The conservative student who took his own life after protesting an event where drag queens read books to kids was house sitting for a Coalition senator when he died.
Wilson Gavin, the president of the University of Queensland Liberal National Club, was found dead about 7.07am at Chelmer on Monday morning.
His death followed a social media backlash after he stormed an event at the Brisbane Square Library with about 15 others and chanted ‘drag queens are not for kids’.
Daily Mail Australia has been told Mr Gavin, 21, was minding the home of Liberal National Party Queensland Senator Paul Scarr about the time of the tragedy.
Wilson Gavin, the president of the University of Queensland’s Liberal National Club, died about 7am on Monday in Chelmer, south of Brisbane’s CBD
Daily Mail Australia has been told Mr Gavin had been house sitting at the home of Liberal National Party senator Paul Scarr, who did not respond to multiple requests for comment
His tragic death did not occur at the property, but in a public place.
Daily Mail Australia approached Mr Scarr, a former mining executive and lawyer, for comment. Calls and emails – including to his personal mobile and his spokesman – were not returned on Tuesday.
Mr Gavin was understood to be friends with a member of the Scarr family.
A Queensland Police representative said investigators are not treating Mr Gavin’s death as suspicious, and a report is being prepared for the Coroner.
Drew Pavlou, a close friend of Mr Gavin’s, spoke to the young man several times over the weekend.
He had dinner with his fellow student politician following a protest about China’s treatment of the minority Uighur people in Brisbane.
Mr Gavin did not mention his plan to crash the drag queen reading event during their catch-up.
Mr Gavin was taunted on Twitter in the immediate aftermath of the drag queen protest
Social media exploded after Mr Gavin and about 15 to 20 students stormed the library chanting ‘drag queens are not for kids’.
Twitter taunts included ‘there is something about Young Liberals that makes me “stabby”‘ and trolls calling him an ‘oxygen thief’.
Jess from the Veronicas posted mobile phone footage of the incident on Instagram, saying ‘bigotry is alive in Brisbane today’. (She has since deleted the post).
Mr Pavlou said his mate was ‘defiant’ when he asked him what had happened on Sunday.
‘Then I woke up to the news (that he had died on Monday). It’s just surreal,’ Mr Pavlou said.
The ‘maverick’ young man’s tragic death shocked friends and those involved in the drag queen library incident – with grief pouring in from both sides
His death has sparked grief from both sides of the issue, including the two drag queens involved in the incident.
Mr Pavlou described his friend as a ‘glorious troublemaker’ whose politics were hard to place as he was an ‘outsider’ to the Liberal National Party.
Wilson Gavin with friend Drew Pavlou
Mr Gavin was a devout Catholic who sometimes attended full Latin mass at a church in Annerley.
He was a state chairperson for the Australian Catholic Students’ Association and an out gay man for many years.
Another friend, Christopher Stewart, told Daily Mail Australia: ‘He was genuinely irreplaceable … we won’t see the likes of him again’.
A third mate, Satya Marar, met Mr Gavin through a monarchist group.
Mr Marar said he saw the drag queen story break and thought ‘oh god, Wilson, what have you gotten yourself into?’
But he never expected the ‘irreverent’ and seemingly confident young man was grappling with demons.
‘I expected he would turn up on Sky News tomorrow and tell the haters to go stuff themselves – and do what he does best.
‘I didn’t think this could happen’.
As for Mr Pavlou, he fondly remembered the moment his friend made a dramatic gesture at a rally at the university against the Chinese community party.
His friend apparently climbed up onto the roof of a uni building and hoisted up the Taiwanese flag – a controversial sign given tensions between the island and China.
‘It was insane, and it was beautiful,’ Mr Pavlou said.
For 24/7 confidential crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14
Kids’ Helpline 1800 551 800
‘MY HEART GOES OUT TO HIS FAMILY’: DRAG QUEENS RESPONDS
Johnny Valkyrie, one of two drag queens involved in the Brisbane library incident, said his heart goes out to Wilson Gavin’s family and friends.
‘If the family are reading this please know that I support you, and I am here to gather support and I know you are good people,’ he said.
‘To those of you who follow me, if you require support please reach out to community services and hotlines which are freely available￼ to the community.
‘I cannot say anymore at this stage. ￼￼￼￼￼￼I have to reflect on the events, heal and extend my love to the community.’
Diamond Good-rim, another library performer, said: ‘I am deeply saddened to hear the tragic news of the passing of Wilson Gavin this morning. My thoughts and deep condolences are with his family and friends at this tragic time.
‘We all need to band together at this awful, difficult time.’