Daylesford Stories: What's in a Name
Daylesford Stories: what's in a name?, filmed and produced in 2016.
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Way Back When - Consulting Historians Tiny Empire Collective
The acronym LGBTIQ or GLBTIQ and other combinations of these letters are all instantly recognisable to us. So too is the rainbow flag.
They have become symbols of diversity, and hopefully, acceptance of difference. But are these symbols merging together the identities of the different communities that they represent? What is the history and meaning of the way we name and refer to these communities. And, how did this history play out in Daylesford?
Graham Willett: Most of us today would recognise the rainbow flag as a symbol of this very diverse community that we live in. Most people though wouldn’t be able to name what the individual colours are meant to mean. They all have a meaning.
I think in the same way, it’s true when we talk about the community. There are a whole series of names that people give to themselves. And sometimes they just sort of real off LGBTI without necessarily thinking about what that might mean, what those individual bits mean, where they come from and why they matter.
The first terms that we know of that we used do describe ourselves was the word camp – C A M P. You could be camp man, camp woman, camp, camps it was fairly indiscriminate. But that was the common word, it’s the most common word until 1972 when gay liberation arrives from the United States. And then the word gay comes into use.
Anah Holland-Moore: It was a women’s town to start out with, not so much gay and lesbian as it is now. It was all the lezzos and the women.
Anneke Deutsch: It was a lesbian feminist community, that came out of – a lot of the women came out as lesbians during women’s liberation in the 1970s. I think originally we shared some experience of discrimination with gay men but we didn’t share the experience of sexism with them, so lesbian identity was always different.
Graham Willett: They often worked together gay men and lesbians, but they also worked apart. And lesbians in particular felt the need for a separate word. And really that marks a period where a whole series of new words start to evolve. As the movement evolves, as society changes, as more and more step forward to claim their rights, they start to find words to describe themselves.
Anne-Marie Banting: I grew up when there wasn’t that, there was just a gay community. The labeling wasn’t as sensitive and there wasn’t the visibility or the acceptance.
Sarah Lang: I think that’s one of the most gorgeous things about this town, is that we’ve got X amount of girls in this town, we’ve got X amount of boys, some are drag queens, some are camp, some are straight-laced, some are bears. We all love it.
Anne-Marie Banting: We have every part of our community come through here, which is wonderful. They find a safe place. I think Daylesford is a really, really good safe place.
Graham Willett: The use of the LGBTIQ is intended to acknowledge everybody else but to bind them into the same kind of political space. But it’s difficult. It’s always going to be difficult, it always has been difficult since people started using the word gay.
Sarah Lang: I can understand why especially in the earlier days, why lesbians wanted to be identified differently to gay men and why bisexuals wanted their own identity, and transgender and intersex and everybody else. I think we’re in danger however of becoming an alphabet soup and it starts to lose that meaning.
Anneke Deutsch: I think the more groups that are added, the less meaning it really has. It seems like it’s become an umbrella to anybody who’s non-heterosexual and that’s at the cost unfortunately about any information about lesbian health, lesbian ageing and to some extent, information about gay men too. So it’s a big cost I think. It means that our issues and our stories aren’t getting out there.
Anah Holland-Moore: I do think this are progressing really. I think we could do a lot more you know, so that a lot of young people aren’t traumatised and older people. Used to get a lot of suicides and things, that would be great the day all that stops.
Sarah Lang: I think it’s human nature to want to hang out with people who are just like me. Because I know then that you will get me, because you are just like me. So I think there will always be that element, and I don’t ever think that we will ever have one word that covers the whole community. And I think in a way that would be a shame as well because essentially we’re a colourful as all get out so, yeah.
Daylesford Stories: What's in a Name
Dr Gweneth Wisewould
So who was the first gay in the village?
Early Lesbian and Gay Daylesford
Daylesford Heritage Images
Story education resources
Education Daylesford Stories Education Kit
This education resource links to relevant learning outcomes in the Level 9 and Level 10 AusVELs curriculum. It utilises a range of primary sources including audio profiles, short films and images; inquiry and research-based activities as well as group work and critical discussion.