16. What role did Rupert Murdoch play in our story?

When Peter Blazey approached The Weekend Australian about publishing a lift-out on ‘homosexuality in Australia’, its editor-in-chief contacted Rupert Murdoch, his boss, in New York. Murdoch knew about gay New York’s discos, designers and decorators. He saw ‘gay’ as ‘something new, sexy and money-making’. So The Weekend Australian commissioned Blazey to out our politicians, actors and sportspeople. When they slammed their closet doors, Blazey’s team publicized the up-and-coming DIGS as ‘an act of defiance’. The Weekend Australian ran the lift-out on the very day of the procession and this probably encouraged some people to rock up to Taylor Square.

Peter Blazey’s article is balanced by “the Case Against”
© Weekend Australian Source:Weekend Australian page 2. Digby Duncan’s Scrapbook, Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

Clearly, an aspiring world-class city like Sydney was ripe for a commercial gay scene. Indeed, CAMP felt that a lot of men were drifting away from its outreach services and heading for the bars and discos. And GSG believed that they were ripping-off their patrons. As reported in the lift-out, GSG claimed that Oxford Street was a ‘gay ghetto’ that contained its push for equality.

Authors: Gavin Harris and John Witte.

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