Over the last month I’ve spent hours reading the postings of what is turning out to be a wonderful Facebook page Lost Gay Sydney. It’s lovely because it’s an open page, any of its members can join up other friends and anyone can request to join.
Created by Jason Dann and Jon Fabian Lost Gay Sydney was born from a recently new Facebook group called Lost Sydney. They realised after posting a photo of The Albury (and a few other memories) it became clear there was enough lost ‘gay’
to warrant a group dedicated to places, people and culture that were being reminisced. Sydney
|me as a covergirl on Sydney Cruiser magazine 1979|
Somehow it appeared in my news feed very early in its birth and I posted a photo of a magazine cover I just had, why I forget, on my drive. It’s a 1979 cover of Cruising which was one of our first gay mags and features myself, Mr Amber Lee and Craig Petrie in our Les Girls finery. I though it fitted the brief as the bye lines advertising articles inside covered ‘Is Leather Drag’ and the leather scene was just beginning then, all very topical of the day and which I thought might have interest to someone drawn to lost gay Sydney. By the time that weekend finished 54 comments had been made, and I received a thank you post from one of the page creators – how civilised and delightful is that.
I had also very timely spotted a video in my feed of ‘a day in the life of Shop Yourself Stupid 1996’ – I shared that to Lost Gay Sydney and it seemed to immediately act as a trigger to what quickly became a flood of people’s memories.
Since then it has grown to be something more than I would think its creators ever imagined. We are seeing many people share their Mardi Gras moments and drag outings. But we are also seeing so much history. Clippings from old gay papers, ads for bars long forgotten, of legendary dance parties and political notices.
I’ve seen photos of nights that are filed in my ‘best ever’ memory and photos of friends that shared my youth. It’s been so wonderful to see people post comments that reconnect them with old friends and acquaintances, often triggered by some photo of a shared experience, some it seems after thirty years.
But I for one have also had tears – I’m sure I’m not alone, as I’ve seen photos of many guys taken in their beautiful youth to HIV/Aids, many of which I haven’t thought about for a long time. I’ve stopped and thought anew of that long period of the late eighties and nineties and wondered just how we coped.
I know many people are wondering what to do with all this shared gay
history. Some suggest an event or even a gallery exhibition in next years Mardi Gras Festival. I can quite see those three rooms of the Tap Gallery in the heart of the ‘lost’ land split into People Places and Party’s of Lost Gay Sydney. Sydney
I saw a post from the great Cindy Pastel that struck a cord, he said – “I will take away a fort of sheer bliss knowing all you beautiful people are having fun re-earthing your past and enjoying it...we are all on the same page here...and it doesn’t cost to get in...and no labels needed...a time when FUN was a word we didn’t know how to spell x its the best X thankyou...is everybody happy?”
And Yes I think this initiative has made a lot of people happy – thank you Jason and Jon!