Premier

Tomorrow, the Victorian Government will make a formal state apology to people convicted under unjust laws against homosexual acts.

09 February 2020

One of those people is Noel.


"Max was singing an aria from La Traviata when the police arrived.

A few of the crowd managed to scramble and get away. I didn't.

I was the youngest person in the room. I was very naïve. I knew having sex with men was against the law but I didn't understand why it was a crime.

At the first hearing, I stood in the dock and the judge said, "You have been charged with the abominable crime of buggery. How do you plead?"

The maximum sentence was fifteen years.

The day-to-day routine inside Pentridge Prison was menacing and dangerous. And I was always worried about Mumma. She was abused by her next door neighbour for having a son like me.

Of course, I was crucified in the Melbourne press. Afterwards, only two people would talk to me. I couldn't go to dance class or get a job. I was a known criminal.

And it's ironic when I think about it.

Eventually I would have been forgiven by everyone if I had murdered Max, but no one could forgive me for having sex with him."

Reviewed 26 June 2020

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