Updated: Jun 7
00:00:00:15 - 00:00:21:46
Hey Team! On today's Weekly Reminder, we're going to be talking about a topic that was actually inspired by this book, which was written by our friend Hannah. And it's just come out is called Rainbow History Class. You may have seen them on TikTok. And I was reading through one of the chapters and it was quite like alarming because I'm personally never learned about queer history, have you?
00:00:22:05 - 00:00:29:41
Never. It was not something that was taught in school. I mean, we were barely ever even taught sex ed, so let alone LGBT history.
00:00:29:42 - 00:00:54:19
Yeah. So like learning about some of the stories in this book has taught me a lot about, like, queer culture. And I think it was actually a really good idea to read this before going to Pride, because the chapter that I landed on was called Darling I Want My Right Smell, and it spoke about some of the pioneers of the queer community who really like led those first protests.
00:00:54:19 - 00:01:22:46
And unfortunately, a lot of them were bashed, beaten, humiliated, and they didn't actually get to celebrate pride. They were kind of fighting for just to be an equal. So I think, you know, going into Pride celebrations this year in 2023, I've definitely got in the back of my mind just to pay respect to the people that came before us and did the hard yards because we have it so much easier now.
00:01:22:46 - 00:01:27:28
There's still a long way to go, but compared to what some people faced at that time.
00:01:27:28 - 00:01:52:17
Yeah, so we just wanted to read you a little part of the book to give you some insight into what people went through in the past. So cruel were the police to gender nonconforming people. So they enforced a rule requiring people to prove they were wearing three articles of clothing that corresponded to their sex. This rule had no legal basis, but resulted in many LGBTQ people being imprisoned, beaten and forced to live on the streets.
00:01:52:17 - 00:02:04:08
I think that's disgusting. Yeah, it's horrible having to prove to be someone who you don't even identify with would be the worst feeling in the world.
00:02:04:13 - 00:02:08:06
Yeah. And the fact that it was like it had no legal basis.
00:02:08:06 - 00:02:09:18
And it was being so heavily.
00:02:09:18 - 00:02:34:13
Enforced. Yeah, it was like it was being done just to, like, shame people in a way that was just one story. There's so many stories shared, and the book goes into detail about certain pioneers in the space, like their life and what they did for the community. We definitely recommend for you to go and check out the book, check out the Tik-Tok page of Rainbow History Class and go and support a queer author during Pride season.
00:02:34:13 - 00:02:43:05
Like this is a great way of giving back to the community. You don't have to go to parties. You can just literally support queer people.
00:02:43:07 - 00:02:57:19
Hannah has put so much work into the book. It is absolutely incredible. And congratulations to Hannah. We're so proud of you. But yeah, definitely go out and get it. We're going to be giving some of these away to the team and the community, so keep your eye out if you're interested in the book. We've come a long way.
00:02:57:24 - 00:03:02:41
There still is a long way to go, but we should be proud that we're here. And this is why we're celebrating this week.
00:03:02:41 - 00:03:23:44
This pride season. Make sure you do what feels right for you. There is no one size fits all. A lot of people think of pride and parties together, but there are tons of things you can do that are not related to partying. Like we're going to the museum, we are going to queer screenings and some other like great little businesses we're going to visit as well that are like Queer Run.
00:03:24:06 - 00:03:25:40
So you can do things like that to.
00:03:25:46 - 00:03:27:31
Help support the community. So I get behind.
00:03:27:44 - 00:03:30:40
All right, team, that's all for this week. We'll speak to you soon.
Like most people, growing up I never learnt about queer history. The first time I really got to learn about what the letters in LGBTQIA+ stood for, I was in my first year of university. I was 18 years old.
I remember watching a documentary in my ‘Sex and Gender’ class about someone's experience growing up as Transgender. I could not believe the pain and confusion that poor person must have felt. Before that, I had no idea what Transgender even meant!
10 years later, here I am at 28 years old, still lacking so much knowledge about queer and trans history. But luckily, in my hand I hold this book that has already taught me so much in just a few pages of light reading.
As I prepare to head off to my first Mardi Gras (which will also be Sydney’s first WorldPride), I dug into the chapter called “Darling, I want my gay rights now” (Pg. 138).
This section of the book slapped me in the face in the best way.
It reminded me and taught me about those who came before us and had to fight for the right to just exist.
In the middle twentieth century homosexuality was seen as a sort of societal virus.
Society did everything it could to hide homosexuality.
🍻Alcohol wouldn’t be served to gay people at bars because they were seen as inherently disorderly.
👗Rules were put in place to torment gender non-conforming people where people had to prove they were wearing at least 3 pieces of clothing corresponding to their sex.
🩺Surgeries were performed on Lesbian women removing important parts of their brain in an attempt to reverse feelings of same-sex attraction
🧑⚖️ Laws were put in place that made it a crime to love someone of the same sex.
The first Sydney Mardi Gras (1978) was less of a celebration than I imagined.
It ended in brutality, humiliation, imprisonment and suicide for a number of LGBTQIA+ people who were attending. Purely because the police did not like the sight of queer people being so… proud.
It’s incredible to think how far society has come, but it hasn’t been easy for those who had to fight to get us to this point.
Gay people were determined to match hatred and violence with pride and fun.
I sit here incredibly humbled and full of gratitude for the men, women, trans and non-binary people who devoted their life to creating change. I am incredibly privileged to benefit from all that they protested for.
I will remember them as I celebrate my first Pride.
I’d like to encourage you to buy a copy of Rainbow History Class: Your Guide Through Queer And Trans History to support this fantastic Australian, queer author on her journey to educate and empower our generation.