When protestors from the LGBTQI community gathered in Darlinghurst in inner-city Sydney for international gay celebrations in 1978, the night ended in police brutality and arrests. It became a major civil rights milestone as people took to the streets in the months that followed to protest the arrests. By April 1979 laws covering the arrests had been repealed, allowing for a peaceful Mardi Gras march that year. It would be five more years, however, before homosexuality was decriminalised in New South Wales.
The struggles of nearly half-century ago remain relevant today, reflected in issues such as the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, and the Religious Discrimination Bill. But LGBTQI Aussies are being heard. Darlinghurst is now a safe space. It’s where Australians gathered in 2017 to celebrate the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia, and it’s the place where the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras takes place.
In 2019 HuffPost’s Proud Out Loud project marked 50 years since the Stonewall uprising in New York, when fed up with years of abuse and oppression, the LGBTQI community fought back after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn. Now Proud Out Loud moves to Australia, where we present a series of profiles that highlight the next generation of LGBTQI change-makers here and around the world.
Proud Out Loud cuts across identities, cultures, professions and passions. But each and every one is engaged in the NOW of it. They’re pushing boundaries and raising a fuss. They are Proud Out Loud, and HuffPost Australia is celebrating them.