Drag Queen Storytime protester Wilson Gavin will be honoured by the naming of a popular spot at the University of Queensland.
Drag Queen Storytime protester Wilson Gavin will be honoured by the naming of a popular spot at the University of Queensland.

Controversial LNP member's honour after suicide

A popular campus meeting spot will be named for University of Queensland student union councillor Wilson Gavin, who tragically took his life after leading a protest against Drag Queen Storytime earlier this year.

UQ Union president Ethan Van Roo Douglas said a commemorative plaque naming the level-five balcony of the union complex after Gavin, 21, would be unveiled in a private ceremony this month.

Photos from the family of Wilson Gavin.
Photos from the family of Wilson Gavin.

Van Roo Douglas said the balcony was Gavin's favourite spot at the St Lucia campus, a place where he "spent many hours debating, joking and philosophising with friends and rivals alike''.

"Regardless of how you felt about him, no one can deny he had an impact on the community for the few years he was part of it. He was very well known, respected by many and there were many who very, very strongly disagreed with him,'' says Douglas, a friend and colleague of Gavin, the first student office bearer to die in office in living history.

Ethan Van Roo Douglas.
Ethan Van Roo Douglas.

Gavin was president of University of Queensland Liberal National Club when he led the small January 12 protest against the Drag Queen Storytime session at Brisbane Square Library. Video of Gavin in a tense standoff with performer Diamond went viral. Social media erupted in condemnation and support of the protesters and the performers alike.

Gavin's death early the following day sparked international headlines.

"It was an extremely shocking event, a very tragic one, and its reverberations are still being felt among the clubs and societies, and student political community,'' Van Roo Douglas said.

"I know what (Gavin's) legacy is to me as someone who knew him, but I hope to the public it is a reminder of how ugly things can get, how awful we can be to each other and frankly, that nothing in student politics is worth another person's life.''

The Suicide Call Back service is on 1300 659 467.     

* Read the full story in Qweekend

Originally published as 'How ugly things can get': Controversial protester's honour after suicide


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