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Since when were drag queens for kids?

By Tim O'Hare - posted Wednesday, 15 January 2020


A group of Young Liberal students crashed a 'Drag Queen Storytime' event at the Brisbane City Council Library and chanted 'drag queens are not for kids.'

This event was widely condemned on social media with Liberal National Party Councillor Vicki Howard claiming that the protest was 'completely inappropriate'.

University of Queensland Union President Ethan Van Roo Douglas said he was 'deeply disturbed' by reports of the protest.

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Really? It was just a couple of conservative students protesting the use of a public amenity to host a contentious event, which is a legitimate concern.

Surely phrases like 'deeply disturbed' should be reserved for horrendous crimes or the horrors of war, what these students did was protest a public event.

Van Roo Douglas went on to say that the UQ Union expects that 'all union office bearers publicly conduct themselves in a manner which does not reflect negatively on the students they represent or violate the responsibilities enshrined within the Union Constitution'.

This seems a tad totalitarian.

The protest happened off campus and, while most of the people involved were members of the UQ Liberal National Club, this seems less an official club event and more a group of like-minded members of the club going off and protesting on their weekends.

The UQ Union President went on to say that the Union would consider'further response at earliest opportunity'.

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Just what would 'further response' entail? Suspending the protesters from any official positions in the club? Freezing the funds of the UQ Liberal National Club? Disaffiliating it from campus?

This would set a dangerous precedent where members of clubs affiliated to the UQ Union were expected to accord with the amorphous values of the UQ Constitution even when conducting themselves off campus and outside formal club meetings.

When defending themselves from the subsequent media onslaught, members of the UQ Liberal National Club stressed that they 'stayed outside the room in which it was being held, waited until it was over to make our point, did not respond to the insults which were hurled at us, and left when directed by security'.

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Disclaimer: I began writing this before news of Wilson Gavin's tragic death was made public. As the story was still developing when I submitted this article for publication, I have not commented on it and wish to extend my deepest condolences to Wilson Gavin’s family and friends. Instead this article is about the event which sparked the outrage and the considerations around the ensuing controversy. 



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About the Author

Tim O'Hare is a Brisbane-based, History graduate from the University of Queensland. He is a freelance commentator on political and cultural issues with specific reference to economics, education and free speech. Along with his commentary on social media, online publications and blogging he also finds creative expression in stand up comedy in a variety of bars in and around the Brisbane CBD.

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