Many of Sydney’s LGBTI community members have been in a nostalgic mood in recent weeks thanks to the newly formed Lost Gay Sydney Facebook group, a page where Sydneysiders can upload photos and memories of decades past.
With well over 3200 members at last count, the group’s popularity has far exceeded the expectations of its founders, Newtown resident Jason Dann and North Shore-based Jon Fabian.
“It was 116 ‘adds’ in [the first] few hours, then a few hundred by the next day, and over 1000 by the end of the week,” Dann said.
“I realised it had hit a nerve and that people either consciously or unconsciously wanted to revisit and rediscover these memories.”
Content uploaded onto the page – which Facebook members can find here – range from scene pictures from the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, party flyers, showgirl glamour shots and even a picture of the Oxford Hotel dating back to 1910.
Lost Gay Sydney started life as an offshoot of the similarly-themed Lost Sydney Facebook group, which began in April of this year.
“When I saw a few pics of Oxford St pop up, like Frenchs Tavern and The Albury, it triggered something and I ran by Jon that perhaps we could start a sister group to focus on the huge [gay] subculture that Sydney has always been internationally renowned for,” Dann said.
The wealth of material the page has already generated has elicited a slew of rose-tinted comments about how Sydney’s gay scene was better ‘back in the day’. Dann said he’d been watching the discussions with interest.
“I think our older community have a big sentimental connection with the innocent culture of the gay Sydney of old in both the pre-AIDS epidemic days, and of course Sydney during the AIDS epidemic [with] so many old friends lost. There are lots of posts of men and boys with the tag ‘missed’…
“So many guys taken in their beautiful youth to HIV and AIDS. I’ve stopped and thought of that long period in the late ‘80s and ‘90s and how we ever coped.”
The group is also acting as a meeting place for community members who’ve lost touch or moved overseas in the ensuing years. With buzz building, its members are now discussing how to continue the nostalgia offline – perhaps with a reunion dance party or an exhibition of some of the pictures collated on the page.
INFO: Visit the Lost Gay Sydney Facebook page here.