In his 2016 apology for the historical treatment of gay people, especially men, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the story of two lesbians who were convicted with offensive behaviour for holding hands on a tram. This focus on lesbians historical experiences is important. LGBTI histories are often viewed collectively – but vary significantly between subgroups. Older lesbians experiences of homophobia were compounded by sexism – women had (and still have) fewer rights than men (journal article). We need to understand lesbian historical experiences and celebrate their strategies for resistance.
Following his apology, The Premier urged community members to ‘hold hands on a tram’ as a gesture to challenge homophobia (view the apology). This gesture was successfully adopted in Holland to support a gay couple who were assaulted for holding hands (view Dutch campaign).
On November 11, 2017 a group of older lesbians boarded the number 16 tram to St Kilda. The media was there, the Victoria Commissioner for Gender and Sexuality – Ro Allen was there, straight allies were there. Herstory was in the making. See full story here: https://alicesgarage.net/tram/
The Tram Project is a Barrett White Collaboration, between Lisa White – The Social Photographer and Dr Catherine Barrett of Alice’s Garage.