Gay Picnic 1973
The Picnic in the Botanical Gardens was in many ways the centrepiece of Gay Pride Week in Melbourne.
Attended by 150 gays and lesbians, the picnic was big and bold with several men dressing up in radical drag, couples promenading hand-in-hand, rowdy gay songs, and games of Drop-the-hanky and Spin-the-bottle. These last, however, managed to draw the ire of at least one policeman who announced that games were ‘not permitted in the park’, despite the obvious games being played there by many groups of children, and that he would ‘decide what was a game and what was not’. Following some argument and threats of arrest, the crowd settled down to finish off their picnic. In the Gay Liberation Newsletter it was noted that the public response to the picnic was ‘good humoured at least and easy going acceptance at best’.