In another historic move, health and legal advocates are again calling on LGBTQI community members to tell their stories to the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into gay and transgender hate crimes from 1970 to 2010.
NSW’s leading organisation in LGBTQI community health, inclusion and HIV responses, ACON is encouraging those impacted by historic anti-gay violence to share their experiences by lodging a submission to the inquiry by February 28.
ACON estimates that roughly 40 LGBTQI community members died due to historic hate crimes committed in the 40 years. The number of those who were seriously injured or traumatised by these hate crimes is still undeterminable.
In a media release from November last year, the Hon Shayne Mallard MLC noted that the renewed inquiry was not only interested in hate-crimes committed within Sydney, but also in regional areas of NSW.
“The decision to resume this important inquiry will ensure that the committee can speak to as many people as possible about the gay hate crimes, bashings and murders that took place in the past and, in some areas, still continue today,” he said.
“Early next year, the committee expects to travel across regional New South Wales, including to the Far North Coast, the Central West, Wollongong and the South Coast and Sydney. We are particularly interested in evidence that speaks to any contemporary or policing issues.”
As many in the LGBTQI community already know through written history and spoken lore, NSW Police were among the greatest perpetrators and enablers of anti-gay violence during the 40 year inquiry period.
The depth of this insidious culture within NSW Police is still being uncovered to this day, with hopes that the inquiry will provide a better understanding of the impacts and prolificity of this policing culture today.
Family members and friends of gay hate crime victims are also being urged to send submissions detailing their experiences, and the impacts they’ve faced from these hate crimes as well.
The renewal of this inquiry not only sends a strong message about the importance of LGBTQI history, but also honours the progression that Australia has made in accepting our community.
Stories of these hate crimes make up a large swathe of our community’s rich historical tapestry, reminding us not only of our successes, but also of the courage displayed during our fight for equality – courage that still burns bright in this new age of religious freedom debates and global LGBTQI movements.
Most importantly, moving these stories of spoken lore into a written, tangible and recognised medium not only gives the LGBTQI community new opportunities to heal, but also creates a history that acknowledges LGBTQI individuals, rather than erases them.
The Parliamentary Committee asks for submissions to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 28, 2020.
ACON is also holding Information Sessions across urban and regional NSW to help people with their submissions. For further details on regional locations and times visit www.acon.org.au/truthandjustice.