Queer women recently boarded a Melbourne tram and held hands to commemorate a lesbian couple convicted of doing just that in the late seventies.

The project was launched to highlight historical experiences of lesbophobia in Australia, and saw older lesbians board the number 16 tram and travel from the State Library to St Kilda Town Hall.

Organiser Catherine Barrett said she wanted to recognise lesbian history.

“It’s an act of resistance, these older lesbians jumping on the tram to hold hands and to bring visibility,” she said.

Gender and sexuality commissioner Ro Allen also joined the event, and expressed support for it.

“Another lovely event to recognise older lesbian women,” the commissioner tweeted.

The women present were also encouraged to mark the event by sharing their experiences and reflections after the tram ride on doilies and film strips.

The doilies were used to represent assumptions around age, gender, and sexuality, while the film strip was used to represent visibility.

“The #16 tram hosted me holding my darling’s hand – in public. We’ve come out,” one person wrote.

“Just because I’m a grey-haired nana doesn’t mean I didn’t have a wild life,” another wrote.

“I feel like today we reclaimed our history, our power, and our space,” another wrote.

To find out more about the project visit: alicesgarage.net/tram.

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