Consciousness Raising Groups
Described in a Gay Lib flyer as "the guts, the heart and soul of the movement," small consciousness raising or CR groups gathered on a regular basis to "explore the meaning of their lives; their experiences, their oppression."
CR groups provided many with an experience that was unusual up until that point: the freedom to talk about one's homosexual feelings and experiences with other homosexuals. Peter McEwan recalls his experience of the CR groups:
Several groups of around eight formed. Each group had a mix of men and women. We would meet in each others’ homes every week or two. We shared our understandings of the latest manifestos, but most of all we shared our own intimate feelings about our sexuality and about the impacts of sexism on all of us. A fundamental tenet of Gay Lib was “The personal is political”; so at these groups we worked on ourselves.
These CR groups initially met at the Student Union or in people’s homes, and later at the Gay Liberation Centre, but following the success of the Sydney Gay Liberation weekend retreats, Melbourne Gay Liberation initiated a series of weekends at Blackwood, north-west of Melbourne.