Icon Carlotta among record number of women in Australia Day Honours

Legendary showgirl and trans icon Carlotta has been honoured with a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

She is among this year’s highest ever proportion of women on the Australia Day Honours List – 41.6%.

Carlotta received the honour for her work in the entertainment business and with the LGBTIQ community.

Beginning her career at the famous Les Girls cabaret in Sydney’s Kings Cross, she has been a stage and television star since the 1960s, and has no plans to retire.

“I’m 76 now, but I have no intention of sitting on my bum,” she told QNews.

“There’s too much I still want to do.”

Carlotta honoured those who work thanklessly for the LGBTIQ community.

“I’m happy to receive the award for my 54 years in entertainment,” she said.

“However, regarding services to the LGBTIQ community, I dedicate that to all my friends who’ve worked quietly in the background with little acknowledgment.”

Though she came under fire last year for her views on blocking young trans people from transition, Carlotta said she was concerned for youth in the LGBTIQ community.

“Our youth are our future,” she said.

“They may struggle to understand us oldies at times, and we may struggle to understand them, but really, we’re all fighting the same fight.

“I am especially concerned about youth suicide in our community though.

“Because so many of us are so open now, it’s easy to lose sight of all the poor kids unable to come out of the closet and in danger of self-harm.

“We must do everything we can to support them.”

Other LGBTIQ community members featured on this year’s Honours List include activist Janine Middleton, who received the AM for her work with Australian Marriage Equality and The Pinnacle Foundation.

“It’s a shame the government put us through [the marriage equality debate],” said Middleton.

“For the government to make one group of Australians vote on another group of their fellow Australians was just really shocking.”

Trans activist Georgie Stone, 19, became the youngest AM recipient, with her mother Rebekah Robertson also receiving the honour for her own activist work.

“I’m so proud of her,” said Stone of the About A Girl author.

“I’m really glad she has been acknowledged as well, because I would not be able to be here and do what I am doing without her support.

“She started the first ever parents-led support group for parents of trans people in Australia.”

Performer Tim Minchin, who was both lauded and criticised for his 2017 song ‘I Still Call Australia Homophobic’, received the honour for his service to the performing arts and the community.

Recipients of this year’s Australia Day Honours also include individuals who have made significant contributions to other marginalised groups, including Indigenous Australians, minority faiths, women, and people with disabilities.

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