The head of a right-wing student group from the University of Queensland who protested against two drag queens as they tried to read to children in Brisbane has died.
Sources have told The New Daily that UQ Liberal National Club President Wilson Gavin, who was with the group, died by suicide this morning.
Mr Gavin’s death follows an online backlash to a video posted on Sunday morning in which he was seen chanting “drag queens are not for kids” along with other members of his executive team at the family event held in Brisbane.
“Today the UQLNC took a stand to defend LNP values against a corrosive gender ideology,” the club wrote following the event in a now-deleted post on their their Facebook page.
The group shares the same name as the Liberal National Party, but was dis-endorsed last year, a spokesman for Queensland Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said.
Mr Gavin was openly homosexual and had campaigned publicly in the past against same-sex marriage.
‘I support what marriage really is and I’m gay,’ he said at a protest against marriage equality in 2017.
Mr Gavin’s passing sent shock waves across social media as people grappled with the tragedy.
Liberal National MP George Christensen declared he was leaving twitter over the incident.
“Suicide happens when Twitter keyboard warriors pile on an individual for a political protest,” he wrote.
“Twitter is broken. It’s for ad hominem attacks & pile-ons, not real discourse. And it’s aided & abetted by the media. I can’t delete the media but I am deleting my twitter account. Bye.”
Diamond Good-Rim, who was sone of the drag queens harassed by the group said he was “deeply saddened” by the tragedy.
“I am deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the passing of Wilson Gavin this morning,” he said.
“My thoughts and deep condolences are with his family and friends at this tragic time. We all need to band together at this awful, difficult time.”
In a press conference earlier Monday, Ms Deb Frecklington said she would not comment on the reports of Mr Gavin’s death.
“In relation to the unconfirmed reports relating to a young man, relating to the out of respect for the family, I won’t be making any comments on this matter,” she told reporters.
“I think today is a day to think about a bit of compassion and respect for people.”
Johnny Valkyrie, the other drag queen involved in the event said his heart went out to Mr Gavin.
“My heart goes out to the family and friends of the affected,” he wrote on Facebook.
“If the family are reading this please know that I support you, and I am here to gather support and I know you are good people.
“To those of you who follow me, if you require support please reach out to community services and hotlines which are freely available￼ to the community.”
A UQ spokesperson said they were providing support for those impacted.
“Mutual respect and diversity are core values of the University, and we hope that everyone shows consideration for those affected during the difficult days ahead,” the spokesperson said.
• QLife on 1800 184 527
• Headspace on 1800 650 890
• Lifeline on 13 11 14