"Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

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"Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by barrymckayau »

A while ago I became aware of stamps being issued by an LGBT group in Queensland calling themselves the "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom". They claim the following on their website:

http://gaykingdom.info/introduction.htm

"Scattered over some 1 million square kilometres of ocean. The Gay & Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands was first administered as an overseas territory of England. In the 1960’s it was administered from Australia by the department of the Environment, Sport and Territories as an overseas external territory of the Commonwealth of Australia. In June 2004 it declared it’s independence from Australia and is currently the smallest Kingdom in the world."

They have stamps for sale here: http://gaykingdom.info/stamps.htm. The currency they use is Euros.

Are these legitimate collectables, or not really recognised as stamps at all?

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by GlenStephens »

That website is 10 years old, and they have removed their contact links from it, you might have noticed. They have none for sale, and that has been the case for many years AFAIK.
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They sent me the covers above and sheetlets above a decade back.

I wrote about them in "Stamp News", sold them to a client who later passed, and his Estate was offered to me, and I have them back in stock again. (Somewhere here - https://www.tinyurl.com/stampmess )

These stamps are VERY scarce. I had a guy running a Gay Museum of some kind in San Francisco buy some others I had here, at a very high price a year or so back.

Used on mailed cover they'd be extremely scarce I'd suggest.

= = = = =

https://www.glenstephens.com/snaugust06.html

Gay Glen?


Some curious things happen if you write stamp columns!

A couple of weeks back I went to collect my mail and my postmaster (who I know very well) handed over one envelope and gave me a rather curious look, but said nothing.

That envelope is illustrated nearby. It was very attractive and the sender at top left was "Parliament House/The Gay Kingdom Of The coral Sea". The cover was franked with an International Post $1.85 whale. And a 2 Euro "Gay Kingdom" stamp clearly postmarked "Heaven" by the GLK (Gay and Lesbian Kingdom) Post Office.

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"ROYAL GAY MAIL"


There was also a bold red boxed handstamp on it saying "ROYAL GAY MAIL". No wonder I had received the quizzical look! For the record I am very happily heterosexual, but I guess receiving mail from the "Parliament of the Gay Kingdom" might have planted a seed or two of doubt.

Inside there was a very attractive miniature sheet of 9 different Gay Kingdom stamps. Individually numbered it looked like. And a letter inside outlining that the "Kingdom" was declared as a protest against the Commonwealth Of Australia's recent same sex couple legislation.

On their website they say they have declared "War" on the government over this issue. Hmmm.

They claim the 'Kingdom’s" Declaration of Independence has been signed by the Sovereign and sent to the Prime Minister, and Governor General of Australia.

The Kingdom is allegedly located at Cato Reef - a speck on the map well above the Tropic Of Capricorn, reachable by seaplane.

Their website claims on the 1st January 2006 the Government of the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands assumed control of its Postal Services. As an interim measure, Australian stamps were used. These were replaced by the Kingdom's own design in July this year.

The Kingdom’s stamps are supposedly issued with a Euro value since trade is carried out in this currency, the subject are always of a predominantly Gay and Lesbian flavour. The Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands claims they intend to adopt a conservative stamp issuing policy.

Anyway, all very interesting, and I must say the stamps are designed and produced to a higher design and production standard than many 'real countries' new issues.

If anyone collects these interesting Cinderellas and is interested in the cover or sheetlet please contact me.

I recall years ago driving several hours north of Perth to visit 'Prince' Leonard, at the Hutt River Principality. A bleak little farm well off the main road to Geraldton was the Royal Castle.

"Prince" Leonard Casley of course created many sets of Hutt River Province stamps - indeed even coins and banknotes, and even stamped my passport when there. The postage stamps are still keenly sought.

Late last year when visiting Broome on holiday I took one of those Camel safaris along Cable Beach at sunset. (Stunning.) The very Caucasian looking owner of the camel train was the unlikely named "Abdul" Casley.

When I queried the name, he told me he was Son of Prince Leonard - "I make a ton more money pretending to be an Afghan than I ever did in Hutt River".
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by barrymckayau »

Thank you Glen for your response,

I noticed there did not seem to be any way to buy the stamps on their website. I guess they must be collectables though if people are asking for them still.

They must have done a very small run on printing them, making them very scarce.

btw, what does "AFAIK" in your post stand for?

thnx,
Barry

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by jaywalker »

As far as I know, "AFAIK" is an acronym for "as far as I know".

"Btw", we do try to avoid text speak on Stampboards. I'm sure you appreciate it confuses people.

"Thnx"

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by barrymckayau »

Thanks Jaywalker for clearing it up for me,

I shall avoid abbreviations in future!

Barry

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by aethelwulf »

barrymckayau wrote:"Scattered over some 1 million square kilometres ... currently the smallest Kingdom in the world."
If you add up what little physical land there is, it would probably be the smallest...but if you count that whole million sq km as the "territory" of the "country", then it's going to be way bigger than somewhere like Denmark or Netherlands...
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by mobbor »

I'm unsure if it covers the same area, but Australia does have an official Coral Sea Islands territory, which had a permanent population of 4, til February 1 2011, when the meteorological staff of Willis Island were evacuated ahead of tropical cyclone Yasi.

Yasi caused severe damage to the whole island, but I imagine it's re-populated now as it is a vital cyclone warning station. Unfortunately I do not know the sex of the residents, let alone their sexual proclivities.
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by aethelwulf »

mobbor wrote:I do not know the sex of the residents, let alone their sexual proclivities.
On an island of 4, it might be "take whatever you can get". :lol:
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by barrymckayau »

As I understand it from the website, the "Kingdom" is based on Cato Island and there is apparently a Post Box on the island, as you will see on this webpage: http://gaykingdom.info/stamps.htm. I'm not sure whether their land claim covers where the cyclone station mentioned on Willis Island.

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by mobbor »

The only thing based on Cato Island is a solar powered automatic weather station. If the picture on the site you referred is Cato Island, the weather station must have been built since. It is similar in appearance- a sandy cay- to Willis Island but much better vegetated.

I'm quite certain there was never a post box there, but if can find an envelope posted Cato Island, rather than GLK Post Office, I'd definitely buy it.
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by barrymckayau »

The picture of a postbox as shown on the website could well not be located on Cato island at all.
Looking through the website, the people behind it appear to have been located in south east Queensland

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by Global Administrator »

mobbor wrote:I'm unsure if it covers the same area, but Australia does have an official Coral Sea Islands territory, which had a permanent population of 4, til February 1 2011, when the meteorological staff of Willis Island were evacuated ahead of tropical cyclone Yasi.
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Genuine mail from this area is scarce. This is a cover I sold this year for $1000.

1939 Willis Island cover to Buka Passage BNG.


FROM - "Willis Island Queensland 7 APR 1939 Radio Station" scalloped oval in Violet. And a straight line WILLIS ISLAND handstamp on face as well. With correct 2d KGVI stamp - normal domestic post rate applied to British New Guinea at this time.

The little sand cay is about 500 kms steaming east of Cairns, in the Coral Sea.

Addressed to "Buka Passage, Bougainville New Guinea". The album page notes that cancel was used only until 1942.

On Burns Philip crested Belt and Buckle stationary - also with the Willis Island backstamp, so that points to it being 100% commercial.

Via Burns Philp Line trading boat - S.S. Malaita - with MALAITA straight line hand-stamp, and also PAQUEBOT (Posted at sea) handstamp.

Stamp appears to have NOT been date-stamp cancelled at Willis Island, so it was cancelled on arrival at Buka Passage ..... that cds being "Buka Passage 3 JU 39 - New Guinea". :shock:

This was just before WW2 commenced, so is not a wartime cover. However the S.S. MALAITA soon became a troop and transport ship, and was later torpedoed by the Japanese.

Digging on the web I found another 2 covers, same envelope stock, and same handwriting, to Burns Philp staffers - sent by the Burns Philp staffer on island it seems, and it says any cancel from Willis Island was rare. As residents on the island are stated as being between 2 or 4 persons at this time, little wonder!

The superb PPA index does not list Willis Island under Queensland cancels -

https://www.premierpostal.com/cgi-bin/wsProd.sh/Viewpocd.w?

This tiny mail was picked up after an 'SOS' call in April 1939 from the island, to deliver fuel and food.
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==============

https://www.auspostalhistory.com/articles/1657.shtml

WILLIS ISLAND RADIO STATION, to BURNS PHILP, GIZO, BR. SOLOMON ISL’D

The cover is addressed to Mr. C. Williamson, C/o Burns Philp, Gizo, B.S.I. and the 2 green 1d KGV Head stamps are cancelled with the arrival postmark GIZO/ 17 AP 39/ BRITISH SOLOMON IS. The cover was handstamped with an oval RADIO STATION/ 7 APR 1939/ WILLIS ISLAND (whence it originated), there was a ms. ‘per MALAITA’, as well as an additional straight line handstamp ‘WILLIS ISLAND’ (Figure 1).

The reverse has a blue printed ‘BURNS PHILP LINE’ belt & buckle insignia, with the flag of the company at its centre, on the flap, and there is an identical oval handstamp, as on the front, RADIO STATION / 7 APR 1939/ WILLIS ISLAND (Figure 2).

The cover’s vendor had found an article in The Australian Stamp Monthly dated October 1, 1939 throwing light on Willis Island and showing a b & w cover with a 2d KGV Head stamp addressed to the same Mr. C. Williamson, addressed to Makambe, B.S.I, on the identical date as before, with both the oval and straight-line Willis Island handstamps.

In addition had an incomplete transit postmark for TULAGI/ 10 AP 39 (British Solomon Island). The stamp also had a large ‘Paquebot’ handstamp which cannot be seen on the figure. The Island motor vessel, ‘Malaita’ (owned by the Burns Philp Line Co.) had been diverted from her course en route to the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, to the Willis Island in response to an S.O.S. call. This was necessitated by a temporary shortage of food and petrol. This cover is seen in Figure 3.

Willis Island in the Coral Sea was opened for meteorological research in 1921, and it is situated ENE off Cairns at latitude 16.29 south and longitude 149.97 east, and it has an altitude of 8 metres. After the devastating cyclone of Mackay in 1918 there was agitation for such a station to help predict the path of future cyclones.

The station was manned by 2-4 men, and Mr. C. Williamson was not on the staff, but was employed by Burns Philp. The position of Willis Island in relationship to Queensland is seen in Figure 4.

The letters from Willis Island are rare and were made up when the Malaita called there. They bore the Australian stamps which the passengers and ship’s officers had with them and were addressed to Gizo and Tulagi (ports separated by a narrow span of water) in the British Solomon Islands and to Kieta and Buka Passage in British New Guinea. The position of Giza, in the British Solomons is shown by the red arrow in Figure 5.

Malaita was built in Glasgow Scotland in 1933, a passenger/cargo motor ship that traded mainly between Sydney and the Solomon Islands. When Japan became an active belligerent, Malaita was involved in the evacuation of women and children from the Solomon Islands. Later she transported troops and equipment to Port Moresby to halt the Japanese advance.

On the 29th August 1942 a Japanese submarine torpedoed the Malaita off Port Moresby, and it was towed to shallow water in Basilisk Passage, Port Moresby, New Guinea. On 15 September Malaita proceeded under her own power at reduced speed to Cairns Australia, arriving 20 September, having steamed the 790 miles from Port Moresby at an average speed of 7 knots.

The extent of damage was so severe repairs were not undertaken until October 1945 and these were completed in April 1947. She resumed trade to New Guinea with Burns Philp and remained in this service until being sold for scrap in 1971. A picture of the MV Malaita is seen in Figure 6.

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by Panterra »

GlenStephens wrote:That website is 10 years old, and they have removed their contact links from it, you might have noticed. They have none for sale, and that has been the case for many years AFAIK.
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...
Gay folks worldwide will be jumping out of their rainbow shorts with glee at the news that a SECOND gay country has now made an appearance on planet Earth!

Kemp Land, formerly a Stalinist dictatorship in the Antarctic, had a gay revolution in 2015, and in 2016 this set of overprints appeared:
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Kemp Land 2016 the full set of four overprints on earlier stamps to celebrate the proclamation of Gay rule in the country.
Trademe auction site in NZ wrote:Kemp Land in 2015 had a revolution, where the despotic regime of Eric Gardo was overthrown in a gay uprising.

They established a new government and proclaimed the country the GAY REPUBLIC OF KEMP LAND.

Four older stamps (one showing the hated dictator Gardo) were overprinted "WE ARE FREE! The whole country is GAY! 2016"

Here is the full set, mint unhinged.

===

Kemp Land now becomes the world's second gay country. A group of LGBT activists in Australia took over the Coral Sea Islands (formerly an uninhabited territory of Australia off the coast of Queensland) in 2004, and declared its independence as the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands. They issued beautiful stamps, and adopted the rainbow flag as their standard.

Kemp Land now hopes that many more lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, & queer folks worldaround will rise up and take control of the political apparatus to enable the introduction of equal rights for ALL genders, something that is seriously lacking in many of the heterogarchies of this planet.

===

Gay Shame was created as a protest of (and named in opposition to) the over commercialization of the gay pride events. Members attack "queer assimilation" in what they perceive as oppressive societal structures. As such, its members disagree with the legalization of same-sex marriage, stating that:

"What we are calling for is the abolition of State sanctioned coupling in either the hetero or homo incarnation. We are against any institution that perpetuates the further exploitation of some people for the benefit of others. Why do the fundamental necessities marriage may provide for some (like healthcare) have to be wedded to the State sanctioned ritual of terror known as marriage? Gay marriage and voting are symbolic gestures that reinforce structures while claiming to reconfigure them."

Bisexual and transgender people also seek recognition as legitimate categories within the larger minority community.
:shock:

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by GlenStephens »

Panterra wrote:
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Well they certainly should have been exiled to Kemp Lamp. Or Uranus. :idea:

They'd be THE most tasteless gays on the planet, and would be shunned by all others.

Gay people are renowned for good taste and elegant and classy designs (witness the Gay Kingdom issue above) and even most NINE years olds would disown this amateur sloppy garbage!

Clearly a non gay, feebly trying to attract a few pink dollars. Sad. :idea: :idea: :idea:
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by Princestamps »

Coming from this gay, both sets are febrile. The Coral Sea ones are ridiculous and play upon stereotypes of rainbow flags and pink triangles, and Panterra's overprints, he wanted me to say something positive.

But sorry Panterra, these are beyond tacky, they are as about gay as an Anita Bryant/Brian Tamaki protest march.

Gays have been mainstreamed now in any civilised country that is not poisoned by dogmatic religions and conservative bigotry, with most bigotry limited to religious fruitcakes, old people living in the wops wops and closet cases.

Still, we do not need to draw attentions to ourselves by validating stereotypes. We do not all wear pink and call everyone darling, sweetie and say everything is fabulous or tragic.

Panterra those stamps are god awful and look like a crude Stamperija ripoff from about 1970.
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by gullyguy »

I have to agree with Princestamps, they are awful. Actually, if they were truly free they would have burnt all the Eric Gado stamps as part of the protest, rather than recycling them by overprinting with a rather lame slogan.

The coloured stamps, I don't think they are any worse than the new year rubbish produced by Christmas Island.

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by Princestamps »

Meanwhile on a lighter note, I ended up buying a cover and a set of the Gay Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands stamps with an authentic Heaven postmark.
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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by Global Administrator »

For those in Eastern USA, this Gay Kingdom Mini Sheet (and possibly other Gay related stamps?) was part of a podcast this Monday from NYC -

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I got this email Friday -

My name is Kathy Tu and I co-host a podcast called Nancy from WNYC here in New York. We’re putting out an episode on Monday about the Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of the Coral Sea Islands, and we were wondering if you would allow us to use your photo of the GLK stamps as our episode art. We can credit you in the show page and link to your page, if that works for you.

Thanks very much in advance and hope you are staying healthy!

Kathy Tu
Nancy, WNYC Studios
New York Public Radio


It was their 100th Show, and STAMPS were the subject matter - they even interviewed the owner of Champion Stamp Company in New York - the largest stamp store in eastern USA. :lol: :lol:

Very interesting interview - there is even real audio in there of This Gay Kingdom and its flag being discussed in the Australia Parliament!

https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/nancy/episodes/nancy-podcast-make-australia-gay-again

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by erich »

Is "Eric Gardo" some obscure historical reference, or just the guy who makes these stamps?

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Re: "Gay and Lesbian Kingdom of The Coral Sea" stamps

Post by Panterra »

erich wrote:Is "Eric Gardo" some obscure historical reference, or just the guy who makes these stamps?
Eric Gardo was the former dictator of Kemp Land, before being ousted in the gay revolution of 2015. He now lives in exile in the Maldive Islands, where he is active in philately and subsistence-fishing.

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