Publication Details

Gorman-Murray, A. (2004). Gay and lesbian public history in Australia. Public History Review, 11 8-38.


Although scholarly interest in gay and lesbian history broadly defined is relatively young, research has increased significantly since the early 1990s. This was largely stimulated by the gay liberation movements of the 1970s and 1980s which both encouraged collective self-awareness amongst gays and sought acceptance from the broader straight society. During the 1990s gays became a significant 'consumer' group targeted by various companies and non-commercial organisations as a niche market. One need only scan through gay community periodicals such as SX or Sydney Star Observer to appreciate the number of businesses and non-commercial groups servicing the gay community. ln light of this confluence of increased historical research gay self-awareness and marketing to the gay community, we can suggest that one item that interests the gay community is a specific gay public history. However, there has been little investigation of the various forms of gay public history in Australia and how these have been utilised by the gay community. Public History Review, for instance, last published an article on gay public history in 1992.