"I could tell I wasn't like everybody else"

toward a history of queer childhoods in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In oral history interviews, many lesbians and gay men remember childhoods shaped by feelings of difference and by the challenging search for information about queer lives. Drawing on a large-scale, multigenerational oral history project with Australian gay men and lesbians, this paper explores how such memories might contribute to Australian histories of childhood. The memories of interviewees reveal the ways in which homophobia and heterosexism have shaped both individual experiences of childhood and the construction of childhood as a social category. Queer children have been made invisible by discourses that have depicted childhood as a journey toward a uniformly heterosexual future. Listening to the memories of lesbian and gay adults challenges such discourses and creates space for queer children in our understandings of the Australian past.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-287
Number of pages20
JournalThe Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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