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Digging up past to reveal scale of gay-hate deaths

Yuri Maslikov was a lecturer in ancient history at Macquarie University. Then he disappeared. It was 1985. He owned his own home. His bank accounts were never touched. He was listed as a missing person. After seven years his estate was wound up. This week a friend of his, Bev Kingston, made contact with me: ''Yuri was gay and we thought that he had discovered that he had AIDS and decided to commit suicide. Now we think it's possible he met with foul play.''

A lot of people are having similar second thoughts about gay men who went missing or whose deaths were classified as suicides or misadventure in the 1980s and 1990s. The more we look, the more we learn and discover the scale and violence of the gay bashing and killings in the 1980s and 1990s were much greater than the wider community realised.

The number of gay men murdered in gay-hate crimes between 1985 and 2000 in NSW may be as high as 70. Hundreds were hospitalised after assaults and thousands of gay men and lesbians were attacked. How was the scale of this not known?

To read the full column, click HERE.