Femmes in Butch-Femme Relationships

Most lesbians are not femme or butch but androgynous, and most lesbians favour relationships based on sameness.  If androgyny is the centre point of the lesbian gender spectrum, then femme and butch each fall a reasonable, but variable, distance either side.  Butch-femme relationships are based on an eroticisation of difference. The terms “butch” and “femme” […]


In 1994, Cadbury Schweppes withdrew its sponsorship of the high rating ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ show due to the promotion of live crosses to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade.

Channel 9 tried to maintain sponsorship by deleting the word ‘lesbian’ and then ‘gay’ from its promo, the censored version referring only to ‘Sydney’s Mardi Gras’. This proved ineffective and Cadbury-Schweppes’ one-night-only withdrawal sparked outrage.


In the 1950s the British tabloid press found itself crusading against homosexuality. By exposing the extent to which the hitherto unmentionable vice was being practiced, editors imagined that they were saving the nation from a terrible threat. And they knew they were selling a lot of newspapers.

But the ever more shocking revelations came closer and closer to the real centres of British power.

Violet Quill

These days, it is hard to turn around without falling over the latest queer novel, story collection, even poetry. Hares and Hyenas has a whole wall full and even mainstream bookshops usually manage to stock the latest offerings.

It wasn’t always like this.


Princesses were never high on the list of lesbian cult figures until Xena hit the small screen. But Xena is not your average princess. A warrior who outwits gods, out-fights men and sends vicious dogs away whimpering with the wave of a hand, Xena exhibits a serious liking for studded leather and, on her continuous travels, is accompanied only by a strawberry blonde named Gabrielle.


In the 1860s, a remarkably brave German, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, set out to change society’s attitudes towards what would in later days come to be know as homosexuals.

Ulrichs became aware of same-sex desire in himself at about the age of 20, but rather than conceal it, he set out to try to decide where such desires came from.


Perhaps the most laughably misnamed paper in Australia, the Truth has been a source not just of amusement for generations of Australians, but is more and more a source of knowledge. Especially of queer lives in our past.

In its efforts to sell as many papers as possible, the Truth reported the stories that more respectable newspapers wouldn’t touch.

Rainbow flag

If the pink triangle was the dominant symbol of the gay and lesbian movement of the 1970s and into the 1980s, the rainbow flag has become the symbol of the queer communities of the 1990s and beyond.

The flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978 for San Francisco’s annual gay pride parade.


Dr Robert Vivian Storer, an early Australian sex educationist and venereologist, was born in Adelaide in 1900. In the mid-1930s he practiced in London before settling permanently in Melbourne in 1939.

He was openly bisexual throughout most of his life, which is reflected in the popular sex-education books he wrote throughout the 1930s.


The Quilt, or the Australian AIDS Memorial Quilt Project to give it its full name, was founded in 1988. Inspired by an American model, it allows people who have lost loved ones, family or friends, to design and produce a memorial panel in fabric.

Each panel is unique, commemorating the individuality of the deceased with words and images which evoke particular interests or habits.