Chronology

A chronology of lesbian and gay communities, movements, and venues in Sydney

1920s

 

1930s

 

1940s

 

1950s

 

1960 - 1966

1967

1968

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1980

1981

1982

1983

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

 

 

 

 

 

Australian society in the late 1960s was hostile to homosexuals or, at least, its institutions were. The Law treated gay men as criminals who could be locked away for 14 years for the “abominable crime of buggery”, and the police were active in trying to prosecute them.

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Coming Out Into a Hostile World

Francesca (Chesca) Curtis's television appearance on The Bailey File, a Melbourne-based current affairs programme on commercial television TV's Channel 9, in May or June 1970, speaking about the aims of the Australian Lesbian Movement was arguably Australia's first "coming out" in the media.

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Australia's First National Coming Out

Homosexual/transgender social groups began forming in the early 1960s in Sydney. They offered membership of a discreet “camp” organisation. Their dances provided the perfect stage for Sydney’s new amateur drag scene to flourish and a place for men and women to meet up and find Miss or Mr Right – at least for the night. In the Leichhardt area, there was no shortage of public halls for these groups.

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Leichhardt/Dykehardt Exhibition

Male homosexual acts are no longer criminal in NSW – the law was amended in 1984, and ‘gay’ men can live quite open lives, with a range of venues where they can socialize in ways similar to their heterosexual counterparts. Also, the two worlds now softly collide, with gays and straights mixing together quite easily in many places in Sydney’s inner suburbs.

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And The Beats Go On...

The following people participated in the first Mardi Gras and/or the related events . While every attempt has been made to ensure accuracy, the list could include errors and omissions. Some names are also likely to be the arrestees' aliases.

78ers Honour Roll

 1967 Venues

The Venue listing for this year of the Chronology is being re-written and will be uploaded by mid September 2016. Contact John on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

 

 

 1967 Events

Date

If not in Sydney

Event

14 February 1967

 

A meeting is called by a group of drinkers at the Dugout Bar of the Carlton Rex Hotel to form the Boomerang Social Club.

14 April 1967

 

The Boomerang Social Club meets in a home in Petersham to appoint a committee to choose the Club’s name and to decide on booking the Bexley School of Arts Hall for its first Sunday afternoon dance.

May 67

 

The NSW General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church calls for decriminalisation of male homosexual acts between adults.

27 July 67

London

The Sexual Offences Act granting limited homosexual law reform in England and Wales receives Royal Assent

11 Aug 67

 

The first meeting of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties homosexuality sub-committee meets and agrees to support reform similar to the UK reform of 1967.

Updated: 8 December 2015 by John Witte using gay publications and various chronologies.

 

1968 Events

Date

If not in Sydney

Event

June 1968

 

Labor MP Bill Hayden (later to be a Federal Minister, and then Governor-General) publishes for the Fabian Society in which he calls for, among other things, homosexual law reform.

Updated: 31 March 2013 by John Witte using information in a chronology compiled by Robert French.

 

1969 Events

Date

If not in Sydney

Event

April 69

 

The Humanist Society in New South Wales (NSW) announces its support for homosexual law reform.

27 June 69

Canada

Reforms to Canadian Criminal Code receives royal assent, decriminalising homosexual acts in private for people over 21.

27,28, 29 June 69

New York

The Stonewall Bar riots occur in New York, following police raids and these lead to the formation of the Gay Liberation Front which gives impetus to the formation of similar gay liberation groups around the world.

3 July 69

Canberra

Dr Thomas Mautner (Australian National University (ANU) Philosophy Dept) and solicitor Michael Landale decide to set up a homosexual law reform group after the conviction and gaoling of a Canberra man. Lex Watson joins the group.

27 July 69

Canberra

Public meeting forms Homosexual Law Reform Society of the ACT.

23 Oct 69

Canberra

Homosexual Law Reform Sub-Committee formed by the Humanist Society. The Sub-Committee subsequently draws up a revised Criminal Code for the ACT

31 Oct 69

New York

Time magazine publishes, "The Homosexual in America" as its cover story.

Updated: 14 July 2015 by John Witte using information in various chronologies.