Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Australian lesbians plan a mass hand-hold to remember fights against inequality
The event will mark the conviction of two lesbians in 1976, for "obscene behaviour", just for holding hands on the tram.
Though rights have progressed in line with other countries, unlike the United Kingdom, United States, and other places, same sex marriage is still not in place in Australia.
That's despite recent polling showing that 79% of the Australian public think equal marriage should be legal.
The group of mature aged lesbians will board the number 16 tram from Melbourne CBD on October 11th.
They will hold hands as they travel through the City of Port Phillip to the St Kilda Town Hall, sharing stories of what it was like growing up lesbian in Australia many years ago.
Project Coordinator Dr. Catherine Barrett told the LGBT+ news source Pink News: "It will be an act of resistance, these older lesbians jumping on the tram to hold hands and to bring visibility".
"In Australia we tend to refer to LGBTI histories collectively - as though everyone had the same historical experiences. We want to raise awareness of the unique experiences of older lesbians", she added.
Laws around same-sex intercourse weren't completely repealed across the whole of Australia until 1997, and previous convictions only began to be expunged in the country in 2013, beginning in South Australia.
I have to say I love the tram idea! Because despite it being 2017, I'm going to guess many LGBT+ people still don't feel comfortable holding hands in public. Though I know that is dependent on factors, such as where you live, the type of area etc.
I've had partners in the past, but I never felt comfortable, despite being in a country where same sex marriage is legal, when it comes to hand holding.
To me this is completely wrong, heterosexual couples walk around holding hands all the time, it's a common sight, and it should be no different for the LGBT+ community.
The world is changing but I think we as a community need to change also.
We need to hold hands with our partners, and hopefully one day nobody will even bat and eye lid at the sight, because it will just be common practice.