Thousands of LGBTI Melburnians are sharing and uncovering stories, photos and videos from past decades online to remember the queer community’s legacy.
Lost Gay Melbourne, a Facebook group taking its lead from the popular Lost Gay Sydney group, has been inundated with drag photos and other paraphernalia.
Melbourne page creator Travis de Jonk said he the page had received an enthusiastic response. “I really loved what was happening in Sydney,” de Jonk told the Star Observer.
de Jonk started the group following the recent death of Melbourne drag identity Pussy Willow.
“I really liked her a lot and felt her passing away was a big loss,” he said.
“It reminded me of a couple of other people that had passed away in the community and I felt our history was lost so quickly.”
The page has been dedicated to both Willow and drag legend Vivian St James.
Besides the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA), de Jonk said the Melbourne queer community’s history was not documented in a way that was readily accessible.
Past and present Melburnians jumped on the group which now boasts more than 2500 members.
de Jonk said he expected group numbers to continue climbing, hoping for about 4000 people.
Other ‘Lost Gay’ groups have sprung up this month for Adelaide, Newcastle, Perth, Christchurch and Daylesford.
ALGA committee member Daniel Marshall said it was great to see so many people interested in queer history.
“No-one can help but get excited looking at the images and clips people have been posting to Lost Gay Melbourne’s Facebook site,” he said.
“What is also really exciting is seeing the way in which people are being inspired to recall memories and stories based on seeing these things and reading other people’s recollections.”