BY FARIDA IQBAL
PERTH — It recently came to the attention of Radio Pike and Liz Leahy that the Cutie Boutique, situated in a queer area of Perth, had a sign displayed in its window that said: "No cross-dressers. No shoplifting. Beware of cameras and alarm. Handle the clothes very gently. No roughies."
On October 20, about 30 local queers staged a protest against the homophobic shop. About half were dressed in drag. A large rainbow flag was draped across the shop's front and slogans, such as "Hate is not a family value" and "This is a homophobic shop", were written on the footpath outside in chalk. Passing motorists showed their support by "honking against homophobia".
One drag king had attempted to speak to the shop's owner before the protest, but was unsuccessful. The shopowner was also unwilling to face the protesters or the media during the protest.
Discrimination of this sort is just not on. Under the reforms made to the WA Equal Opportunity Act last year, it is illegal to discriminate against queers. Even if those who discriminate against queers do not incur the wrath of the law, they certainly run the risk of their shops being turned into a public spectacle in front of peak-hour traffic and the media by angry cross-dressers with a sense of humour.
From Green Left Weekly, October 29, 2003.
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