professed Z-list singer/songwriter  is that of a young man who had very clearly been through a lot over the past year.

Whether or not his experiences have helped or forced him to grow and mature as a person, it made me uncomfortable to see him squirm when I prodded him with a few prying questions, all of which were bravely answered off-the-record | Read more

James Jackson

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: SOUTH AUSTRALIA LAUNCHES LGBTI INCLUSION STRATEGY

A SPECIFIC strategy to promote greater inclusion of LGBTI people has been launched by the South Australian Government.

Released by SA Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Tony Piccolo mid-last month, the Inclusion Strategy outlines ways the government can improve policies and services for the state’s LGBTI population and addressing continuing discrimination, stigma and personal safety concerns.

“Unfortunately discrimination, stigma, exclusion and even concerns about personal safety continue to be a real and unacceptable fact of life for family members, friends and colleagues who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex or queer,” Piccolo said | Read more

 

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NSW: SYDNEY’S GAYBAR CLOSES SUDDENLY

SYDNEY’S Gay Bar has become the latest LGBTI-friendly bar or club to have closed down and cease trading.

Bar owners Stephen Craddock and Nelson de Sousa made a joint announcement on Gay Bar’s Facebook page today:

“A year ago Gay Bar threw open its doors wider than Madonna does for a 20 year old Brazilian. We were the new kid on the block that had not seen a new LGBTQI bar open in 10 years. From that first night we were meet with queues of people that wanted to see the little bar we had christened Gay Bar. A year later and we witnessed people still coming back and new people still wanting to have a laugh, drink and a dance at Gay Bar | Read more

Gay Bar

 

ENTERTAINMENT: HANNAH GADSBY’S VISUAL FEAST OF SELFIES OVER THE CENTURIES

IT is comedy season and Hannah Gadsby is on in the middle of her tour ofThe Exhibitionist, her latest show inspired by beautiful works of art over the centuries — and her current love of selfies.

With this in mind, the art history graduate dispels any question that her tour is a drab slideshow. No ma’am.

“Don’t worry there will be boobs. There will be nipple, and lots of jokes,” Gadsby promises.

She also deftly says her show will not be thick on lesbian content: “No. I am a big lesbian, there is your lesbian content. I talk about my private life a bit — there’s a bit of lesbian content | Read more

Hannah Gadsby

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