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For the Sydney Mardi Gras the TAP Gallery in Surry Hills is hosting a new exhibition on LGBTI service in the Australian Defence Force since World War II. It is open from Tuesday 27 February to Sunday 4 March 2018. Don’t miss out!

About the exhibition

In November 1992, the Australian government overturned a longstanding ban on gays, lesbians and bisexuals serving in the Australian Defence Force. Transgender service would continue to be banned until September 2010. Yet, LGBTI people were serving in the military long before these milestones, with a range of experiences.

To commemorate 25 years since lifting the LGB ban, this exhibition showcases the history of LGBTI military service in Australia since World War II. The exhibition brings together photographs, objects, documents and the life stories of current and former service personnel to explore how LGBTI Defence members navigated their lives in the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, and Royal Australian Air Force. The exhibition includes tales of lesbian subcultures, witch-hunts targeting homosexuals for expulsion, kamp men in Papua New Guinea, participation in Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the changing Defence approaches to LGBTI service.

This exhibition derives from a larger research project on the history of LGBTI military service and is being co-sponsored by the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and Sydney’s Pride History Group.

When: 27 February to 4 March 2018, open 12pm – 6 pm daily
Where: TAP Gallery, 259 Riley St, Surry Hills NSW 2010

Image credit

The Defence lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) Information Service (DEFGLIS) began seeking permission from the chief of services in 2006 for ADF members to participate in the Mardi Gras in uniform. 2013 saw the ADF successful in the application with a contingent of 120 uniformed personnel march in the Mardi Gras Parade and a contingent of ex-Defence, public servants, families and friends involved in DEFGLIS able to proudly march among their peers.

Image courtesy Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras