The Underground

The Underground: sexuality and protest

Inspired by the site of the public toilet block at Taylor Square, ‘The Underground: Sexuality and Protest’ charts a history of cruising and Queer sex in Sydney during the 1980s and 1990s.

It positions public sexual expression as a radical mode of Queer community-building and political resistance – a joyful and embodied form of activism that was central to the struggle for LGBTQIA+ rights, including the path to decriminalisation in NSW in 1984, the fight against HIV/AIDS and the right of women and transgender people to assert autonomy over their own bodies.

The exhibition celebrates this history as well as traces the ways that it informs and shapes LGBTQIA+ community today. Highlighting gems from the Australian Queer Archives as well as loans from personal collections, the exhibition will showcase visual materials that relate to the key types of meeting places such as beats, saunas and parties as well as the subcultures and creative scenes that emerged in Sydney during this time.

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