Alle Fotos: Courtesy of Connections

australia's longest-running gay club is a masterclass in partying

The underground icon opened up their debaucherous, star-studded photo archive to i-D.

by i-D Staff
|
03 February 2016, 4:55am

Alle Fotos: Courtesy of Connections

In December last year Perth's Connections Nightclub celebrated its 40th birthday. Four decades is a decent run for any party, but Connection's anniversary has cemented their place in Australian cultural history. Started in 1975, Connections is believed to be the longest running gay club in the southern hemisphere. Back then, the party was held in an underground venue often frequented by family men whose sexuality was a closely guarded secret.

Homosexuality wasn't decriminalised in Western Australia until 1990, so in the early years it was more than a place to get loose—it was a safe space to be yourself. To ensure patrons were totally removed from public view, the club even banned cameras for the first 14 years they were open.

Over the next few decades, Perth's attitude towards queer culture has change dramatically—as did the nation's. Punters no longer have to go to a semi-secret bar to be themselves, but Connections still serves a vital role in Perth's nightlife. In a small city, it welcomes everyone. The club's mixed crowd has created a culture of openness and tolerance. To celebrate their (belated) birthday, they kindly let i-D into their sprawling photo archives. Keep an eye out for some impressive guests. 

For more on Connections, check out Thump's recent feature.