Age Gays

Articles: Member Tributes

Steve Ostrow, the founder of MAG, is an expatriate American now living in Sydney, Australia.

Steve spent most of his life in New York City both as an opera singer and as an entrepreneur, having built and operated the world-famous Continental Baths, where Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Patti La Belle, Peter Allen and countless others got their start.

During the ‘Stone Wall’ era Steve and the Continental were influential in having the laws against homosexuals decriminalized, leading to homosexuality being declared legal in New York City.

The Baths operated from 1967 to 1975, when NYC began going into a hard drug era and a financial depression. After closing the Baths, Steve returned to his opera career singing with major opera companies the world over, including the New York City Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Stuttgart Opera, the Lyric Opera of Queensland and the Australian Opera. During his stay in Stuttgart in the 1980’s, Steve also was contracted by the USO to put on shows for NATO troops and their families stationed in Germany.

On arrival in Australia in 1987, Steve became a group leader for the Ankali Project, a volunteer organisation offering emotional support to PLWHA’s here in Australia, for many years before founding MAG the Mature Age Gay Men’s Group in 1991.

Originally a pilot project for AFAO, The Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations, MAG is now an activity of ACON, The AIDS Council of NSW, and as such has become the largest Gay organisation meeting on a regular basis in all of Australia.

Having served 6 years as MAG President, in addition to being the Project Officer, Steve is now on the Executive Board of MAG as ACON Liaison Officer.

Now retired from the stage, Steve is also the director of the Sydney Academy of Vocal Arts and is a vocal coach to many of Australia’s best young performers.

Steve’s autobiography Saturday Night at the Baths is now being prepared for publication. He has also just completed The Ring, a novel of intrigue, espionage and opera centring around the 2008 Olympics.

He is currently writing Musings On A Life: Mine In Particular, a compendium of thoughts and observations garnered over a life spanning almost 7 decades.

“Live at the Continental”

Michael’s driver, Tony, Steve, Michael and Johan check out Steve’s book