Publication Details

Gorman-Murray, A. W. (2006). Imagining King Street in the gay/lesbian media. Sociology for a Mobile World: TASA 2006 Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association (pp. 1-9). Perth: TASA.


The identities of places do not exist a priori, but are derived from various representations constructed through social and cultural processes. The media is a key producer and disseminator of place images and identities in contemporary society. This paper examines the way the gay/lesbian media have imagined the King Street precinct, one of Sydney’s ostensible gay/lesbian localities, between 2003 and 2005. Through textual analyses of these media commentaries, I argue that King Street is often represented in comparison with Sydney’s other notable gay/lesbian space, the Oxford Street precinct. I find, moreover, that this imagined binary relationship is shifting and changing: sometimes King Street is represented as Oxford Street’s ‘alternative’, and at other times as Oxford Street’s ‘successor’, the ‘new centre’ of gay/lesbian Sydney. In either case, however, King Street is made to rely on Oxford Street for its own place-identity in these media commentaries.