NEWS outlets across the world followed up on our story about the WA Museum acquiring a toilet door with a “glory hole” in it (“WA’s glorious history”, Voice, December 8, 2018).
Used by gay men for anonymous sex, the door was salvaged from the demolished Gosnells train station in 1997 and donated to the Museum by Perth local Neil Buckley in December.
The West Australian/PerthNow ran the story, with shadow arts and culture minister Tony Krsticevic criticising the museum’s acquisitions committee for accepting the door.
He told them “such an object is too tacky for display” at the new museum, scheduled to reopen in 2020.
Despite the Voice facilitating the hook up between The West journo and Mr Buckley, there was no mention of where they found the story, but outlets like QNews Magazine and Out in Perth, and even Mexico-based “Soy Homosensual”, cited The Voice.
Mr Krsticevic told PerthNow the door represented the illegal act of public sex, a scourge for families trying to use public facilities.
Recently a 61-year-old man was convicted of an indecent act by sticking his penis through a glory hole in the Woodman Point toilets in Coogee.
A man and two children were in the other stall, and the offender got a 12-month intensive supervision order in June last year.
He did not observe glory hole etiquette, which is to get consent from the other person first.
But nowadays the gay glory hole culture is all but gone, replaced by hook up apps which instantly put you in touch with nearby partners.
There are a few glory holes in the back of sex shops, but people often arrange to meet there online, and heterosexual people have become involved in that scene too.
In the days following the Voice’s glory hole article, Mr Buckley says he wasn’t surprised at some of the reactions, “especially from the conservative dinosaurs still getting over losing the same-sex plebiscite”.
He says “I feel the reaction really justifies the WA Museum adding something to their collection that is socially interesting and important, that does create conversation and thought”.
by DAVID BELL