Queensland College of Arts lecturer Dr Heather Faulkner will appear at the Brisbane Writer’s Festival to celebrate the launch of her book which deals with Queensland lesbians from an era when homosexuality was still a crime.
Dr Faulkner’s book, North of the Border: Stories from the A Matter of Time Project, has captured the personal journeys of eight Queensland lesbians from that time and how they navigated an often hostile waters.
She will appear at the State Library of Queensland as a panelist for the discussion entitled, “The Right to Belong,” on September 9.
“I am more comfortable behind the camera and on the other side of the microphone, but it’s really important that LGBTIQ authors are now part of the mainstream discussion – it’s a big coup for us,” she said.
LGBTIQ story long overdue
She says documentation of Queensland’s LGBTIQ history is long overdue.
“According to the Queensland Aids Council, there are up to 370,000 Queenslanders who identify as LGBTIQ, but lesbian women are consistently underrepresented in both Queensland history and creative works. This project preserves important social history during a turning point of LGBTIQ rights in Australia,” she says.
Lyn Fraser, who features in the book and will attend the Brisbane Writer’s Festival event, says the seventies and eighties were a difficult time to identify as homosexual in Queensland.
“This girl and I, we were just friends going to the Valley. This car pulled up beside us. These young men pushed us over and called us dykes, lesbians and other names.
Being called a lesbian was a big deal
“I think being called a lesbian isn’t a big deal now, but at the time it was such a big deal to be called any sort of homosexual name.”
“I love Queensland to bits. But at that time we were four million years behind everyone else,” she says.
The book is the print outcome of the A Matter of Time project— previously exhibited at the Brisbane Powerhouse and Museum of Brisbane. Dr Faulkner hopes to develop the project further and produce a documentary film.
Dr Faulkner will also speak at a symposium about the rights of LGBTIQ Queenslanders on 14 September – sharing the stage with Queensland’s Attorney-General the Hon Yvette D’Ath MP.
The first edition of the book will be available this month through University of Western Australia Publishing.