The Freedom Socialist Party is shocked and saddened by the news of the sudden death of Fabian LoSchiavo. Fabian, who lived in Sydney, was a legend of the LGBTIQA+community and many radical causes.
FSP members were already collaborating with Fabian in the gay liberation movement when the FSP founded its Australian section in 1983. This was an era when Fabian co-founded the Sydney House of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (SPI). Fabian became widely known and much loved as Mother Inferior, spreading the message: No More Guilt!
The Australian Queer Archives tribute to Fabian captures the essence of the SPI: “The Sydney House soon began manifesting at political rallies, drawing on a mixture of a broad gay left politics, informed by Radical Faerie and radical drag approaches, and with a keen sense of religious ceremony and wit, their serious parody brought the mission of the SPI to Sydney — expiating stigmatic guilt and promulgating universal joy.”
Fabian also appeared as a variety of personas, including Monsignor Porcamadonna and Mother Abbyss. Our favourite was Reverend Oral Riches, the evangelical preacher who was passionate about “the four square gospel revival of socialism, feminism, gay liberation and ethnic pride.” In this persona, Fabian was a powerful weapon in rallying the troops to take on far-right types from Mary Whitehouse to Fred Nile. In 1990, FSP stood with Fabian in Oxford Street, chanting “Damn the Nile, block the street” as we countered this homophobe’s protest against the Mardi Gras.
Fabian was incredibly generous with his time and talents. In 1985, he travelled to Melbourne to perform at a fundraiser hosted by the Committee to Reinstate Alison Thorne at Brunswick Technical School. The event raised money for Alison’s legal costs at the Equal Opportunity Board. Generating funds for quality legal representation enabled Alison to challenge the homophobic discrimination she faced. The contributions of Fabian and hundreds of others resulted in a win, which saw her return to the classroom.
Over the decades, Fabian bestowed sainthoods on rebels for many causes, including FSP Organiser, Alison Thorne, who became “Saint Alison, Holy Thorne in the Side of the Conservatives.”
Fabian was a public sector worker and unionist. He worked for several decades at the NSW Record Office. In 1989, he organised a venue at his workplace, where the Freedom Socialist Party hosted a forum featuring international comrade, Doug Barnes, who visited Australia on a speaking tour about the historic shakeup within the Soviet Union. Fabian’s support was crucial to the success of the Sydney event.
More recently, Fabian travelled to Melbourne in 2022 to speak and perform at a memorial gathering for Ken Lovett. Accompanied by his jaunty accordion, Fabian lifted the energy in room with his memories of Kendall and his original tribute song.
The passing of Fabian LoSchiavo is a great loss for the movement. Farewell to a friend, comrade and rebellious talent. His legacy will long endure.