Michael Waugh

Michael Waugh is a singer and songwriter, for sure. One of the best, who fellow writers look at with awe: ARIA and Golden Guitar winner Fanny Lumsden says that “his lyrics stop me in my tracks”: the great Eric Bogle labels him “a gifted songwriter … a compassionate and insightful human being”.

He is an out and proud singer/songwriter whose coming out happened well into adulthood, a marriage and a successful career, in an industry that has always favoured safety over bravery. Then there’s the teacher and mentor who takes that role seriously.

“There are young people for whom I’m responsible and where I’m needed but I didn’t have role models when I was growing up,” he says. “I have a responsibility to represent them and speak my truth because that contributes to a world where others can speak as well. You can’t be what you can’t see.”

Yes, all of the above. That is Michael Waugh, and that is all through his new album, Beauty & Truth, which looks at history and looks at today and defiantly declares, We Are Here; which faces the brutal truth of fractured families and the wounds of Father’s Day, and treats with compassion the complicated lives of boys-not-yet-men too easily labelled Young And Dumb; deals unflinchingly with a culture not just antagonistic to half its population in its many Songs About Women, but destructive to the other half who hate themselves and want someone to Fix Me.

Yet it’s only part of the story of this record because “at the heart of that is being in love” and that changes everything.

“I think love between gay men is often complex, especially of my generation, because we come from a place of trauma,” Waugh says. “The journey into the record is you can’t experience some of the love that I talk about in Out and Playlist without comprehending all of that [trauma that came before]. Out of all of that, the love comes.”

And the love and the songs don’t go quietly. Right from the start, Beauty & Truth, tracked with a live band in the studio of his long-time producer Shane Nicholson, was

Jeffrey Masters

Jeffrey Masters specialize in long-form interviews, documenting the stories of the LGBTQ community on LGBTQ&A podcast, His interest in his guests’ stories, as well as his encouraging manner, allows him to get beyond the surface whether he’s interviewing activists or members of the entertainment industry.”

Jeffrey is the Senior Producer of the New Yorker Radio Hour and the host/creator of the LGBTQ&A podcast (recommended by The New York Times).

Stan Herman

Stan Herman is 95 years young and a remarkable openly gay man who’s lived a fascinating life. Born in Brooklyn, he grew up in New Jersey, he was also in the Army and stationed in Europe during the Korean. 

Stan has long been involved as an activist, fashion designer and fashion leader. For his first fully produced first fashion show, he presented a fashion-first collection featuring ‘faux fur’ on the open-air runway in the Central Park Zoo, rather than real fur.

Stan has had an extensive and varied career at the center of American Fashion on Seventh Avenue, including 16 years as president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for 16 years, as well as his years of accessible, casual and “street wear” designs. 

Stan has shared his life in a 40-year relationship with his partner and novelist Gene Horowitz. Their lives intertwined in 1953 and continued through the AIDS epidemic that impacted their personal and professional lives. When Gene died suddenly in 1992 – Stan determined how to continue and move ahead with a life on his own over the next 30 plus years of his engaged and engaging life.

Since 1980, Stan has designed corporate uniforms TWA, United, Jet Blue, FedEx, McDonalds, Amtrak, Acela, Central Park Conservancy, and Sandals Resorts. In addition, he’s enjoyed a successful, 30-year stint on-air with QVC – with his ever-popular women’s leisure and comfort-wear designs.

Just when he thought life would slow down, he released his new book Uncross Your Legs  A Life in Fashion and become an author at age 93.

Gary Lonesborough

Gary Lonesborough is a Yuin writer, who grew up on the Far South Coast of NSW as part of a large and proud Aboriginal family. Gary was always writing as a child and continued his creative journey when he moved to Sydney to study at film school. He grew up a massive Kylie Minogue and North Queensland Cowboys fan.

Gary has vast experience working in both Aboriginal health, including the disability sector and youth justice system as well as the Australian film industry, working on the feature film adaptation of Jasper Jones.

His 2021 debut novel, THE BOY FROM THE MISH quickly became a best seller and short listed in both the literary awards and children’s book of the year awards before getting published in America under the title of READY WHEN YOU ARE. His much anticipated second novel, WE DIDN’T THINK IT THROUGH was selected as one of the Best Young Adult books in 2023. The story navigates the challenges of racism, family and the youth justice system. 

Sue – Ann Post

Sue-Ann Post is an Australian comedian and writer.

Self described as “Australia’s favourite six-foot, lesbian, ex-Mormon, diabetic, comedian and writer”, Post has performed as a stand-up comedian internationally and throughout Australia since 1991.

Her debut stand-up comedy stage show, “A Bit of a Postscript” toured internationally and received awards at the Melbourne Fringe Arts Festival and the Wellington Arts Festival, and was adapted to become a best-selling book. Sue-Ann has also worked as a shelf stacker, housemaid, shop assistant and printer’s assistant. And one memorable winter in Melbourne she worked as a wood splitter at a woodyard for a guy named Blue.

She has written an autobiography A Bit of a Postscript (1997) and a book The Confession of an Unrepentant Lesbian Ex-Mormon  which is about her journey to Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, to deliver a talk to a group of Mormon and ex-Mormon gays and lesbians.

A documentary about her journey, The Lost Tribe, aired on ABC’s Compass.

She wrote a weekly column for the Melbourne Age for three years and was nominated for the 2002 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission’s Print Media Award. Her articles have also appeared in the West Australian, the Freethinker (UK) and Versal (The Netherlands)

Alfie Arcuri

Alfie Arcuri realized he was gay at age eleven, he came out to his family at age twenty

four and then came out again on national television at twenty six. His fear of coming out was once so great he prepared himself for the reality that his Italian catholic family may not accept him at all. He was working as an architect and felt he couldn’t even sing until he came out of the closet.

Three years later and Alfie found his voice and went on to became a household name in 2016 when he was crowded the season five winner of The Voice Australia. A win he shared with his TV coach and mentor, Delta Goodrem. His heart felt covers of Zayne’s ‘Pillowtalk’, Sam Smith ‘Lay Me down’ and ‘Alive’ by Sia cemented his place as a fan favourite both with teenage girls and gay men.

Alfie went on to sign a worldwide deal with Universal Music and his debut album ‘Zenith’ peaked at #5 on the ARIA music charts. The following year Alfie released his most personal song ‘If they only knew’ about having to hide his relationship with his boyfriend from others. His follow up single ‘Love Is Love’ became a gay anthem during the time of Australia’s marriage equality campaign.

In 2019 Alfie was back on TV screens, first as a top five contender to represent Australia at the Eurovision Song Contest and in 2020 Alfie co-wrote the song ‘Running’ for the Cypriot Eurovision entry. He returned to the world stage again in 2023 to represent San Marino and proudly qualified for the final.

In his spare time Alfie loves to travel, cook, preform at gay pride events and spend time with his French Bulldogs Susie and Gary. He also returned to the pop charts with a new sound and five new tracks on his EP, Love Is A Dangerous Drug including an infectious dance track ‘Devil’s Lips’ and a sultry cover of Cyndi Lauper’s hit ‘I Drove All Night’.

Chris Lani McAllister

Chris Lani McAllister is the Co-host and producer and comedian of regular Sydney event Queers of Joy , which provides a platform for trans and gender-diverse performers.

Chris who identifies as non-binary and believes gender to be an expression, not just something assigned at birth. Chris is dedicated in showing the world a positive side to the transgender community through fun laughter and enjoyment!

David Kennerley

DAVID KENNERLEY is a journalist specializing in LGBTQ culture. For nearly two decades, he has been an Arts & Entertainment reporter for Gay City News, A New York City based LGBTQ newspaper and website. David’s work has been widely published in other outlets including Metro New York, Genre magazine, and Bravo TV.

Originally from the farmlands of Pennsylvania, David moved to NYC and became addicted to nightlife of the 1990s, where he became a club flyer hoarder and an unexpected expert on queer nightlife.

Massive dance clubs like the Roxy, Palladium, Limelight, and Tunnel drew fiercely passionate crowds and when it was time to leave, promoters handed out flyers for the next week’s parties. Most people tossed them on the sidewalk, but David saved each and every one.

Now with a collection of over 200 eye-popping flyers, not only visually stunning but tell a story of a unique movement in the history of LGBTQ communities, reeling from the AIDS crisis and promoting nightspots as a refuge. David Kennerley’s book, GETTING IN showcases the queer nightclub culture and provides a rare look inside a historic decade in gay history and culture.   

Reece Carter

Reece Carter is an Australian fantasy author who’s debut book, A Girl Called Corpse was first published in Australia and then internationally in the UK, Italy, Spain & Norway. It has gone on to become a beloved and bestselling children’s novel. Since then Reece allowed his imagination to run wild yet again to release his spooky follow up book, The Lonely Lighthouse of Elston-Fright.

Reece was raised in rural Western Australia and began writing short stories whilst in High School. He now resides in Sydney with his flat haired retriever, Hagrid who was inspiration for a character in his books.    

love for stories especially those filled with whimsy, magic, and a little bit of weirdness began as a child growing up in rural Western Australia. There was an unfortunate lack of witches and ghosts on his family farm, and so Reece had to find them in books instead.

It wasn’t until high school though that Reece thought to try his hand at writing his own stories. He loved it, and never looked back.

Reece now lives in Sydney. When not reading or writing, he can usually be found talking to his dog, Hagrid, and hoping that one of these days Hagrid might decide to talk back.

Danlelle Laidley

Danielle Laidley is the most prominent transgender person in the country AKA Dean Laidley who played 151 games for West Coast Eagles and North Melbourne football clubs, winning an AFL premiership with the Kangaroos in 1996. She became one of the youngest senior coaches ever at 36, coaching North Melbourne for 149 games across seven seasons.

 

Her amazing career and personal life were never what they seemed on the surface. Danielle faced a private and lifelong battle with gender dysphoria and that constant struggle with her identity had led to legal troubles and addiction issues.

Her transition was publicly exposed without her consent by the St Kilda police when photos were taken and sadly distributed publicly, but this was just the start of her incredible journey.

Danielle’s captivating life story is now a documentary, Two Tribes is now streaming on Stan or you can read all about it, in her revealing memoir Don’t look away.