Yianni’s heart on sleeve

Yianni’s heart on sleeve

Sydney gay media identity Yianni Zinonos, best known for his TVS cooking show Yianni’s City Life, is featured in a new ABC four-part documentary, narrated by actor William McInnes.

The Making Of Modern Australia is an ambitious look at the social and cultural complexities of Australian life, post World War II, and Zinonos shares his story in episode three, The Australian Heart.

“I don’t know why they’ve got me in that section, because I’m pretty much single,” Zinonos told Sydney Star Observer. “I make the comment in the show that I’m seeing a few people, not because I’m popular but because I’m making do with what’s available.”

The episode draws from a disparate group of interviewees, including Zinonos, a long-married heterosexual couple, a pair of late-life divorcees, and a lesbian couple, in an attempt to shed light on the changing face of love and sexual relationships.

“I think I was chosen because I’m a bit of a mixed bag ­— I’m a mid-40s gay first generation Australian who’s lived through the AIDS era. A lot of my segment in the program talks about how I’ve been influenced by all those things.”

Zinonos talks about the initial difficulty of coming out to his family, the sense of liberation he felt as a young gay single man, and his recent forays into the world of online dating. Viewers see a snapshot of gay life, as Zinonos is interviewed on Oxford St and inside the Midnight Shift.

“I think it’s really good that they’ve included gay people in the Making of Modern Australia, because we’re an important part of the fabric of this country. Although I am a bit nervous about seeing the finished product – I was sat in a nightclub on Oxford St pouring my heart out after a couple of drinks.”

The Making of Modern Australia screens 8:30pm Thursdays on ABC. Yianni’s episode screens August 5.

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