In his latest episode of Culture Cruise, Matt Baume takes a look back at the iconic gay classic Priscilla, Queen of the Desert starring Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp, and Guy Pearce.
Writes Baume: “In 1994, a broken-down bus named Priscilla departed Sydney’s gay enclave, carrying three glamorous performers to the rural heart of Australia on the most perilous journey of their lives. And although only three of them set out in the film, they were soon followed in real life by an entire drag army.”
Baume explains how Australia reacted to the film at the time, when gangs roamed Sydney looking to beat up gay men and the city had been ravaged by the AIDS epidemic.
“Australia just totally embraced this film,” says Baume. “In fact this movie was so beloved that six years later Australia paid tribute to it at the Sydney Olympics. A contingent of drag queens appeared in the Closing Ceremonies and Kylie Minogue performed one of the ABBA songs from the film.”