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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Shifting the definition

Robert Albert Lott (Lottie) (1931–2009) and John Muir met in the 1960s in the ‘kamp’ ball scene. Getting together in 1972, they married soon after, at a time when simply ‘being yourself’ took immense courage.

1 John and Lottie’s wedding, early 1970s. 2 Lottie and John, n.d. 3 Lottie and John, 1970s. 4 Max, Claudia, Jamie, Lex, Phil, Alice, Roy, John, Lady Paula Howard (lower left) and Lottie (lower right) at Jamie and Lex's wedding, Kew, Melbourne, c. 1970s. All Unknown artist. Australian Queer Archives collection © Australian Queer Archives.

According to close friend Max, Lottie’s motto was 'You want it, you marry it'. Max recalls: ‘Of course, a fake wedding was all that was allowed. Their wedding was held at a mutual friend’s apartment … His name was Rupert and he was the crowd’s go-to ‘priest’ … He would put a collar and suit on and say a few words … In those days it was more about having a party but I'm sure Lott and John took it seriously and the guests as usual heckled and teased them … it was a time when everyone was not quite hidden but also not quite out, but it was changing rapidly in the 70s.’  Laden with affection and solidarity, these images are an intimate window into the community networks that emerged in defiance of societal/government policing of same-sex relationships and transgressing of gender norms.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency