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

 

1972 venues

see: a. 1970 - 1975 venues

1972 events 

Date                                  Location     Event
19 Jan 72   At the Second Sexual Liberation Forum at Sydney University, featuring Germaine Greer, Gillian Leahy and Denis Altman , Gay Liberation declares itself as the revolutionary wing of the homosexual movement.
28 Feb 72   Time magazine reviews Denis Altman’s book, Homosexual Oppression and Liberation.
March 72   Gay Liberation groups are formed the Universities of Sydney and NSW.
March 72   The NSW Law Reform Group meets with parliamentarians to discuss both the Federal and State Criminal Code.
1 March 72   William and John , closes after 8 issues.
11 March 72   Gay Liberation marches for the first time as a contingent in the international Women’s Day March.
April 72   Homosexual Guidance Service established within CAMP.
April 72   CAMP Ink reveals that a member of the Sydney Morning Herald staff has confirmed that the paper has a policy of not mentioning the gay movement favourably.
10 May 72 Adelaide Dr George Duncan is murdered by drowning in the Torrens River, Adelaide. The S.A. Vice-Squad police suspected.
11 June 72   Sydney Gay Liberation runs sessions at the Women’s Liberation Conference.
July 72   Gay Liberation Centre is set up in a room at 67 Glebe Point Road with the co-operation of co-tenants, Gillian Leahy and Bob Gould.
3 July 72   Dennis Altman appears as guest on the national ABC-TV program Monday Conference .
8 July 72   Gay Liberation fund-raising party held at 393 Darling Street, Balmain and over 550 people (including many straights) turn up.
11 July 72   70 Members of CAMP and Gay Liberation demonstrate outside the ABC TV offices against the cancelling of a This Day Tonight report on gay liberation. One person, David McDiarmid is arrested.
22 July 72   A forum on aversion therapy is organised by UNSW Gay Liberation.
27 July 72   200 march in Sydney to mark the fifth anniversary of law reform in England, during CAMP Sex Lib Week, supported by Gay Lib. Posters are put up saying “Bill Posters will be prosecuted... because he is homosexual” (with a version for “Mary Posters”).
28 July 72   Gay Lib Dance is held in the Manning Building, University of Sydney.
3 Aug 72   Dennis Altman and Sue Wills speak at an Forum on Homosexuality at Macquarie University Union.
8 Aug 72   Street theatre protests are staged at the University of NSW against aversion therapy.
10 Aug 72   Gay Liberation Forum, “Homosexuals on Campus” is held at University of NSW.
2 Sept 72   Fundraising Party in aid of the CAMP Ink at 393 Darling Street, Balmain.
8 Sept 72   Gay Lib Dance is held in the Manning Building, University of Sydney.
Oct 72   Red and yellow gay liberation badges are now sold by Sydney Gay Liberation.
Oct 72   Trevor Wilson announces a collection of gay lib papers, books and pamphlets on loan from the Sydney Gay Liberation centre.
31 Oct 72   The ABC Chequerboard program features gay couples - Peter de Waal and Peter Bonsall-Boone, Gaby Antolovitch and Sue Wills.
12 Nov 72   A demonstration is staged at St Clements Anglican Church, Mosman, protesting against the sacking of a church worker, Peter Bonsall-Boone after he appeared on the ABC Chequerboard program on homosexuality.
23 Nov 72   General meeting of Sydney Gay Liberation, "Toward a workable Sydney Gay Lib", discusses organisational problems and suggestions for changes.
2 Dec 72   David Widdup runs against the Prime Minister MacMahon in the Federal Lowe, “I’ve got my eyes on Billy’s seat!” and “vote for a homosexual that lives in the electorate”. He gets 218 votes.
2 Dec 72   The Labor Party wins office and Gough Whitlam becomes Prime Minister.
2 Dec 72   Sydney gay Liberation supports the Newcastle Gay Lib Group's party at the Cooks Hill Surf Club.
16-17 Dec 72    Gay Liberation Weekend is held at Minto. Workshops and a party/dance are held.

Updated 31/3/13