LGBT residents speak out about abuse in Gladstone

Kristel Kelly, Ashlee Ryland and Emily Patterson say Gladstone is an accepting town.
Kristel Kelly, Ashlee Ryland and Emily Patterson say Gladstone is an accepting town.

HOMOPHOBIC attacks are par for the course for Gladstone's gay community - especially when the Observer is publishing them.

Lesbian Ashlee Ryland said she had been abused by residents and suffered discrimination since moving to Gladstone from Townsville, but that things are improving.

The 21-year-old said a passing motorist yelled "dyke" and other expletives at her once when she walked down the club strip.

"It (homosexuality) is more hidden in Gladstone than in other towns; people don't like to talk about it," Ms Ryland said. "Most lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people move away to places where being gay is more acceptable."

Ms Ryland, who works at a radio station, said town attitudes were changing.

"It was great to have the support of Mayor Gail Sellers at Gladstone's first gay pride event in December," she said.

Emily Patterson, 19, came out in 2010 at high school.

"I lost a few friends but my mother was very supportive," Ms Patterson said.

The Observer yesterday.
The Observer yesterday.

Ms Patterson and her partner proudly walk down the streets of Gladstone holding hands, which sometimes elicits a "dirty look".

"No one has said anything nasty to us yet," she said.

Kristel Kelly, who is married with kids, identifies as bisexual.

"When I first moved here I didn't tell people about my bisexuality," she said.

"Gladstone has a reputation of being an industrial and male-orientated city. I found out Gladstone is a lot more accepting than people think.

"There's been a change in population, with people coming from around the world and attitudes are constantly being refreshed."

Ms Kelly said events like the Marriage Equality Rally in November 2012 let the gay community meet and support each other.

The 34-year-old is administrator for Gladstone's gay Facebook page. It has more than 470 members.

Topics:  equal rights gladstone homophobia lgbti community

Be quick! Power station jobs up for grabs

GET IN QUICK: Applications for eight apprenticeships with CS Energy at Callide Power Station close tomorrow.

POWER station hiring new workers, but applications close soon.

Tenants flock to Gladstone as vacancy rates drop

NEW FIGURES reveal tenants should lock in a long-term lease now.

Edging closer to $130m project

FUNDING: The Queensland Government just yesterday announced $2 million for a feasibility study into building Rockwood weir, as well as raising the Eden Bann weir.

A NEW Rookwood Weir could create local jobs

Local Partners

Liam Payne wants to wed Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Cheryl Fernandez-Versini and Liam Payne

Liam Payne reportedly wants to marry Cheryl Fernandez-Versini

Bindi Irwin 'honoured' to make MAXIM HOT 100 list

Wildlife Warrior named among Australia's most beautiful women

Len Wiseman files for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

Kate Beckinsale

Len Wiseman has filed for divorce from Kate Beckinsale

First look at Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life series

Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel in a scene from the TV series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

NETFLIX drops first trailer for its revival of fan favourite.

Hugh Laurie will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie is set to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

How Kristie blind-sided everyone to win Australian Survivor

Kristie Bennett wins Australian Survivor.

FAN favourite says she was underestimated by her competitors.

Bank reclaims Goondoon St complex plan, places on the market

Multi-million dollar development plan up for sale.

MULTI-MILLION plan for Goondoon St complex placed on the market.

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Coles to pay new owner of Tannum servo $320K

UP FOR GRABS: Expressions of interest in Tannum's new service station, which will house the new Coles Express, closed this month.

INVESTORS bid for new Tannum service station under construction.

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available