The president of UQ’s conservative Liberal National Club, who protested a children’s drag queen event at a Brisbane library on Sunday, has been found dead. Wilson Gavin, 21, was found by Queensland police and ambulance services at Chelmer Railway Station just after 7am the day after the protest.
Though a coroner’s report is still forthcoming, news outlets commenting on the cause of Gavin’s death have been swift and unanimous in labelling it as a suspected suicide resulting from cyber-bullying.
Footage of the peaceful library protest had gone viral on Sunday, in which Gavin and other young people chanted “drag queens are not for kids”. In the wake of this, a barrage of vitriolic comments were made by pro-drag personalities online. Even celebrities joined the pile-on.
What appalling, nasty, rude behaviour by these self righteous young liberals. I’d rather my grandchildren were read a story by a drag queen than a young liberal any day of the week. Drag queens are smarter, kinder, funnier and way more stylish – and that’s just for starters.
— Jane Caro (@JaneCaro) January 12, 2020
Others who hoped to avoid the cyber-bullying narrative instead speculated that Gavin, a same-sex attracted but celibate Catholic, committed suicide due to his own repressed sexuality.
Reporting on Gavin’s death, The Star Observer, whose tagline is “Setting Australia’s LGBTI agenda since 1979”, was quick to label him as a troubled and tormented individual.
Twitter users joined the chorus, with one of them condescendingly declaring, “The mental gymnastics required everyday to overcome internalised homophobia can be so tiresome. Poor Wilson Gavin. He lost his battle today against all that self-hatred & self-loathing.”
When a transgender person commits suicide, the Left blames everyone who doesn’t affirm trans ideology.
When a young conservative commits suicide after mass-bullying from the Leftists, the Left says he was a “troubled young man who needed help”.
— Caldron Pool (@CaldronPool) January 13, 2020
But Wilson Gavin’s close friends disagree. They have described him as happy and caring, and concerned with “the welfare of others, motivated only by love of neighbour”. Moreover, they insist that he was fully aware of what it costs to stand against so-called “progressive” dogma.
“I’ve never experienced overt discrimination or hatred of any type regarding my sexuality. I’ve never felt hated for being gay in Australia.”
But when Pellowe asked him about coming out as a conservative, Gavin replied,
“Very different story… As a conservative you are just subjected to an unending barrage of vitriol and hatred and of the nastiest comments imaginable.”
The Canberra Declaration’s own Jean Seah was a friend of Gavin’s. She explains that Gavin was familiar with this kind of overblown response to his political convictions. He changed his Facebook username during the 2017 debate, she explained, to protect himself from harassment. He also stood up for Hong Kong and Taiwan in the face of Communist China. Gavin took pride in being an ardent monarchist despite being thoroughly ridiculed for stating his political preference on Sky News.
Australian Monarchist League's Wilson Gavin: I’m a lover of all things traditional, all things beautiful, and there’s nothing more traditional in this country than the monarchy. It’s a tremendous asset. MORE: https://bit.ly/2KFGBA0 #outsiders
Posted by Sky News Australia on Thursday, 24 May 2018
Seah is puzzled about the circumstances surrounding Gavin’s death. Among other upcoming events, Gavin had planned to attend the National Civic Council conference in Melbourne with friends next month. He was just about to book his tickets.
She also recounted that Gavin attended Sunday Mass just before the protest this weekend, bringing two non-Catholic friends for the first time, buoyed by the conversations they had been having together about faith. He was his usual jovial self, and knew the probable implications of his actions during the protest.
We received an unconfirmed report that Gavin’s body was found on the train station platform, and not on the tracks. For an apparent suicide, this seems unusual and should at least raise questions—particularly given the harassment and lethal threats he encountered online in the hours leading up to his death.
Regardless of what the authorities uncover, and regardless of whether or not we ourselves are comfortable engaging in peaceful, non-violent protest as Gavin did, it’s clear that this young man was brave, caring and passionate—and he has left us too soon.
Valē, Wilson Gavin.