A History Conference focusing on homosexual law reforms
Thirty years ago, perplexing, even scandalous as it may seem now, men could be sent to gaol for having sex with other men. And, depending on just what they did, it could be a sentence from six months up to fourteen years for ‘the abominable crime of buggery’.
And lesbians weren’t even recognized within the legal system.
How then, in two generations since the beginnings of gay liberation in Australia, have we come to a point where lesbians and gays not only have legal protections but also now fight for marriage equality?
These are just some of the issues to be analyzed and discussed at the Australian Homosexual Histories Conference 2014.
To register for the Conference, visit EventBrite.
The Conference is dedicated to the memory of Alexander ‘Lex’ Watson AM
Australian Lesbian and Gay Life Stories 2014
Researchers from universities around Australia with expertise in both the fields of lesbian and gay history and oral history, seek to interview members of the lesbian and gay community about their life histories. Share Your Story
This is the first Australia-wide project to record and collect the experiences of different generations of lesbians and gay men.
Working with the National Library of Australia, the project aims to ensure a valuable and enduring record of Australia’s rich lesbian and gay history is preserved for future generations.
Keep updated on this project by following The Past In The Present Project on Facebook.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Next General Meeting
Monday 20 October, 2014 - 6.30pm
2014 General Meetings
Members and visitors are invited to our meetings at St Helens Community Centre, 184 Glebe Point Road, Glebe (yellow meeting rooms next to Benledi)
St Helens is an easy access venue.
Welcome to the Pride History Group
We are a not-for-profit community history group run by volunteers.
We aim to ensure the rich contribution made by members of the LGBTIQ community are not forgotten or erased from the broader historical record by unearthing, recording and preserving material that relates to LGBTIQ people in Sydney's past.
We also like to engage the broader community with the material we collect through our books, history walks, and community talks.
Would you like to be involved?
We are a voluntary organisation, with members who meet monthly, and we are always keen to hear from people who would like to be involved and help us to record and preserve Sydney's LGBTIQ histories.
Membership of the Pride History Group allows you to attend meetings, vote on group directions and participate in projects aimed to build our collection and publish Sydney’s LGBTIQ histories.