Soon after the establishment of the group, weekly meetings began, a bank account was created and social and fundraising dances were organised.
The early meetings were held in the Undergraduate and Graduate Lounges on the second floor of the union building. Attendances were large, often 5O to 60 people, most of those present recall. The collective energy was exhilarating for many, drawing together a large group of gays and lesbians talking, debating, cruising, planning actions – and often simply basking in the company of so many gay people.
Given the university base, the meetings mostly attracted the young and the political, but the group had its own diversity. As Rodney Thorpe recalls:
There were socialists who wanted to 'link the world up’ with the blacks and women and the gays and the oppressed people and the students; radical Christians who had no idea about what their sexuality was; people who were out to all the world and happy to appear on television; and kids coming over from Melbourne High, who were still at school and who had to sneak into the meetings and who hadn't had sex and they wanted it ... and every week we'd get new people coming and then you would have to go through a lot of those things again. We had to deal with people's fears and ignorance and their coming out.
Not surprisingly, the group talked a lot and argued a lot and if it occasionally seemed to Rodney Thorpe like a "hell of a mess" - and he was not alone in this impression - somehow they got through it all. Priorities for actions were discussed and tactics sorted. One man remembers intense debate over whether or not to have a kissing booth in the union foyer and whether to hand out "homosexual apples" on the trams.
GAY LIB PARTY
AUGUST 9TH 8PM
GAY LIBERATION CENTRE
259 BRUNSWICK ST. FITZROY
CONFERENCE PROPAGANDA & GAY BOOKS ON SALE
TAKE COLLINS STREET TRAM NO.9 OR 11.
TO JOHNSTON STREET.