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

 

1974 venues

see: a. 1970 - 1975 venues

 

1974 Events

Date

If not in Sydney

Event

January 1974

Melbourne

The Victorian Labor Party adopts an equality based homosexual law reform policy.

February 1974

 

With their Draft Manifesto of Revolutionary Homosexuals in GLF, Communist Party of Australia members Brian MacGahen and Craig Johnston launch their effeminist turn.

28 March 1974

 

A protest is held at Macquarie University against Penny Short losing her Teachers’ Scholarship after she publishes a lesbian poem.

5 April 1974

 

Martin Smith appears before the Supreme Court of NSW and takes action against the opening of Bobby Limb’s play “Norman is that you?”

25 April 1974

 

The first national conference of Acceptance for gay Catholics is held in Sydney.

1 May 1974

 

Quentin Buckle’s Gay Pride Week trial is held at Central Criminal Court, Liverpool Street.

3 – 10 May 1974

 

Duncan Week is held to commemorate the murder of Dr Duncan with a series of events, including a memorial service, street theatre and a wreath laying.

6 May 1974

 

The pro-gay policy of the Australian Union of Students is ratified by mass meetings at 3 of Sydney’s university campuses.

8 May 1974

 

Barry Schultz and Jeff Hart’s Gay Pride Week trial is held at Central Criminal Court, Liverpool Street.

14 May 1974

 

Diane Minnis and Gary Schliemann’s Gay Pride Week trial is held at Central Criminal Court, Liverpool Street.

18 May 1974

 

Gay Liberationist, Brian McGahen stands for the Senate in the Federal Election

24 May 1974

 

Martin Smith’s Gay Pride Week trial is held at Central Criminal Court, Liverpool Street.

June 1974

 

First issue of the journal Gay Liberation Press produced by supporters of the former Sydney   Gay Liberation

28 June 1974

 

The NSW Country Party supports homosexual law reform.

 

Wauchope

Amazon Acres, a lesbian rural commune, is founded.

August 1974

 

Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in California, tours Australia. MCC is established in Australia.

21 August 1974

 

The Royal Commission into Human Relationships is established. Family Court Justice Elizabeth Evatt, broadcaster Ann Deveson and the Most Reverend Felix Arnott, Anglican Archbishop of Brisbane are appointed as Commissioners.

18 September 1974

Perth

A Report of the Royal Commission on Homosexuality recommends homosexual law reform.

2 Dec 1974

Canberra

Susan Ryan successfully moves a resolution supporting homosexual law reform in the ACT Legislative Assembly.

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