Elderly gay couple forced from Toowoomba home by abuse


An elderly gay couple will sell up and leave their Toowoomba home following homophobic abuse. Bruce Gardiner told the Toowoomba Chronicle that he and husband Derek suffered eight years of abuse, vile comments, rumour spreading and a serious assault. He said the abuse began immediately following a nearby resident becoming aware of the couple’s sexuality. Together for 35 years, the elderly gay couple will now sell up and move on. Bruce Gardiner described the abuse as typical of the abuse and institutional failings inflicted on members of the gay community throughout history. “I am 71 years of age. Growing up as gay man, for a start it was illegal, you have to pretend you were straight all the time.” He said suspicion of homosexuality could lead to a bashing. During a career in the construction industry, he either hid his sexuality or risked job loss. “They won’t sack you for being gay, they sack you for another reason.” The incidents in Toowoomba culminated in a physical assault on Bruce Gardiner on 9 October 9, 2019. He said it afterwards police took about two years to charge the man with a serious assault. However, the end result was a mere caution for the man over the incident.

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