Queensland still has a long way to go before nudism fully becomes accepted as a part of the community, according to Brisbane nudist Dario Western.
Mr Western is an active member of the Queensland nudist community and believes there needs to be a change of attitude towards the nudist movement in the state.
“There is a sense of secrecy and exclusiveness within the nudist movement here which I think is holding it back from being accepted by mainstream society,” Mr Western said.
“I’m one of the very few nudists in Brisbane who is not afraid of letting all and sundry know about my lifestyle.”
Not everyone in the community is accepting of the nudist movement and Mr Western is trying to shake the stigma associated with it.
“The negativity around it is that nudists have often have a stigma that they are all swingers or sex offenders, and that they have got some hidden sexual agenda with wanting to go to a nudist beach or a camp or club,” he said.
There has been a major push for a nudist beach to be legalised in Queensland, with a petition going around to support the move.
“I went to a beach rally that the Australian Sex Party organised a few weeks ago at Alexandria Bay, but it only got a handful of people turning up for it despite the fact that Channel 9 and Channel 7 turned up to interview the participants,” Mr Western said.
“I think the media is becoming more nude-friendly, but there are still a minority of people who actually do become part of the lifestyle.”
Australian Naturist Federation spokesperson Stuart Whelan believes that Queensland is getting closer to legalising a nudist beach.
“If you look at informal polls there has been a lot of support for a legal nudist beach,” Mr Whelan said.
“There are already unofficial nudist beaches across Queensland so I feel like it is time that it was regulated and I don’t believe we should be punished for baring our natural bodies.”
Mr Whelan believes that nudism is a great promotion of body awareness and it shows that not everyone is perfect.
“Once you realise that we are all the same you become comfortable in your own skin,” he said.
“People often find that when they strip their clothes they also strip the baggage and stress they carry with them.”