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I was a closeted thirteen-year-old when, in 2004, former Australian Prime Minister John Howard amended our nation ‘s Marriage Act to inexplicably state its exclusion of same-sex couples. The move was an entirely symbolic and unnecessary one (same-sex couples had always been excluded from the institution of marriage). Behind the political white noise, Howard was reacting to quiet murmurs for change; assuring our nation ‘s powerful religious factions that members of the Australian LGBTQ community would remain othered into the foreseeable future.

Back in 2004, only 38% of Australians supported the legalisation of same-sex marriage. I recall reading this statistic in a newspaper during my first year of high school; feeling isolated by the sheer magnitude of those who, for one reason or another, disapproved of my being equal. Even then, before I ‘d begun wading through the murky waters of my own emerging sexuality, I was being warned that most of Australia would view me differently because of it. This knowledge slowly festered into a stomach-twisting anxiety and depression; one that kept me suffering in silence until I was sixteen-years-old. By then, the percentage of Australians in favour of marriage equality had grown to a clear majority of 57% — and with it, my fears began to subside, to the point of feeling emboldened to share my truest self with family, friends and classmates. For the most part, they were incredibly supportive — I know others aren ‘t so fortunate.

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About Gay Times

As the longest-running LGBTQ publication in the world, our heritage is deeply important to us. We’ve come so far as a community, and it’s important to recognise and reflect upon the people who have helped us to where we are today. While evolving with the times in order to better serve our wider community, it felt fitting that the first cover star of our rebrand should be Boy George. Not only because he himself has undergone many evolutions throughout his illustrious career, but also because we’re celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first Gay Times cover. Adam Lambert sat down with Boy George to discuss his upcoming Las Vegas residency, releasing new music with Culture Club, finding inspiration to write music, his desired collaborations and his magnum opus. They also reflect on how his life has changed since he first covered Gay Times 30 years ago. Elsewhere in the issue: Jodie Harsh on the shrinking of London’s queer nightlife; Aidan Faminoff on his coming out story; The Gay Times Honours; Henry Holland and poet Max Wallis on their upcoming collaboration plus fashion, culture and opinions from around the world. This issue also features a collection of essays and poems penned by individuals from all pockets of our community. Welcome to the new Gay Times.