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Here and Queer: Gay Rights Across the Globe


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In 2013, Russian made news around the world, introducing federal laws banning ‘homosexual propaganda’. The laws effectively made a crime of gay activism, reducing non-heterosexuals to second-class citizens.

While Australia discusses the prospect of gay people having the right to marry, there are many other countries where gay people are deprived of even more basic rights. Russia might have earned international headlines for its 2013 laws, but the situation is even worse elsewhere. There are 73 countries where homosexuality is punishable with a prison sentence.

For this conversation, we’re bringing Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen together with queer author and icon Dennis Altman for a broader conversation about queer rights. The pair will discuss gay rights and gender diversity, locally and across the globe. How helpful is the language of human rights for discussing the oppression of LGBT people? How do populist, anti-Western sentiments play into the oppression of gay people in non-western countries? What do we know about the displacement of gay and gender diverse people across the world? And how optimistic can we be about a brighter future?

Presented in partnership with La Trobe University.


Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen is an acclaimed Russian-American journalist and the author of ten books of nonfiction, including bestsellers The Man Without a Face and Words Will Break Cement. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Slate, Vanity Fair, and many other publications, and has received numerous ... Read more

Dennis Altman

Dennis Altman has written 15 books since his groundbreaking Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation. The Bulletin listed him as one of the 100 most influential Australians ever. He is Patron of the Australian Queer Archives and Pride Foundation Australia.

Anna Brown

Anna’s fingerprints are on nearly every major reform for LGBTI people in recent years with her work at the Human Rights Law Centre. Most recently, she played a critical role in the national campaign for marriage equality and ran the constitutional challenge to the postal plebiscite in the High Cou... Read more


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