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John Ware
(1939 - living) Australia

John Ware

Activist

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Ware was co-founder, with Christabel Poll, of the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (CAMP) and first editor of its journal, Camp Ink. In mid-1970, Ware and a group of friends in Sidney decided to establish a small group to bring homosexual rights into the public sphere. The group was to monitor and respond to media coverage of homosexual issues and to provide speakers for community groups.

Ware and Poll were interviewed by the national daily, The Australian, in September 1970, becoming the first people to openly discuss their homosexuality in the mainstream press in a positive manner. The massive public response to the article shifted the founders' thinking and within a year the organisation had gone national, with 1,500 members and branches in most capital cities and at most universities.

Ware was particularly concerned with psychiatric abuse of homosexuals (Sydney being at that time an important centre for aversion therapy and brain surgery directed at curing homosexuality) and remained active around this issue. He remained editor of Camp Ink until 1974, when he finally withdrew.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Contemporary Gay and Lesbian History, from WWII to Present Day, Routledge, London, 2001

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