Who Popped My Cork Part Eight


‘When you know the notes to sing’

Brisbane bound.  With a suitcase and a handful of Madonna CD’s I relocated to the ‘Sunshine State’ Queensland.  I’d never been to Brisbane before, there was work on offer and I wouldn’t be alone. I moved there with some friends/work colleagues/friends.  I left a bustling nightlife and cosmopolitan lifestyle but I was free of the cold, dark and often lonely Melbourne.

I’d heard Brisbane was like being transported back in time by ten years and it was full of homophobes.  That all turned out to be true.  Everyday felt like a ‘holiday’, I loved where I worked and despite labelling the newcomers ‘Mexicans’ (that’s Queensland talk for people from the southern states) the locals were so friendly and welcoming.  The lifestyle was laid back.

There was one gay club ‘Options’ also known as ‘Slop-tions.’  And one gay bar, I rarely went there.  It catered for the more mature, red checker flannel shirt brigade that enjoyed swelling beer.  It’s still there today, but I won’t name it as I’m sure it’s changed since then.  Brisbane was a lot gayer than I’d expected, despite the state government’s reputation of being fiercely homophobic.  Living in Brisbane was the only time anyone had ever called out homophobic remarks to me in the street.


SEX. Banned!  I had difficulty getting my head around this.  The Queensland government banned Madonna’s SEX book from sale in Queensland!  All the dinosaurs that ran the state were up in arms about something they hadn’t even seen.  As we all know that book was a beautiful work of art, not some sleazy magazine that you could by freely in any adult bookstore.  It went on to being one of the top selling books in the world and reviltalised flagging books sales at every bookstore that sold it.  Bad luck Queensland!  I had to illegally import my copy on the black market from Melboure.

I was the happiest I’d been my whole life in Brisbane.  I’d shed my skin, I no longer had to be the boy everyone wanted me to be.  I could be who I wanted to be.  I felt such freedom.  Even though I loved my parents dearly, the break from them was liberating.  With a smaller pool of men to choose from compared to Melbourne, I felt I would be more opportunity for ‘the one’ to find me.  I was ready to meet and fall in love with a beautiful man from Brisbane.  We would live together in a beautiful Queenslander house with a pool and a white picket fence.  Oddly when people met me they would ask if I was from Melbourne.  I’d ask them why they thought that.  They all answered with the same response, ‘we don’t have clothes like that in Brisbane.’  What?  It was bizarre, I had time travelled.  It wasn’t like I was asking for a potato cake instead of a scallop, (though I did that too)

Marky Mark
Scandalous! 90’s Brisbane couldn’t cope
White singlet
Only old men wear singlets










I went to a dance part and was wearing denim shorts with the top button undone and zip slightly down, the CK underwear poking out the top (remember that look a’la Marky Mark)  To me it was nothing, the trend was catching on in Melbourne, but Brisbane had never seen the likes of it.  I was taken aback by the number of responses I recieved they were shocked at what I was wearing, even though I was at a gay dance party!  I was mocked every time I wore a white Bonds singlet in public, ‘only old men wear them’ they’d say.  Yeah bitch, and next year you’ll be dressing like me.  And they did (well perhaps a few years after that).  I became used to the culture shock and small-minded mentality.  I didn’t find me a beautiful husband in Brisbane, and after much agonising (well a little) it was time to move back to Melbourne.

Up Next:

Who Popped My Cork Part Nine

‘Don’t forget that your family is gold’

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