The family of a young man who led a protest against drag queens reading to children at a Brisbane library has spoken out following his death.

Wilson Gavin, 21, died by suicide on Monday morning after footage of the protest went viral, sparking furious reactions from social media users.

Gavin's family said that the young man would be remembered as "a devoted and loving son and brother".

In a lengthy and emotive statement the family addressed the people who had been upset by Gavin's recent actions, saying at times his decisions made them "angry with him too".

Family of Wilson Gavin speak out after his death. Photo / Supplied
Family of Wilson Gavin speak out after his death. Photo / Supplied

They also hit back at those who had described him as "deeply troubled", stating that these people "never knew him", and thanked the police and emergency services personnel they had dealt with along with those who "shared their stories of who Wilson Gavin really was".

Read the family's full statement below

Gavin was part of a group of young men and women from the University of Queensland's Liberal National Club who stormed Drag Queen Story Time on Friday, chanting: "Drag queens are not for kids".

The public family event is run by Brisbane City Council in partnership with Rainbow Families Queensland, with entertainers leading singing, dancing, reading and craft classes for children and their families.

Following the controversy the Liberal National Party distanced itself from the group, saying the behaviour did not represent party values and the university club had been disaffiliated last month.

Less than 24 hours after footage of the protest appeared online, news of Gavin's death came to light.


To everyone who knew our son and brother and shared their stories of who Wilson Gavin really was – we thank you.

To those who have described Wilson as "a deeply troubled young man", including so-called family members – with all due respect – you never knew him.


To anyone who is or was angry with Wilson – we know he regularly got the "how" wrong and occasionally got the "what" wrong. This made us angry with him too.

To the LGBTIQA+ communities and Rainbow Families Queensland – we love and support you.

To young, politically motivated people of all persuasions – we implore you to seek kind and wise mentors who will guide you, and not use you or wash their hands of you when you no longer serve their purposes.

To those who are now regretting words said or typed in anger that may have contributed to another person's suffering – we know and share your pain all too well.

To the employees of Queensland Rail and the commuters impacted by our son's decision to end his life in the way that he did – words cannot express our sorrow for you.

To the police and emergency services personnel who have treated us with such dignity and compassion, and work with this type of trauma far too often – you have our deepest respect and gratitude.

We loved Wil for his compassion and sense of justice – just some of the many things he got right.

We respected the unwavering strength of his convictions and desire to make the world better.

And we admired Wil's drive to contribute, so often in ways not many knew about – like serving at a soup kitchen every Saturday or the year he spent teaching kids in Mongolia. He would regularly give the last note in his wallet to a homeless person on the street.

Wil worked tirelessly for causes without personal gain, gratitude, or in some cases, loyalty.

We remember him as a devoted and loving son and brother. We will love him, always and will be forever grateful he was part of our family.


If you are worried about your or someone else's mental health, the best place to get help is your GP or local mental health provider. However, if you or someone else is in danger or endangering others, call police immediately on 111.


• 0800 543 354 (0800 LIFELINE) or free text 4357 (HELP) (available 24/7)
YOUTHLINE: 0800 376 633
• NEED TO TALK? Free call or text 1737 (available 24/7)
KIDSLINE: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
WHATSUP: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
• DEPRESSION HELPLINE: 0800 111 757 or TEXT 4202