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

 

1971 venues 

see: a. 1970 - 1975 venues 


 

1971 Events

Date

If not in Sydney

Event

6 February 1971

 

CAMP Inc (later CAMP NSW) holds its first public general meeting chaired by Dr Ian Black. John Ware and Christabel Poll are elected co-convenors.

21 February 1971

Melbourne

A gay organisation, Society 5 forms.

23 February 1971

 

The first student gay group Campus CAMP, forms at the University of Sydney.

March 1971

 

CAMP Inc holds a housewarming party at 393 Darling Street, Balmain and raises $300, the rent for one month.

March 1971

 

William and John Australia’s first commercial gay magazine is published.

1 March 1971

 

The Federal Labor Party frontbencher, Bill Hayden backs law reform.

22 March 1971

 

Ian Black is interviewed by Anne Deveson on 2GB about CAMP Inc.

2 May 1971

 

The first Sunday Bar-B-Q is held at 393 Darling St Balmain.

19 May 1971

 

The proposals of the Law Reform Committee is discussed at a General Meeting of CAMP Inc.

2 June 1971

 

A meeting of a Church Group is advertised in Camp Ink.

19 June 1971

 

A women only meeting of CAMP members is advertised in Camp Ink.

July 1971

 

A ‘Gay Liberation’ cell is formed within CAMP

22 July 1971

Melbourne

The Humanists form a homosexual law reform society.

August 1971

 

CAMP advertises a 24 hour contact number for CAMP Ink readers who are having trouble with the Law, Church, Society, Family or Self.

August 1971

Canberra

The Canberra and Goulburn Anglican Synod votes in favour of homosexual law reform.

September 1971

 

CAMP Inc celebrates 12 months since it received publicity and recruited its first members. It has 2,000 members of and has 4 main aims.

September 1971

New York

Dennis Altman publishes Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation.

October 1971

 

The Sexual Liberation Forum is held at the University of Sydney

8 October 1971

 

First gay rights demonstration attracts 70 people outside NSW Liberal Party headquarters in support of the pre-selection of Tom Hughes against a right wing challenge following his support for homosexual law reform.

11 October 1971

Melbourne

The Melbourne Anglican Synod votes in favour of homosexual law reform.

13 October 1971

Adelaide

CAMP SA forms at a meeting at the University of Adelaide.

20 October 1971

 

A Campus CAMP forum on law reform is held at the University of NSW.

20 October 1971

 

Campus CAMP Sydney University holds the first Sexual Liberation Forum with Dennis Altman and Wendy Bacon as the principal speakers.

Updated: 14 July 2015 by John Witte using various gay movement publications and chronologies.