Flyer for Gay Liberation Dance at Melbournian Receptions, Block Arcade, Friday Aug 16 , designed by Julian Desaily c. 1974.Contributors
Permission to reproduce image must be sought from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.Copyright
Copyright with Julian Desaily estate.
Gay Liberation dances were one of the main ways in which the group drew in new members, as well as being the main fundraising source for the group.
Initially these dances were held at Trophy Hall, which was part of the Beaurepaire Centre at Melbourne University. Rodney Thorpe recalls some of the trouble the group faced in establishing these dances:
“that just caused a storm on campus, because the guy who was the caretaker of the Beaurepaire Pool was … this old, horrible … homophobe who used to sort of you know yell at people in the shower and stuff if they fooled around, and we were asking him to have his precious Hall for a gay dance. But we won, because the … University was very supportive of the Student Union environment to all that sort of stuff, of liberation movements and things, so we got what we wanted.”
Later the dances were held at the Melburnian Receptions rooms at the Block Arcade in the centre of Melbourne.
The dances were quite different from the other social events of the time, venues such as Maisie’s (Her Majesty’s) in South Yarra, which was a relatively informal drinks at a side bar of a corner pub, or the dances like Spangles or Jan’s Dances. For some the dances were a revelatory experience, in the same way as the Gay Liberation meetings and CR groups, a space filled with ‘liberated’ gay men and women, John Langworthy recalls “they were the most liberated gay event I'd ever been to at that stage.”
Friday Aug 16
9pm - 1.30am
block arcade city
phone: 414926 8pm-11pm