William Yang (he/him)

Photographer William Yang came to Sydney from Brisbane in 1969. He came out as a gay man and has recorded much of his life in the Sydney gay community since the early seventies.

Yang had his first solo exhibition “Sydneyphiles” at the Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney in 1978. Part of the exhibition showed scenes from gay life at the time: people, parties, shows, events, and nights at the sauna Kens Karate Klub. It was the first time that Australian images of this nature had been shown at a public institution and the exhibition caused a sensation.

In 1989 he integrated his skills as a writer and a visual artist. He performed monologues with slide projection in the theatre. They told personal stories and explored issues of identity against a background of social history. He has done twelve full-length works and most of them have toured the world. Recently, he has converting three of his theatre performances into film.

He has exhibited regularly at Mardi Gras. He is well known for his documentation of the AIDS epidemic in the early nineties. His Performance piece “Sadness” was made into a film by Tony Ayres in 1999.

In 1997 he won the Outstanding Visual Arts Event at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras for his exhibition “Friends of Dorothy.” “Friends of Dorothy” is the name he gives to his generic collection of photos of the gay community in Sydney: it has been a book, an exhibition, a performance piece which has toured overseas, and a DVD.

In 2021 he had a retrospective exhibition Seeing and Being Seen at QAGOMA in Brisbane. It contained many images of the LGBTIQ community and was very favourably received by both the critics and general public.

William Yang smiling in a fuchsia shirt and a black vest

Acknowledgement of country

Sydney WorldPride will take place on the lands of the Gadigal, Cammeraygal, Bidjigal, Darug, Dharawal people who are the Traditional Custodians of the Sydney Basin.

We pay our Respects to their Elders past and present. Always was Always will be Aboriginal Land.

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people come from many different clans and communities across Australia & in 2023 will come together as one, to celebrate with our global LGBTQIA+ community.