C is for:

Clover The main drag might be looking a bit shabby these days, but no-one could argue the influence Clover Moore has had on Australia’s gay epicentre. As the state member for Bligh since 1988, Clover has been an outspoken supporter of gay and lesbian rights, as well as one of the most recognisable faces in the Mardi Gras parade, which she first attended as a parade judge in 1986. Considering the number of supporters she has within the community, her election night celebrations are like mini-Mardi Gras parties in themselves.

She attended the first ever Luncheon Club lunch in 1993, and returns regularly. Even her name is camp, inspiring at least one SSO staff member to break into Joan Jett’s lesbian classic Crimson And Clover whenever it’s mentioned. Clover took over as lord mayor of Sydney in 2004, telling the Star just before the election she was the only major candidate with an intimate knowledge of the city’s demanding, complex neighbourhoods.

Crystal Sydney might not have bus-stop anti-crystal advertising campaigns like those seen in the gay areas of Manhattan, but there’s plenty of angst about Tina here anyway. And plenty of people who are getting on it, too, with the Star reporting in April about 20 percent of men who took part in the Sydney Gay Community Periodic Survey were regular users. Anecdotes abound: psychotic episodes at St Vincent’s Emergency; addicts getting banned from clubs; couples breaking up; life savings spent; gay NA meetings overwhelmed with numbers.

The SSO first mentioned a possible link between two of the drug’s effects -“ rampant sexual appetite and a devil-may-care attitude -“ and unsafe sex practices in 2003. By 2004, one sex club was putting up overseas anti-crystal/ pro-safe-sex posters, and the Star revealed an ACON federal funding application for a crystal campaign was refused, despite an expert panel’s strong recommendation it be approved. In October 2005, the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre released findings that regular users were 11 times more likely to suffer a psychotic episode than the non-using public.

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