You can see it when you walk down the street that you're not the only gay in the village," she said. Lesbians, too, like Sydney. Ms Tinkler put Daylesford's popularity down to several factors including a welcoming straight community and that the town has long been a tourist magnet.
But look closely and you may spy something different about Daylesford, located an hour and half north of Melbourne. The increasing diaspora of gay people does create issues, however. According to the ABS, Daylesford has now jumped into the top flight of gayest places in Australia, according to the number of same-sex couples counted in the census. The Bureau estimated there are now some 46, same-sex couples living together in Australia, up 39 per cent on the previous census. That kid holding hands with his parents could well have two mums. Since the ABS first started measuring same-sex couples in , the number has quadrupled. Lesbians, too, like Sydney. Ms Tinkler put Daylesford's popularity down to several factors including a welcoming straight community and that the town has long been a tourist magnet. The passing of same-sex marriage laws and an increasing acceptance of gay people has spurred the migration. It now offers counselling via Skype. Daylesford, in country Victoria, is now one of the places in Australia with the highest proportions of gay couples. Mardi Gras celebrations might be taking over Sydney this weekend but in Daylesford has it can be like Mardi Gras all year round. The roads are wide and lined with trees; a grand post office, topped with a turret, stands at one end of the main street; a turn of the century pub with a wide balcony shading the footpath below, at the other. There's a carnival, a champagne bar, even a parade through the town. The town's relative proximity to Melbourne also means people can pop into the city easily. As the ABS doesn't ask people to define their sexuality, the numbers of gay people in total will be far higher. An arc which has been dubbed the "rainbow ribbon" or even the " Great Gay Wall of Sydney ". But they have ventured further with Mayfield East in Newcastle, the Adelaide suburb of Ethelton and, of course, Daylesford in the top It will come as little surprise that the inner Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst, home of the Mardi Gras, is the gayest place in Australia with almost one-in-five couples of the same-sex variety. Needless to say, those ring-ins didn't last long," Ms Tinkler said. Back in Daylesford, Ms Tinkler, who is the head honcho at the upcoming Chill Out festival, said it was easily the town's biggest annual event. Kings Cross remains one of the most popular suburbs for gay men to live. Part of the reason why gay women are more dispersed than men is put down to having the space to have kids. Indeed, Ms Tinkler raised a son in Melbourne's outer suburbs before heading to the area 18 months ago. The organisation partners with local health services in regional areas so they are up to speed with the needs of LGBTI locals.
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