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Badge - We All Make Mistakes, Wimbledon Dance, 1981 Object Reg. No: SH 920477

Alternative Name(s): Button

Badge featuring the profile of US tennis player Billy Jean King with the inscription '"We All Make Mistakes" / Wimbledon Dance / July 1981'. Tennis player Billie Jean King became the first high-profile US athlete to come out as a lesbian in 1981 when she revealed her relationship with Marilyn Barnett. The revelation cost her a fortune in endorsements. She said at the time that the long-term affair had been a 'mistake', angering lesbians and gays. She was supported by her husband in a financial claim mounted by Marilyn, but they later divorced, and Billie said that the term 'mistake' had referred to being unfaithful rather than to being a lesbian.

The dance was held at Storey Hall, 348 Swanston Street, Melbourne, on 17 July 1981. The Stray Dags (Wimmins Band from Sydney) and the Kevins appeared.

One of of collection of buttons assembled by donor while active in left-wing politics at University of Melbourne 1979-1986.

Part of a Museum Victoria collection documenting the material culture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities in Victoria. In 2005 the Museum joined with the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives and the State Library of Victoria to conducted a survey of GLBT material culture in public and private collections in Victoria. Refer Kate Davison (2006), Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender Material Survey: Project Report 2006.
Circular badge. White background with green printing (mounted slightly off-centre). Border indented slightly. Upper left quarter of badge displays profile face of Billie Jean King with hand up to her mouth.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr Bill Watson, 1990
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 3.2 cm (Diameter)

More information

Tagged with: protest movements, sport, tennis, lesbian gay, making history - gay lesbian collection
Themes this item is part of: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Project, Museum Victoria, 2005-2006, Cultural Diversity Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: POLITICS & PUBLIC PROTEST
Secondary Classification: Sexual Politics
Tertiary Classification: badges
Inscriptions: Printed front, green ink 'GCN / "We / All / Make / Mistakes." / Wimbledon Dance / July 1981'.
Person Depicted: Billie King
Place & Date Used: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1981
References: Frank Deford, 'A League of Their Own'. Newsweek, 130/9, Jan. 9, 1997, p. 63 - re Billie Jean King coming out in 1981.

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