Revisiting the Tasty raid: lesbian and gay respectability and police legitimacy

Russell, Emma 2015, Revisiting the Tasty raid: lesbian and gay respectability and police legitimacy, Australian feminist law journal, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 121-140, doi: 10.1080/13200968.2015.1031931.

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Title Revisiting the Tasty raid: lesbian and gay respectability and police legitimacy
Author(s) Russell, EmmaORCID iD for Russell, Emma
Journal name Australian feminist law journal
Volume number 41
Issue number 1
Start page 121
End page 140
Total pages 21
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1320-0968
Summary This article extends beyond analysis of homophobic police practices at the Tasty raid that took place in Melbourne in 1994 to explore the ways in which queer politics interact with constructions of ‘respectability’ in the contexts of criminalisation, policing and state protection. I argue that the successful construction of legitimate victimhood by lesbian and gay Tasty patrons (achieved largely through signifiers of middle-class respectability and the paradigm of sameness) impeded police efforts to control media narratives and secure legitimacy in the aftermath of the Tasty raid. The formal apology issued by Victoria Police in 2014 indicates that the Tasty raid was considered a significant enough stain on police reputation to warrant addressing two decades after the event itself. I consider the apology as an attempt to cleanse and redeem the institution of the negative image of police resulting from the Tasty raid. This case offers unique insights into some of the ways in which lesbians and gay men may achieve legitimacy as victims in a heteronormative context and how this might come at the cost of a structural analysis of sexuality, power and violence. It also highlights how state institutions navigate and avoid accountability to a specific and historically targeted group.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/13200968.2015.1031931
Field of Research 1801 Law
1602 Criminology
160205 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Socio Economic Objective 940404 Law Enforcement
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2015, Australian Feminist Law Journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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