Newtown’s King Street is set to overtake Darlinghurst’s Oxford Street as the epicentre of gay Sydney, according to a report by Marrickville Council.
Apart from the increasing visibility of same-sex couples holding hands on King Street, the prediction is based on the number of LGBT organisations and services which have moved to the inner-west to be more accessible to the moving community.
Some of those organisations now found within the Marrick-ville Council area include New Mardi Gras, Twenty10, the Gay and Lesbian Counselling Service, the Gender Centre, the Pollys Club and the Metropoli-tan Community Church.
A survey of these organisations sought to find what percentage of their members or clients lived in the area, which includes Camperdown, Dul-wich Hill, Enmore, Lewisham, Newtown, Petersham, St Peters, Stanmore, Sydenham and Tempe.
The poll found 12.5 percent of NMG members live in the area, while more than half of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir’s members reside there. The Gender Centre said around 120 of their clients live in the area, and the Pollys Club has 20.7 percent of members there.
Marrickville Council undertook the research as part of their draft Social Plan, which sought to identify the needs and concerns of the area’s diverse communities.
The report found the gay and lesbian community generally considered Newtown and Enmore to be quite gay-friendly and they felt comfortable and safe being openly queer there.
A survey of 300 queer residents found the main issues of concern to them included safety, parenting and families, relationship recognition, visibity and support.
The report said there were no definite figures on the number of LGBT people living in the area as many were reluctant to identify themselves in the 2001 Census Survey.