Danny was born into a working class family in Waratah and grew up in New Lambton.
He left school at 16 to become an assistant projectionist for Hoyts theatres in Newcastle. He then took up a traineeship as a radio technician with the Royal Australian Airforce. When he left, like some of his camp (gay) friends in Newcastle, he got a job as a ship steward, a job he had until the mid 1990s.
Working on ships, Danny had the opportunity to catch the exciting early years of the camp (gay and lesbian) social groups and commercial venues in Sydney.
Newcastle had a number of hotels that were chosen by camps to meet and drink at - The Orient, The Terminus, The Great Northern and The West End as well as the famous Star Hotel.
Socialising after 10 o’clock hotel closing was by invitation to people’s houses. The men of Newcastle (gay and heterosexual) also met up or socialised with friends at certain public toilets. There was a relentless campaign by the police to arrest these men (male-male sex was illegal until 1984) and by the Newcastle Council which wanted to close down what they deemed as “anti-social” activities.
When Danny was outed as gay by the Newcastle Herald (an infamous Fairfax tradition that began in the nineteenth century), his union stood by him.
And he remembers the AIDS crisis in the gay community in the 1980s – 1990s when so many friends died. He helped with volunteer work organised by ACON at Gipps Street Carrington.