Gay men's experience of community in Australia

Robinson, P 2009, 'Gay men's experience of community in Australia', Journal of Australian Studies, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 67-78.

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Gay men's experience of community in Australia
Author(s) Robinson, P
Year 2009
Journal name Journal of Australian Studies
Volume number 33
Issue number 1
Start page 67
End page 78
Total pages 12
Publisher Routledge
Abstract Many commentators regard gay men's response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s as a remarkable example of a communal response to an external threat, while others view it as notable because of how a community of men responded to a serious threat to their health. This article examines how a non-representative sample of 80 Australian gay men understood the meaning of community in the early 2000s. A substantial majority of interviewees reported positive involvement with the gay community. This included work for people living with HIV/AIDS, counselling and other support services, interaction with a local social group, participation in parades, festivals and the 'scene', and political activity. An articulate minority of men interviewed for the study also gave accounts of negative experiences of community. On the whole, these concerned their inability to relate to other gay men and a sense that they either could not trust them or expect their welcome in gay social settings. The men with positive views tended to support the proposition that communities form when members have and can articulate a shared understanding of identity, while those with negative views showed that there are gay men who have no need of or can live without attachment to same-sex communities.
Subject Sociology not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Community
Oral history
DOI - identifier 10.1080/14443050802672544
Copyright notice © 2009 International Australian Studies Association.
ISSN 1444-3058
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