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

 

1977 venues

see: b. 1976 - 1978 venues

 

1977 Events

Date

If not in Sydney

Event

February 1977

 

CAMP delegation’s second meeting with Premier Wran.

24-25 February 1977

 

State Government holds a Victimless Crimes Seminar.

March 1977

 

Issue 40 of Camp Ink is the last published.

23 March 1977

 

The Legislative Council rejects homosexual provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act. Change to the Act by Regulation is omitted and the Anti-Discrimination Board is required to conduct research into discrimination against homosexuals.

27 April 1977

 

The Gay Film Fund presents Satdee Nite (Gillian Armstrong); Adam (Paul Bugden and David Perry); Home Move (Jan Oxenberg) and Coming Out (a UK documentary on transsexualism) at the Sydney Filmmakers Co-op, St Peters Lane, Darlinghurst.

June 1977

Melbourne

The Australian Union of Students appoints Manda Biles as its Homosexual Research Officer.

June 1977

 

The Roman Baths opens at 250 Pitt Street, City.

24 June 1977

 

CAMP (NSW) meets with the Labor Premier Wran. The outcome results in a souring of relations between the Premier and the gay community for several years.

3 July 1977

Tasmania

The Labor Party’s State Council supports homosexual law reform.

25 July 1977

 

The Gay Film Fund presents a second monthly session of gay films at the Sydney Filmmakers Co-op, St Peters Lane, Darlinghurst – Holding (Constance Besson); Monster (Sally Trevena); A Point of Departure (Don McLennan) and Empty Spaces (Lynda Blagg).

6 August 1977

 

Gay Film Fund fund-raising dance is held at the Balmain Town Hall with the band Wasted Daze and Wendy Saddington.

11 October 1977            

 

Lesbian cause celebre Sandra Wilson, released from prison.

28 October 1977

 

Gay Film Fund fund-raising dance is held at the Petersham Town Hall with the band Stiletto.

16 November 1977

Perth

A homosexual law reform Bill after passing the State’s upper house on Oct 8, fails to pass the lower house due largely to the opposition of Premier Court.

30 November 1977

 

The Gay Film Fund presents another monthly session of gay films at the Sydney Filmmakers Co-op, Brad and Jenny (Film Australia)

2 December 1977   

 

Royal Commission into Human Relationships releases its findings, including a recommendation for the decriminalisation of homosexual acts and anti-discrimination legislation for lesbians and gay men.

Updated:15 July 2015 by John Witte using various chronologies and gay publications.