Gaywaves by Gaywaves Collective: Interview with Dennis Altman and Marg McMann
Gaywaves was Sydney’s first gay and lesbian radio program.
It was considered groundbreaking when it went to air on 2SER FM in November 1979, at a time when homosexual acts between consenting adults were still illegal in New South Wales.
This clip is from the first live broadcast of Gaywaves on 3 January 1980. It features a preface to a discussion with gay rights activists Dennis Altman and Marg McMann about gay identity at the start of the 1980s.
Initially broadcast as a half-hour pre-recorded program on Wednesday evenings, Gaywaves shifted to Thursdays in early 1980 and was soon extended to a three-hour live weekly broadcast.
The program covered everything from HIV/AIDS rallies, Mardi Gras festivals and drama serials to the Australian Transsexual Association program, with a mix of music, talkback, news and event and group listing.
At a time when mainstream media rarely covered LGBT issues positively, and when LGBT print media was mostly published monthly, programs like Gaywaves were a vital news source for the Sydney LGBT community.
Unusually for community radio, significant holdings of Gaywaves are held by the NFSA, State Library of NSW and the Australian Queer Archives.