Summary

Circular badge with yellow candle against white and purple background. Commemorates the 1992 AIDS Candlelight Vigil in Melbourne.

Collected during the 2005-2006 Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay Transgender Collections Survey, a joint project between Museum Victoria, State Library of Victoria and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives.

According to the National Association of People Living with AIDS, the Vigil began as an impromptu march by gay men in San Francisco on 2 May 1983, along the route gay rights activists had used to protest the 1978 murder of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. The men carried candles in memory of those who had died. They were joined by hundreds along the way in a show of support. The march protested inaction by the government, indifference of the media and public homophobia. Before the end of that year, memorial marches and ceremonies had begun to spread around the world. In Australia, the date for Candlelight Vigils was changed from the international day in May to 1 December - World AIDS day - principally due to weather, according to Colin Krycer (for many years organizer of the Candlelight Vigil and AIDS Quilt ceremonies in Melbourne).

Physical Description

Circular badge with white and purple background, white inscription and yellow vertical bar with flame on top, resembling candle. Silver metal, plastic-coated, with safety pin fastener attached through two holes in back.

Significance

Collected during the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay Transgender Collections Survey, a joint project between Museum Victoria, State Library of Victoria and the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives in 2005-2006. The project aimed for 'improved knowledge, representation and interpretation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender material in public collections. It aimed to promote the development of strategies for encouraging discussion and awareness of homosexuality in the mainstream community. It also aimed to begin to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Victorians with a sense of inclusion in the broader story of our heritage. The survey has provided an opportunity for the celebration of political and social achievements, and recognition of the tenets of equal opportunity and human rights for all Victorians.' (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Material Survey Project Report, Kate Davison, 2006).
These documents provide an important record of community activity within and beyond the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities in Victoria in the period 2005-2006. They show a breadth of activities, including tours, exhibitions, research projects and political movements, across organisations ranging from the AIDS Care Association to the Midsumma Festival.

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