City of Brisbane
Astrological chart & profile plus links for The capital of the gay & lesbian tourist destination of Queensland, Australia. Nicknamed 'Brissy,' 'Brizzy,' 'Bris Vegas' & 'Brisneyland,' the city is home to the Queen's Birthday Arts Ball, the longest continuously running annual gay celebration in the world, since 1961
astrology chart, profile, books, links
Gemini Ascendant, Libra Sun, Pisces Moon, Vesta Rising
ASTRO-DATA: 1 October 1925, 00:01 (12:01AM) AEST (10he), Brisbane, Q., Australia (27s28, 153e02). NB: While the Brisbane area was "settled" (or "invaded") by white people as a British penal colony in 1824 and named that year after Sir Thomas Brisbane, the then Governor of New South Wales, the city celebrates its birthday on October 1st, the date in 1925 when Greater Brisbane, as capital of Queensland, was amalgamated (as stated in the Courier-Mail, 2 October 1925). RR: B.
PERSONALIZED PLANETS: MARS, MERCURY, SUN (in triple conjunction
on Base), URANUS (on Midheaven), PLUTO (trine Moon, square Sun), JUPITER (square Sun, sextile Moon). PATTERNS: GRAND WATER TRINE (Pluto - Saturn / Venus - Moon / Uranus), KITE (Grand Water Trine + Jupiter), STELLIUM (Mars, Mercury, Sun, all in Libra), T-SQUARE (Jupiter opposite Pluto, both square Sun). SHAPE: SPLAY. CHINESE SIGN: WOOD OX. NUMEROLOGY: "10/1" LIFEPATH.
This big, sunny, fun-loving Libran city is the Los Angeles of the Southern Hemisphere, situated at the heart of a suburban mass that spreads almost from Byron Bay & the Gold Coast (Surfers Paradise) in the South to the Sunshine Coast (Noosa) in the North. (Brizzie's also located near The Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands). Australia's third largest city, subtropical BrizVegas lives up to its reputation as the thriving capital of the "Sunshine State" of Queensland which, due to its generally superb weather, is known as "beautiful one day, perfect the next." Inaugurated in the Chinese year of the Water Buffalo (1925), Brisbane is a laid-back city of forest-topped hills found either side of the Brisbane River and along the magnificent Moreton Bay (home to the lovely Moreton Bay Fig trees). Brisbane has an abundance of entertainment, arts, multi-cultural events, prolific social & leisure activities, and natural beauty (along with some rather camp features and events). With warm weather & sunshine virtually everyday, lovely beaches, danceclubs raging all night, and 24/7 casinos, Brisbane and the Southeast Queensland & Northeastern New South Wales regions are premier gay & lesbian tourist destinations. From Brisbane it's one hour's flight to either Sydney or the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, and two hours to Melbourne or Cairns. See the Australian Tourist Commission's Queensland Gay & Lesbian Visitor's Guide (free Pdf download) for more info, or read more below...
Gemini Ascendant: A Split Personality with Twin Landmarks
With the final degree of Gemini (Sign of the Twins) on its Ascendant, Brisbane is geographically schizo, split into expansive Northern and Southern suburban districts by the wide and meandering Brisbane River. City landmarks include the identical 1960s Gemini Towers & Gleneagles towers at New Farm, the Comalco House glass towers (1983) in the financial district, and the non-identical twin Riverside Centre & Riparian Plaza (1983 & 2005) buildings (both designed by Harry Seidler) in the same area, plus the Victoria (1969) and Captain Cook (1972) Bridges, and the identical six-lane Gateway Bridges (1986 & 2011). Brisbane's landmark Story Bridge (1940) (see Story Bridge Adventure Climb if you want to scale it) is a near copy of the Jacques Cartier Bridge (1930) in Montreal, Canada. Today the southern suburbs of the once-sleepy "big country town" of Brisbane (population now in excess of 1.8 million and rising rapidly) today join up with the northern districts of the Gold Coast (which has another half a million people) to form a massive twin city conurbation. The region has also produced an abundance of twin folk...
Brisbane has recently produced two pairs of Craniopagus twins (conjoined at the head): Tay-Lah & Monique Armstrong and Bethany & Alyssa Nolan. Each set was surgically separated in a difficult operation after birth, with the Royal Brisbane Hospital now leading world research in this field of surgery (Brainy Mars exactly conjunct Mercury square and ruling Gemini Ascendant). Brissie's
Sun (drama, stars) in conjunction with Mercury (twins) has manifested in local celebrity (identical and separate) twins including actors Gayle & Gillian Blakeney (who appeared together as sisters on tele-soapie Neighbours during the 1980s), and Lisa & Jessica Origlasso (who appear as Emerald & Sapphire, the catty twin daughters of the mayor of the "glorious metropolis of River City" in the locally-made funky 2001 t.v. series, Cybergirl). Film-makers Peter and Michael Speirig have gained international attention with their horror-sci'fi' spoof flick Undead. Mercury's placement in Libra (mirrors & relationships) may have something to do with the 'mirror-image' Briz-twins Lake & Flame, who have established Twins Realm as the first website for twins who'd like to date twins (presumably including gay & lesbian twins)! Although one has passed away, the octogenarian Pink Twins (Dorothy and Moyia) were local Brisbane identities.
Mercury Rules: Drag Kings & Drag Queens
Mercury is the planet most often associated in Astrology with transgender folk. With this planet ruling Brisbane's Ascendant from an angle, the city has a remarkable history of transgender activism, social events and colourful characters. Brisbane's annual Queen's Birthday Arts Ball (which incidentally is organised by my former high school art teacher, drag queen extraordinaire, Dame Sybil Thorndyke) has been an institution since 1962, when it started out at Mt Tambourine. Meanwhile, Tamara Tonight (Tuesday & Saturday nights on community TV, Briz 31), hosted by the gorgeous drag queen Tamara (see Left), has been the longest-running community television show in Australia, and the longest-running drag show of its type on the globe. When she stood for the Brisbane City Council elections in 2000, the ever-popular Ms Tonite received third place; subsequently having to do battle to enter the federal
political arena. Tamara was following in the footsteps of local transgender identity, Toye de Wilde, who had previously stood for government.
Gender illusionist Vanessa Wagner (of Big Brother fame) seems to divide her time between Byron and Sydney. Gay icon Kylie Minogue once said "there's a boy in Brisbane who does Kylie better than Kylie." Today, Millie Minogue has moved on to Kylie's hometown of Melbourne and even appeared in an episode of tv's Stingers. Courtney Act (as in "caught-in-the-act") has also been mistaken for Kylie. The alter ego of Brisbane-born gender illusionist and singer Shane Jenek, Courtney Act was a semi-finalist on primetime television show, Australian Idol.
English-born Peter Moselle (1926?-2003) was the star of "Les Girls" at the Chevron Hotel on the Gold Coast.
Brisbane also has a local group of drag king performers known as the Twang Gang (see right). The gang provides the LGBIQ, ATSI and Youth communities with a platform to 'Experience Empowerment through Entertainment,' in drug and alcohol-free stage productions. The Twangs promote, encourage and provide a safe healthy and social environment within which the LGBIQ, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI), Youth and broader communities can explore community life. Crew members include ringleader Rock Hard (Dita Brooke), Tricky Mystery Bound, Frosty Boi, Puss My Licky, Bon apiteet, Spitfire, Ty Sunn and Lessus Moore. The Twang Gang have their very own fashion label, LiQHer Costumes and Accessories, by designer Mary Alexander. As Brooke (Hard) says, the Twang Gang takes "gender illusion to the extreme by taking an holistic approach to the[ir] productions and giving audiences from around the world the best eye candy in the universe!" (qtd in "Quirky"). Go check them out for yourselves!
Grand Water Trine: A Water-Lover's Paradise
Brisbane's suburbs are mostly located on the mainland along the whale-watching waters of Moreton Bay (which is several times the size of Sydney Harbour), with outer beach suburbs on Stradbroke, Moreton, and Bribie islands. The financial district (with a mini-marina) is centred 13km upstream from the Bay on the Brisbane River. Glorious beaches (and canal estates) on these islands and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts extend some 300km along the Pacific Ocean. Noosa is the most northerly (and thus warmest) place in Australia that has surf waves because from there on the Great Barrier Reef forms an off-coastal wave-flattener. The area has numerous waterfalls along with inland lakes on the islands & Great Dividing Range, including the magnificent Lake Manchester (a great picnic spot).
Riverwalk & City-cats
Postcard views of inner Brisbane can be enjoyed by strolling along the Brisbane Riverwalk (see map), a series of over 20km of walkways & cycle paths along the north and south banks of the meandering river. From the north-west, Riverwalk passes from Toowong, past Milton & Auchenflower, under and along the hideous expressway roads, past the Queensland University of Technology, then via the charming old botanical gardens (with its mangrove boardwalk & mini-marina), through the Riverside district (skyscrapers), under the cliffs and below the Storey Bridge (lit up in fairy-lights at night), then along the floating pontoon section to New Farm, New Farm park, the Powerhouse, Tennerife, Newstead, and Breakfast Creek. From the south-west, Riverwalk starts at Orleigh Park in West End, then skirts along South Brisbane, under the rail bridge, past the Cultural Centre, below the Vistoria Bridge, along Southbank Parklands and the cliffwalk (with picnic & abseiling facilities), along a boardwalk with gazebos-over-the-water, then through Kangaroo Point, and under the Story Bridge to the Dockside apartment complex. Cross the river by the bridges mentioned or by the quaint little ferries that connect major hubs. Riverwalk will eventually be extended to the main St Lucia campus of the University
of Queensland, and to Bulimba. For now, these and the other destinations along riverwalk can be reached via a trip on the cute "CityCat" high-speed catamaran ferries that ply the river along the its busiest stretch (see Right). The CityCats and other ferries provide inexpensive and scenic tours of these sights and districts.
North-south streets are named after Kings and east-west streets are names after Queens. The major thoroughfare and shopping area, Queen Street, starts at Victoria Bridge and the 24-hour Treasury Casino, turns into a pedestrian mall, then passes the General Post Office, and ends at the Customs House (more below) at the other end of the bend in the River. The Queen Street Mall is connected to Adelaide and Elizabeth Streets by various shopping throughfares, including Elizabeth Arcade (funky fashion & food) & the lovely Art Deco Brisbane Arcade (1923). Bookshops are located on Elizabeth, Albert, and Charlotte Streets. The Albert Street avenue connects the old Botanical
Gardens (1855) with the new Roma Street Parklands, via King George Square and the City Hall (more below). The Riverside Centre hosts street markets on Sundays. Between the city centre and New Farm is Fortitude Valley (known as "the Valley"), which contains Chinatown (Dixon Street Mall & Wickham St), the Brunswick Street Mall (with market stalls on the weekend), and nightclubs including major gay venues: The Wickham Hotel & Cockatoo Club. Anne St has funky clothing shops, Brunswick Street has gelleries, and the nearby James Street Market has fresh produce, upmarket eateries & bars, the Palace cinemas, and furniture design shops.
On the northside, Toowong is a university student suburb centred around the lovely Regatta Hotel and High Street shops. Milton has an upmarket cafe stretch called Savior Faire. New Farm is the main gay area (cafes, etc, along Brunswick & Moray Streets). New Farm park has rose gardens and jacaranda trees, and adjoins the Brisbane Powerhouse (see below). Tennerife is a warehouse apartment area with cafes and the Sol Breads bakery. Newstead House & the Breakfast Creek Hotel are heritage & tourist sites. Upmarket Hamilton (hilltop mansions) and Ascot (cafe stretch) can be reached by foot from Breakfast Creek, or by CityCat hydrofoil (to Bretts Wharf).
On the Southside, West End (Melbourne, Boundary, & Vulture Streets, and Hardgrave Road) is a multicultural district with a lively (Asian & Mediterranean) cafe & restaurant scene, & bookshops. South Brisbane houses the Queensland Cultural Centre, (I think) a rather box-like series of buildings including the State Library, State Art Gallery, Queensland Museum ("Elliot" is Australia's biggest dinosaur skeleton), and Lyric Theatre (see more about them below). The pretty Southbank Parklands has hectares (acres) of palm and frangipani trees, riverside cafes, and a swimming lagoon & Beach (overlooking the Western city skyline). The top of the cliffwalk provides unsurpassed views of the skyline with the Mt Cootha hillscape in the background. Kangaroo Point is mostly a high-rise apartment district (topped by the Dockside complex), but also includes the historic Story Bridge Hotel. Oxford Street in Bulimba is a restaurant, cafe, junkshop, pub, and cinema strip.
Areas of interest on the Sunshine Coast include Hastings Street in Noosa (upmarket eating, books and boutiques), Alexandra Headlands (cafes, bookshops overlooking the Pacific Ocean), and Maleny-Montville (hinterland hilltop towns). The Gold Coast has glitzy Surfers Paradise (massive apartment towers, Japanese & other food, boutiques), and Coolangatta (retro shops, cafes).
With its subtropical climate, Brisbane provides several year-round outdoor swimming pools (heated in winter). The 1950s Centenary Pool is a favourite. This region has produced some of the world's fastest swimmers including the original 'superfish' Keiran Perkins, Susie 'Madame Butterfly' O'Neill, Samantha Riley, and Grant Hackett.
Angular Sun: Endless Golden Sand & Sunshine
With the Sun located at the base of Brisbane's chart, one of this city's fundamental natural attractions is its sunny climate and brilliant blue skies that can appear for weeks on end. This near-perfect year-long al fresco weather can be enjoyed at the many fantastic beaches that surround the city. Apart from the artificial (but nice) lagoon at Southbank that overlooks the River and financial district (see Right), there are glorious beaches along the Morteon Bay Islands to the East and the Sunshine Coast (including Noosa) to the North, while the Miami-esque international resort of the Gold Coast to the South has a 40km (30 mile?) strip of fine golden sand including the world-famous Surfers Paradise beach. Unoffical gay (nude) beaches are found at Noosa National Park (north of Brisbane at the Sunshine Coast) and King's Beach at Byron Bay (south). Winter days are sunny, making the beaches pleasant every season, though in June the ocean water is a bit too cool for swimming!
But take note. With the Sun at the apex of a T-square (with deadly Pluto and carefree Jupiter) Brisbane is the capital of a region that has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, so remember to
"slip, slop, slap" (wear a shirt, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses), stay out of the direct midday Sun, and play it safe outdoors!!
Uranus Conjunct Moon: Unique Architecture
With a 4th House focus in its chart, Brizzie is a very "liveable" city. Moreover, because of its Uranus-Moon conjunction, Brisbane is characterised by a unique form of domestic architecture: the sub-tropical "Queenslander"
house (see Left). These weatherboard-timber buildings are highset on stumps to avoid floodwaters, with enclosed wide verandas under a corrugated iron roof (Mars) thus providing a comfortable escape from the heat (Sun) by taking advantage of sea breezes (Mercury). Since the 1970s, the renovation of these quaint houses has seen urban renewal of inner suburbs such as Bulimba, Hawthorne, East Brisbane, Kangaroo Point (Kurilpa), New Farm, Red Hill, Paddington, Spring Hill & West End.
Triple Libra Conjunction: Art, Beauty & "Briz-bands" behind the Banana Curtain
Brizbands & Music Festivals
As a pre-teen I grew up with Railroad Gin (fronted by Carol Lloyd, "Australia's First Lady of Rock") on the radio, and from my mid-teens saw live performances by what Toxico calls Early Punk Brisbands 1977-82: including The End, Go-Betweens, Leftovers, Pork, Xero > Zero > Ziro>, Razar, and The Saints (with Chris Bailey). Others I don't remember seeing but remember hearing on 4ZZZ include Tex Deadly and the Dum Dums (fronted by Greg "Tex" Perkins).
The 1980s brought Died Pretty (1984-2002), fronted by the rather queer Ron Peno, while 1990s briz pop-bands include George, Powderfinger, Regurgitator, & Savage Garden (Darren Hayes has now gone solo). To hear some of these brizbands try the CD, 4ZZZ, Behind the Banana Curtain, 1975-2000, or listen to them at Inner City Sound. Keith Urban grew up in outer-suburban Caboolture.
Local musical festivals include the Big Day Out (Gold Coast, begun in Brisbane, January?), East Coast Blues and Roots Festival (Byron Bay, April), Splendour in the Grass (Byron Bay, July), Queensland Music Festival ("the largest music festival in Australia and the largest festival, geographically, in the world!") (statewide, July), Valley Fiesta (Brisbane, July), the Ekka (Brisbane, August), Country Music Muster (Gympie, August), Riverfestival (Brisbane, August-September), and (Biennial) Brisbane Festival (in September in even years).
Triple-Libra Symbolism: Arbours, Bridges & Other Beautiful Arches
Curiously, the facade of the typical Queenslander house (see Above), along
with the Brisbane Council's City Hall logo resemble the glyph for Libra (). The horizontal line of the verandah of the Queenslander and the hemispherical outline of its decorative lintel corresponding with those of the Libra symbol. Other city landmarks that correspond with the arched shape of the Libra glyph include the Storey
Bridge (1940, an upside down metal arch delineated by fairy lights!), the spiky pedestrian Goodwill
Bridge (2001), and the groovy
(2000). The longest structure of its type in the world, the Dr-Seuss-ish arbour (see Right) is covered year-round in "camp" pinky-magenta bougainvillea. Each October, as the Sun crosses the city's Libran stellium on it's birthday, the jacarandas bloom, bathing the suburbs in frilly lavender, along with the red of the flame trees and the gold of the silky oaks. Fragrantly gorgeous!
Venus in Scorpio in 5th House: A Powerhouse of Performance Art
With Venus in Scorpio (the sign of power) in the 5th House (and ruling that
House associated with drama), Brisbane is a major centre for live arts. The Brisbane Powerhouse (2000, see Right), which is an indoor and outdoor theatre complex housed in a restored industrial building (1926-40) on the river beside New Farm Park, is home to the unique Vulcana
Women's Circus, "a community based, non-profit, vibrant feminist organisation,
which celebrates, inspires and empowers women through the learning, teaching and
performance of contemporary circus and physical theatre." Kick-arse cool!
The Queensland Performing Arts Centre is found at Southbank, while smaller theatres include La Boite, Nash, Princess,
Tivoli & The Cement Box.
Jupiter at the Head of a Kite: Biggest, Widest, Tallest, & Fastest
With the largest (non-luminary) planet (Jupiter) in Capricorn (a sign which likes to reach for the heights), Brisbane continually strives to grow outwards and upwards. With its delightful climate, Brisbane has attracted many new residents from interstate and overseas thus remaining not only the fastest growing Australian capital city for many years but also the second fastest-growing major city in the world (after Phoenix, Arizona). It forms the nexus of a conurbation of urban coastal development that stretches between the Great Dividing Range mountains and the Pacific Ocean almost from Byron Bay in N.S.W. to beyond Noosa in Queensland (along some 300km or 200? miles of coastline). An attractive climate combined with an abundance of space available for urbanisation (between hills and coast), mean that this region is experiencing "Los Angelisation" on a par unknown in Australia. As this development continues unabated the "Brisbane Corridor" (Sunshine Coast-Brisbane-Gold Coast) is becoming one of the most spread-out conurbations in the world, but one with a very low relative density of population.
Brisbane and the Gold Coast are connected by the 8-lane Pacific Motorway. Considering its size, South East Queensland has an efficient public transport including an electric train service (Queensland Rail) with about 200 stations, connecting Greater Brisbane suburbs, the Brisbane Airport, the Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast.
From mid 2004, a new "smartcard" ticketing service will mean that the South-East Queensland public transport system covers the largest land mass of any such integrated system in the world.
Try Maleny & GlassHouse Mountains (Sunshine Coast), Mt Cootha & Mt Nebo (Brisbane), Mt Tambourine (Gold Coast), and O'Reilly's Treetop Walk for spectacular rainforest-mountain-city-ocean views over the region.
The South East Queensland region has Australia's largest concentration of theme parks including SeaWorld, MovieWorld, Dreamworld (including the Big Brother House), Underwater World, and Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter)'s Australia Zoo. As the tourist base for this region, Brisbane is at the heart of some of the world's biggest and tallest attractions (ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous), including the Big Pineapple, and Lone Park (the world's largest koala sanctuary). Moreton island has the world's highest sand dunes (great to toboggan down).
Because the city centre is contained within a small bend in the river, Brisbane has the highest density clump of skyscrapers in Australia, soon to be topped by the 79-level Vision tower (2010, a "vertical village" with Brisbane's first observation deck, located on levels 60 and 61). Other tall buildings include the 40-level Riverside Centre (1986), 48-level Central Plaza 1 (1988), 40-level Waterfront Place (1989), 39-level River City Apartments (2003), 40-level Felix (2004), 39-level Casino Towers (2005), 53-level Riparian Plaza (2005), 41-level Festival Towers (2006), 69-level Aurora (2006), 47-level Skyline Apartments (2007), 41-level Charlotte Towers (2007), 37-level Brisbane Square (2007), 46-level M on Mary (2008) & 37-level Evolution (2008). Along with Vision, future "supertowers" (that include a mix of office, apartment and hotel space) will include the 68-storey Empire Square and the landmark 70-level Trilogy complex (topped with a 13-level solar-powered lantern). The 44-level "organic" One One One Eagle Street office tower is also currently under construction, while the 50-odd-storeyed twin towers of the French Quarter (overlooking the city botanic gardens) will house a 6-star hotel, residential apartments, retail and commerical space.
The Gold Coast has Australia's only Manhattan-esque & Miami-esque skyline, with several kilometres of highrise apartment blocks centred on Surfers Paradise. Those over 40 levels include Sun City, Crown Towers, the Penthouse, 72-level Circle on Cavill (2007) and Q1 (2005, the world's tallest residential tower) at Surfers Paradise. Future Gold Coast skyscrapers include the Hilton and 77-level Soul.
In Bris Vegas, the Treasury Casino is housed in a heritage building that takes up an entire city block, while the Gold Coast's Jupiters casino is as tacky as any.
Jupiter in Capricorn placed in (and ruling) the 7th House indicates a city that would come to the world's attention through shared sporting & business activities, and indeed Brizzie came to world prominence when it hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1982 (with the hideously-kitch giant winking "Matilda" kangaroo as mascot). EXPO 88 followed (with its site now revitalised as Southbank). Ted Turner's rather lacklustre Friendship Games were held for the first (and maybe the last) time outside of the USA when hosted by Brisbane in 2001. Contact sports are also indicated by Jupiter's placement in the 7th, and as such Brizzie is the world headquarters for the gladiatorial game of
Rugby League football, with its home at the (Lang Park)
As the Australian capital city closest to the Asia-Pacific region, multicultural Brisbane is particularly noted for the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, and its Chinatown. The three main Buddhist temples in the city include Chung Tian, where you can get one of the world's best vegan lunches for free (donations welcome)!
Uranus in Pisces on the Midheaven: Far-Out, Kooky and Kinky Stars
Queer folk born (or bred, or based) in Bris Vegas (or the wider Queensland region) include actor Bille Brown (from Biloela in the Banana Shire), cabaret diva Judi Connelli (life partner of Suzanne Johnston), Zimbabwe-born fashion-designer Richard de Chazal (see his zodiac series of mythological male nude pix at left), Alasdair Duncan (author of gay teen novel Sushi Central), stage goddess Christine Johnston, Aries television celebrity Bernard King, Aboriginal Ipswich-born Wayne King (author of Black Hours), Brian Lucas (Chunky Move performer), acclaimed writer David Malouf, chef Christine
Manfield, C.C. Saint-Clair ("the thinking woman's lesbian romance novelist"), P.L. Travers (1899-1996, bisexual author of Mary Poppins fame), & photographer William Yang.
Queer Brisbane-influenced artists include Donald Friend (1915-89) and bisexual Jon Molvig (1923-70). Local peformance artiste, Luke Roberts (a.k.a. Her Divine Holiness
the "Spiritual Leader" of the I.M.A.)
was raised in rural Alpha, while
hails from the Gold Coast. Tracey Moffatt explores issues of race, sex, and gender in her work. Her voyeuristic short film, Heaven captures surfie guys stripping off their gear, while her Laudanum series of photogravures a young Asian servant girl and her Caucasian Victorian mistress are charges with passion & power.
Kristy Apps, singer/songwriter,
Peter Hicks, and
and dance-music maker, Willow, have made their
marks on the Aussie music scene.
Other Queensland actors of note include Jacinda Barrett (who began her screen career as Medea in Hercules & who snogs Renee Zellweger in the Bridget Jones sequel), thespian Carol Burns (feisty butch dyke,
in queer cult television drama series Prisoner
a.k.a. Prisoner Cellblock H), Ray Barrett (voice of the gorgeous John Tracy in cult puppet-animation series, The Thunderbirds), Michael Caton (who co-stars with Paul Hogan as a gay impersonator in Strange Bedfellows), Diane Cilento (Molly in Tom Jones), Aboriginal-Maori actor Deborah Mailman (who co-stars in queer TV's The Secret Life of Us), Miranda Otto (Sapphic Katherine in "The Well"), and Geoffrey Rush (quite queer in Lantana and as the Marquis de Sade in Quills), and Kym Wilson (who sparked some lesbian interest through her role as the tattooed Sam Robinson in Heartbreak High). Simon Baker (star of The Guardian) worked the catwalks as a model in Brizzie in the late 1980s before his start in TV (and queer role in L.A. Confidential). Director, PJ Hogan (Peter Pan) is another local. And how could we ever forget tthat adorably-gruff hand-puppet, Agro (Jamie Dunn)...
Brisbane produced one of the most famous astrologers, namely Ivy M. Goldstein-Jacobson (B. Ivy Martha Marie Goldstein, 1893-1990), who moved to the USA as a child, later writing many influential astro-books. Contemporary South-East Queensland astrologers include Kurt Matson & Steve Jolley of Mt Nebo (co-authors of the funky and informative Grounded Heavens astro-diary & website), while Vogue Sun-Sign columnist Athena Starwoman (194?-2004) lived on the Gold Coast (get her books here). After completing his PhD on gay spirutuality at the University of Queensland, astrologer and former Brisbaneite Rollan McCleary became the subject of international media interest in 2003 due to his claim that Jesus was gay (get his books here).
Pluto Rising at the Kite's Tail: Same-Sex Brides & "Lesbian Vampire Killers"
According to the biography, Love Match, Martina Navratilova & Judy Nelson exchanged vows and rings in an empty church in Ann Street in Brisbane (in 1984?). When Expo '88 brought Brisbane to the world's attention, one of the ambassadors of the event (the envoy to Japan) was Ethel May 'Monte' Punshon (1882-1989), an openly-lesbian centenarian human rights activist, then aged 105 (see Right). The next year, Brisbane was the focus of international tabloid "lesbian vampire killer" stories, after a woman identified as lesbian murdered a man, and reportedly drank his blood. The event is discussed in the book Vampire Killer, in a thesis about her and Aileen Wuornos' trials, and in a chapter in the book Moving Targets. In 1998, two teenage women (who formerly had been lovers) attempted a "thrill-kill" attack on a woman in the Noosa National Park, leading to reports of "Teenage Satanists" and "Sadistic Lesbian teenagers."
Brisbane was one of the destinations in the American TV show, The Amazing Race #4 (2003). Along with the other remaining contestants, "married" gay couple Reichen and Chip scaled down the Travelodge building, dived among the sharks and stingrays at Underwater World at Mooloolaba, and visited the Australian Woolshed at Ferny Hills, before flying to Cairns. The UK reality show, I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is set on the nearby Queensland-NSW border.
updated May 2008
Big Gay Day (March) - Brisbane Queer Film Festival (May-June) - Brisbane Pride Festival (including Queen's Birthday Arts Ball, Street Parade & Fair, etc, throughout June) - Sleazeball (Oct/Nov)
4ZZZ Queer Radio - Dykes on Mikes (lesbian radio) - Lemonkind (online lesbian media) - Q News (fortnightly) - Queensland Pride (fortnightly) - Gay Queensland (online)
Twang Gang (drag kings)
Wickham Hotel (gay & lesbian nightclub) -
Sportsman Hotel (mostly gay men's pub, drag queen cabarets, food & accommodation) - Family (mixed straight & gay nightclub; gay "Fluffy" dance club on Sunday nights) - Cockatoo Club (gay/drag queen area upstairs at The Beat nightclub) - Mint Cocktail Bar (lesbian) - Meeting Place (Gold Coast)
MIXED (Gay & Straight) VENUES: Fringe Bar, GPO & Monastery - Clock Hotel
SOCIAL GROUPS [MIXED]:
Diving Divas (Scuba Club) - Fraser Gays (Fraser Island Coast) - Gay & Lesbian Business Network - Lesbian and Gay Pride Choir - Team Brisbane (sports) - Tropical Fruits (Northern NSW) -
[WOMEN'S]: City Lickers - Club Phoenix - OWLS - Chameleons on the Coast - Feathers
[MEN'S]: Boot Co - BrisBears - Oz (Radical) Faeries - Sunboys (nude men)
MEN'S SAUNAS & SPAS
Bodyline - Den (Brisbane & Gold Coast) - Klub Kruise - Wet - Hideaway Resort (Sunshine Coast) - Club R (Surfers Paradise) - Head Office CBD (Cairns)
SAFE SEX, HIV-AIDS INFO: Queensland Association for Healthy Communities(QAHC) - QLD Positive People - Poz (magazine)
TRANSGENDER: Australian Transgender Support Association Queensland (ATSAQ) - Changeling Aspects
TRAVEL & INFO GUIDES
Byron Gay - Byron Girls (Byron Bay) - OziGay (Byron Bay)
Angus & Robertson -
Australian Art (QAG & GoMA) -
Avid Reader -
Book Garden (kids) -
Charing Cross -
Circling Winds -
Comics Etc -
Dymocks - Emma's -
Folio - Lloyds (rare) -
Mary Ryan's -
McGills (technical) -
Mulligan's - Napoleon's -
Pulp Fiction (sci fi) - QBD - Read's (rare) -
Spica (astrology) -
University of Qld -
Abraxas (New Age, Byron Bay) - Capers (Maleny)
VEGETARIAN & VEGAN
Aimee Angel (Inala Plaza) - Bouncing Olive (Logan, Home Delivery) - Cardamom Pod (Byron Bay) - Chung Tian Temple (Rochedale, vegan) - City Wok (Elizabeth Arcade, vegt-friendly) - The Forest Food Lounge (West End, vegan) - Fundies Whole Foods Cafe (Veg-friendly Paddington) - Govinda's - Kuan-Yin Tea House - Magic Apple (Mermaid Beach) - Pizza Patch (vegan, Mermaid Beach) - Tian Ran (Mermaid Beach) - Yami's Cafe (Brunswick Heads) - Vegasm (Byron Bay) - Vegetarian/Vegan Society of Queensland - Brisbane Markets (Rocklea).
WEBCAMS: frodocam (see peregrine falcons & chicks nesting on a high-rise building), gateway bridge, ipswich, koala & kangaroo, logan village, qtcu, pan project, (thunder)storms, willowbank
WHAT'S ON: Brisbane 24/7 - Brisbane Tourism - Lonely Planet Brisbane - Brisbane City Search - Our Brisbane - Brisbane @ Answers
Planetarium; Botanic Gardens; Mt Cootha lookout, Australia Zoo.
Libra Stellium: Leading Art Venues
The Gallery of Modern Art ("GoMA," 2006) is the largest gallery of its type in Australia, a standing testament to Brisbane's burgeoning arts scene. The nearby Queensland Art Gallery (1895) is also located in the Queensland Cultural Centre precinct. GoMA and QAG house works by renowned queer artists such as Chilean-Australian Juan Davila. Dell Gallery @ QCA (Griffith University) is also at SOUTHBANK. Other major galleries ... CITY CENTRE: Museum of Brisbane (in the iconic City Hall), QUT Art Museum (near the Botanical Gardens), Customs House Art Gallery (Stuartholme Behan Collection of Australian Art to the mid-20th Century), Metro Arts; FORTITUDE VALLEY-NEWSTEAD-TENERIFFE: Andrew Baker (contemporary/indigenous), Doggett Street Studio, Fire-Works (Australian indigenous art), Fusion (ceramics), Jan Murphy, Soapbox, Celestial Galleries (glass studio), Philip Bacon, Institute of Modern Art in the Judith Wright Centre; SUBURBAN: Gallery 482 (Ashgrove/Ascot), Qld Centre for Photography (Bulimba), The James and Mary Emelia Mayne Centre (University of Queensland's Art Museum, St Lucia) (post-1930s Australian Art), Manly Gallery (Qld art). REGIONAL galleries include Ipswich's Global Arts Link, the Sunshine Coast's Noosa Gallery, and the Gold Coast Arts Centre.
Neptune in Leo: Warm & Sunny Films
The Powerhouse hosts the Brisbane Queer Film Festival (in June). Queer films also screen at the annual Brisbane International Film Festival (at the Art Deco Regent Theatre) and the
Brisbane International Animation Festival. Other cinemas include the Birch, Carroll and Coyle / Greater Union chain, Bulimba/Hawthorne,
Dendy George Street (1940s, see Left) & Dendy Portside, Eldorado, Palace Centro, Regal Twin, & GoMA's Cinematheque regularly screen other GLBT film & video productions. Films set in South East Queensland include Davida Allen's Feeling Sexy (Brisbane), Swimming Upstream (set in Brisbane in the 1950s), and sci-fi horror-flick Undead (Brisbane), Gettin' Square (Surfers Paradise), and Coolangatta Gold (Gold Coast). Andrew Leavold's Lesbo-A-Go-Go is his 'Bris Vegas' film tribute to the queen of 1960s exploitation, Doris Wishman. Lesbo was made for $700 over eight months, and stars folk from the local music scene, and has ten Australian bands on the soundtrack. Leavold runs the cult Trash Video rental and sales store in West End.
TV series set in Brizzie include Medivac, and Fire, while Pacific Drive & the Australian Big Brother series are set on the Gold Coast.