LGBTIQ

happy mardi gras banner on NNC - 2017 thumbnail

Marriage Equality Forums Volunteers Library Collections Vale Peter Bonsall-Boone Feel The Love

Council is working hard to promote inclusion for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) communities.

The Inner West occupies a central place in Australia’s LGBTIQ history.

All three of the former Council’s that comprise the Inner West (Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville) endorse support for marriage equality and engage LGBTIQ communities in events and consultations such as the Feel the Love Mardi Gras Reception, Wear It Purple Day and an annual forum. Rainbow flags are raised every year to show support for diversity and the benefits it brings to the local community.

Inner West Council is made up of communities where there is a strong spirit of cooperation, trust and pride.

Check back on this page shortly to find out more about our past, our present and our future.

Marriage Equality

Inner West Council will fly rainbow flags from its key buildings throughout the voting period for the same-sex marriage postal survey to serve as a reminder to residents to make sure they vote and signal Council's support for marriage equality.

Rainbow flags will fly above key council buildings from 12 September - when enrolled voters will start receiving their voting forms, until November 7 – when all forms must be received back by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Forums

Rainbow Roundtable 2017

Members of the LGBTIQ communities have come together to discuss emerging issues and talk about local initiatives.  This has provided an opportunity for the local LGBTIQ community to contribute their ideas and views into Council's decision making process.

This year's Rainbow Roundtable was hosted by Jordan Raskopoulos and covered issues such as:

  • Bullying and Harassment
  • Health and Mental Health
  • Social Isolation
  • Access to appropriate services/programs

Stay tuned to find out what the outcomes were discussed and how you can work with Council to assist in these areas.

Any enquiries to Lyn Milne on: 9335 2143 or lyn.milne@innerwest.nsw.gov.au.

More about our host, Jordan Raskopoulos 

JordanJordan is a world class comedian, actor, singer and digital content creator.  She is best known for her work as the front woman for comedy rock band The Axis of Awesome.

Jordan came out as a transgender woman in February 2016 on the Axis' YouTube channel with a funny yet touching video titled What's Happened to Jordan's Beard?  In the video Jordan explained the reason for her absent facial hair with grace and humour.

Since then Jordan has become a role model to young trans people.  She has brought transgender issues into her comedy routines and live performances.  She has promoted awareness and understanding to a broad audience through humour.  Her song about the trans experience The Elephant in the Room has reached over 180,000 people online and speaks straight to the hearts of trans people and allies alike.

Jordan has written about transgender issues and spoken about her personal experience for numerous publications and media programs, including The Project, Archer Magazine and junkee.com and is an outspoken voice for trans rights and representation.  She has become an inspiration to young LGBTQIA+ people by living her genuine life, openly and publicly and being an outspoken campaigner for progress and understanding.

Volunteers

LGBTIQ Working Group 

From left to right: Curtis Dickson, Margaret Bernard, Teresa Savage, Laurel Walter, Richard Pearson (Inner West Council Administrator), Judi Muller (away) 

Congratulations to the Feel the Love 2017 - LGBTIQ Working Group for their contribution to the Inner West LGBTIQ community.  They were recently awarded the 'Volunteer Teem/Group of the Year' award at the Amy Large Volunteer Awards.  If you're interested in joining the award winning group to assist with future events and programs, please get in touch.

Any enquiries to Lyn Milne on: 9335 2143 or lyn.milne@innerwest.nsw.gov.au.

LGBTIQ Library Collections

The Inner West Library service has developed significant collections of LGBTIQ items for our community, including fiction, non-fiction, DVD's and graphic novels.  The collection is aimed at being inclusive with relevant adult non-fiction topics such as:

  • raising gay children
  • being Christian and gay
  • coming out
  • transgender teenagers
  • history of gay and lesbian activism in Australia and the world
  • HIV
  • bullying
  • gay and lesbian marriage guides
  • gay and lesbian parenting guides

For the catalogue, visit the Inner West Council Library page.

Vale Peter Bonsall-Boone (Bon)

BonIt is with sadness that Council notes the passing of Peter Bonsall-Boone, a tireless community volunteer and an important figure in the history of LGBTIQ rights in Sydney.

Bon was a true pioneer activist and fighter for equality who was there with his partner Peter at the very first Mardi Gras in 1978. (Bon was charged with a criminal offence after the police crackdown.)

They were proud and active members of the "78-ers" group.

Long-term residents of Balmain, Bon and Peter, were also:

  • Foundation members of Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP), which changed the history of homosexuality in Australia, eventually leading to homosexual law reform, anti-discrimination legislation and even the current push for marriage equality.  All these advances began with CAMP.
  • Founders of Phone-a-Friend, the first gay and lesbian counselling service in Australia.
  • Active supporters of the Gay Rights Lobby.
  • Active members of Sydney's Pride History Group.
  • The first gay couple in Australia to kiss on TV, when they featured on ABC TV's Chequerboard in 1972.

Bon was also:

  • Principal co-ordinator and trainer with Community Support Network (CSN) which was set up in response to the AIDS crisis.  CSN was eventually folded into the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON).
  • A much-beloved reader on Radio for the Print Handicapped (2RPH) for over 30 years.
  • An active Christian and organise of some skill, playing and acting as choir master at various churches from 1953.

Bon, who passed away on Friday 19 May, was sad he and his partner of 50 years were never able to wed.  Not long before he died he said, "It looks like we missed the boat".

Feel The Love

Inner West Council proudly supports the diversity of our LGBTIQ Community.Mardi Gras Heart

Each year Council recognises and celebrates the month of Mardi Gras through our fabulous Mardi Gras Reception in February, Feel the Love.

Council also proudly opens the month of Mardi Gras by raising Rainbow Flags and banners on Balmain Town Hall, Ashfield Civic Centre and Newtown Neighbourhood Centre.

2017 marked the fifth annual Feel the Love Reception and was organised in partnership with the Inner West Council LGBTIQ Working Group.

Feel the Love Inner West 2017, themed ‘Get Connected’ united all of the LGBTIQ Communities from the former Council areas of Leichhardt, Marrickville and Ashfield.  Our celebrations included a representation of many Inner West services and organisations (of all shapes and sizes).

For further information, please contact Council’s Community Project Consultant, Josie Leeson at josie.leeson@innerwest.nsw.gov.au.

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