There’s a scene from the movie Made in which a group of rowdy Wall Street guys are at a NYC restaurant drinking and being loud and next them are a table a gay men who are getting more and more annoyed by their boisterous antics. Finally, one of the gay men says, “Excuse me, could you please lower your voices?” One of the Wall Street guys says, “They should make an island and put all you people on it…” The brilliant response is, “They did –and you’re ON IT!”
But this isn’t a joke. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands is a REAL place off the coast of Australia. It’s the only nation in the world established as an independent homeland for all gay and lesbian people. The Gay Kingdom (as it is referred to) is what’s known as a micronation, which is a place that claims to be an independent nation but is not officially recognized by any governments or major organizations. The Gay Kingdom…
“…is a spectacularly beautiful 780,000 square kilometer territory situated 200nm east of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and consists mainly of coral reefs, islands and coral atolls.”
The capital is at the northern tip of Cato Island where the founders first stayed. They named the capital Heaven after the famous gay nightclub in London. The islands are located east of the Great Barrier Reef and are officially overseas territory of Australia. They declared independence from Australia on 14th of June, 2004 and chose this territory “because of a twist in international law that states:
“Oppressed people of overseas territories have a right to self government and self determination.”
Since the islands are recognized as an external overseas territory of Australia, the Gay Kingdom’s founders believe that the international law applies, particularly since gays and lesbians are oppressed by Australia’s homophobic laws. Gay rights activist Dale Parker Anderson was elected emperor and sovereign of the Gay Kingdom. Anderson claims to be a direct descendant (19x great grandson) of King Edward II of England, who reigned England in the early 14th century and who some historians believe was gay.
The Gay Kingdom has appropriated many of the elements of LGBT culture for their national culture and according to their website, the kingdom’s official flag is (what else?) the rainbow flag and the pink triangle is the nation’s coat of arms. The national anthem? No joke. Gloria Gaynor’s I am what I am. The song was written by Jerry Herman, an out gay man, who was subsequently made a Lord of the Gay Kingdom. Above are stamps from the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea, which established its own postal service in 2006 and subsequently replaced Australian stamps with these. A single red post box is located on Screech Beach, Heaven, Cato Island in the Gay Kingdom.