National Rainbow Day

8661688517_f1635ff5cf_kWell, Bill put in his Bill, and now we wait. The PM still has his fingers in his ears, going “La, la la!! Budget, budget, budget!!”

But I am quietly assured by Those Who Know (TWK), that “This will be done in August. It was always planned for August. Now shut up or Tony will throw a screaming fit and I’ll have to go in and give him another <<shudder>> back rub. Sometimes I wonder if even $300k a year is compensation enough for all the shit I have to put up with.”

Or words to that effect. I may have elaborated that last couple of sentences a bit. Or invented them. No matter. I could hear it in his tone, OK?

But but but, I cry, you’ve got to give us a date! There’s so much to plan!! This is going to need a seriously BIG party!! Alas, TWK had hung up.

However, taking TWK at his word, now that marriage equality is in the bag (allegedly) we need to start thinking how to commemorate the day. A national day of celebration, mourning and forgiveness. A new public holiday that will be forever ours.

And as this will be the first one, we have to get it right. We’re establishing a whole new tradition here. We need to start planning for National Rainbow Day. The new national public holiday.

Courier Mail

Courier Mail

A day when that which was denied is granted, the door that was closed is opened, and those who were left out are welcomed into the Australian family.

Of course we will celebrate, but we will also mourn, give thanks for and remember all those who came before us. It will be a great addition to the annual Christmas festivities – they also start sometime in August nowadays – but we need to get planning now

On this day every year, we will take time out remember and grieve for all the LGBTI people who suffered in the past, and those still suffering now.


  • Those beaten, starved, ostracised and killed by their fellow men and women.
  • Those who went to jail, or were murdered by the state, in this country and overseas, or who are still suffering unjust punishment.
  • Those who died seeking refuge from their persecutors, and those who made it safely to our shores.
  • Those Australians and others whose beatings and murders have gone or still go unpunished and uninvestigated, by corrupt, uncaring and often complicit authorities.
  • Those bullied and killed by fellow service members, in peace and in war.
  • Those beaten, tortured and killed by religion down the ages, burned alive, stoned, thrown from buildings and by other means too horrid to contemplate.
  • Those abused and tortured by the medical profession in almost every country in the world: shocked, poisoned, castrated, driven mad.
  • Those outed and hounded by the media: careers lost, lives ruined, driven to despair and often suicide.
  • Those who found it unbearable to contemplate staying any longer in this world because they were bullied and ostracised just for being themselves.

National Rainbow Day will also be National Homophobia Forgiveness Day.

pic: Alatela Image Dept

Extend a hand of friendship to the losers of this war, and invite them to join us. On this day each year, we shall forgive and honour all those ex-homophobes who have renounced their former ways, and are now allies.

And then have some fireworks and a party.

So, a day of joyous celebration, sober contemplation, magnanimity and forgiveness.

pic: AME

Shelley Argent – pic: AME

The main event will be in Canberra, hosted by the Governor General. Prince Charles will present a knighthood to Rodney Croome, and a Damehood to Shelly Argent, kicking off a new tradition of an annual LGBTI Honours List.

The day will conclude with an ecumenical service, jointly presided over by the heads of the Anglican, Catholic and dissenting churches, the Grand Mufti and the Chief Rabbi.

Followed by a grand party on Sydney Harbour and an intimate reception given by the Prime Minister at Kirribili House, at which he will judge a parade of surf lifesavers in speedos, vying to be his Rainbow Ambassador to the world for the next twelve months.

Santa Speedo Run Alanta: Timothy J

In Melbourne, there will be fireworks on the Yarra and a big Rainbow Tea Dance in Federation Square.

I’m really looking forward to it!

So come on you Liberal Gay Buggers & Tony Intimates (LGBTI): get off your arses and get planning. You got a lot to do and not much time to do it – if what you say is true…… #MarriageEquality4Christmas #NationalRainbowDay #LetsDoThis

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)