Finding aid to the David Greene Photographs and Papers, 1974-1983 Coll2013-011

Michael C. Oliveira, Kyle Morgan
Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 2013, 2015
909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90007

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Title: David Greene photographs and papers
creator: Greene, David
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2013-011
Physical Description: 2.3 Linear Feet 2 flat archive boxes
Date (inclusive): 1974-1983
Abstract: The collection primarily comprises 34 8x10 and 11x14 black-and-white photographic prints taken by photographer David Greene, 1974-1983, some used for his exhibit show titled Shameless and others later published in his 2011 book Shameless. The subjects are "shameless" in living as gay men or transgender women embracing an openly queer or genderfuck identity.
Storage Unit: 1-2

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] David Greene Photographs and Papers, Coll2013-011, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Michael C. Oliveira, 2013. Accrual processed by Kyle Morgan, 2015.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.


David Greene attended the University of Michigan, where he wrote and directed a feature length film, Pamela and Ian (1971), concerning a bisexual love triangle. After graduating, he relocated to San Francisco and founded the Gay Artist and Writers Kollective (GAWK). He went on to photograph men and women who challenged gender stereotypes. Fifty of his photographs were exhibited in a show titled Shameless. For the exhibit, Greene photographed mostly friends in their own homes between February and August 1974. The subjects are "shameless" in living as gay men embracing a genderfuck identity. The show opened in Berkeley, California in 1974 with more than 200 people attending, most in drag. The exhibition then traveled to San Francisco in 1975 as Andy's Donuts, Center of the Universe. The exhibition subsequently traveled as Shameless to New York (1976), Chicago (1978), and Zurich (1979). Greene photographed a series of images for the book Men Loving Men published by Gay Sunshine Press (1977). Greene published photographs in Gay Sunshine Journal in the Spring and Summer 1974 issues. As of 2012, Greene has published four books, Unmentionables: A Novel (2010), Shameless (2011), Photographs (2012), and Detonate (2012). As of 2013, he lived in Chicago with his spouse, painter James Stephens. (Source: "Bio," Books by David Greene, accessed August 29, 2013,

Related Archival Materials

Box 85, folder 2, Men Loving Men, photographs by David Greene 1977, Gay Sunshine records, Coll2011-011, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.


The date and method of acquisition for the nine 8x10 photographic prints from the Shameless exhibit is unknown.
The 11x14 photographic print of Tea Time, Three Revolutionaries, San Francisco was a gift of Ian Stulberg.
All other photographs and manuscripts were donated by David Greene on February 27, 2014.

Scope and Content

The collection primarily comprises 34 8x10 and 11x14 black-and-white photographic prints taken by photographer David Greene, 1974-1983. The photographs include nine images used in Greene's show titled Shameless, six images used in Gay Sunshine Press publications, eighteen images published later in his 2011 book Shameless, and one unattributed image. The collection also includes Harmodius in Exile poetry, a Harmodius in Exile diary, and an article on the Shameless exhibit from Vector magazine, October 1974.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish images or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Gay men -- Portraits
Greene, David

Box 2, Folder 2

Gay Sunshine Press photographs 1977-1983

Scope and Contents

Photographs used in Gay Sunshine Press publications.

Men Loving Men, author Mitch Walker, internal photographs 1977

Physical Description: 4 Photographic Prints

Adonis Garcia, author Luis Zapata, cover photograph 1978


Black Men, White Men, edited by Michael J. Smith, cover photograph 1983

Box 1

Harmodius in Exile writings 1974


"The Poems of Harmodius in Exile" 1974


"The Poems of Harmodius in Exile," unpublished manuscript 1974


Diary of Harmodius in Exile 1973

Box 2, Folder 3

Shameless photographs, exhibit 1974

Scope and Contents

These photographs have labels that identify their inclusion in David Greene's Shameless exhibit.

Blaze and Eric's last tango 1974


Christopher at home with ghost in the chair (in the mirror) 1974

Greene's description

"Christopher Lonc was a consummate genderfuck performer. We met in Berkeley in 1974 at a gay liberation front meeting. Many queens wore drag in the bars at night, but Christopher was among the few doing it on the street in daylight. He thought of what he did as street theater. Christopher wanted to raise consciousness, to make people aware of how arbitrary clothes were, and to show how limited the range of what most people allowed themselves to wear was. Some people criticized Christopher for aping femininity, but he said that what he was doing was expanding the possibilities for men. He believed that if every man would spend just one day in drag, it would cure most of the world's ills. Like most genderfuck artists, Christopher's passion for mixed gender outfits arose not out of any sexual fetish, but from an exuberant creativity and playfulness. His street theater took tremendous courage."
"We collaborated on many portraits. He wanted Matisse-like pictures, full of busy detail and textures in haphazard but aesthetically interesting arrangements. He constructed the iconography of his living space for each of these portraits. Christopher had a rule: never wear the same outfit twice. He wanted to invent himself anew every day."

Harmodius (Tony Rogers) in exile in his bedroom with pipe and jewelry 1974


Tania at home in secretary drag 1974

Greene's description

"Tanye [Tania] was one of my favorite subjects. He had just moved to San Francisco when we met, having lived and worked for several years as a woman librarian in South America. Eventually Tanye decided he was more interested in genderfuck than in transgender."

Steve Davis at his birthday party with gift 1974

Greene's description

"I took this photograph at Steven Davis's twenty-first birthday party in Nice's Berkeley apartment. The party was one of the first social events for a circle of young gay men who became friends in the mid-1970s. Steven had just arrived in California from Ohio and received many gifts--some serious, some camp. He especially loved the baby doll. He also received a rhinestone necklace, a rhinestone bracelet (worn as an arm band), and a bejeweled vest. This photograph became the poster image for the first exhibit of Shameless in 1974 at the Darkroom Workshop Gallery."

Self-Portrait with grandfather and high school graduation picture, at my grandfather's house 1974


Aarmour Starr in front of his mantelpiece 1974


Aarmour Starr in his living room with "Song of the Islands" poster 1974


Tom Turner, pianist and composer, as Michaelangelo's "David" with earring 1974

Greene's description

"Tom Turner is a pianist and composer. This portrait shows how genderfuck could be achieved with something as simple as an earring. The sight of a man wearing an earring was shocking in 1974.The photograph's reference to Michelangelo's David was based on our memory of how Michelangelo had posed David's right arm. This photograph was included in the New Art Examiner review of the 1978 Shameless exhibit in Chicago."

Vector magazine article October 1974

Box 2, Folder 4

Shameless photographs, book 1974-1983

Scope and Contents

Images that appeared in David Greene's 2011 book Shameless.

Tea Time, Three Revolutionaries, San Francisco 1974

Greene's description

"Genderfuck trios, Tea Time was a difficult photograph to take because Teddie, Jessie, and Bobo were camping it up so much that none of us could stop laughing. The process of loading the 4x5 film into the negative carriers, which I did with my hands inserted in a black changing bag while sitting on the floor with the bag in my lap, was the subject of much amusement. Eventually I managed to get the lighting set up in the kitchen. Jesse added the S&H green stamp prop, and that inspired the moment. They all sat down and struck a pose. I took just one exposure, and that was it."

Dolores in the kitchen, San Francisco 1975


Dolores Deluxe, dancing on the counter at Andy's, San Francisco 1975


Dolores Deluxe and Lendon Sadler, Venice, California 1977


Darnell, San Francisco 1979


Randy Thomas, Los Angeles 1983


A Night to Remember, Chicago 1976


Nice, with glitter lips, rhinestone necklace, pink flamingo, and Bruno Walter, Berkeley 1974


Harmodius, with burlesque queen photo, Berkeley 1974


Harmodius, in our bedroom, Berkeley 1974


The Clichettes, San Francisco 1974


Tanye's Pieta, Berkeley 1974


Andrea, nude, on a couch, Chicago 1976


John and Robert, Chicago 1978


Bobo, in sequins and furs, San Francisco 1974


Tom Turner, in his bathroom, with earring, Berkeley 1974


Dolores at her vanity, San Francisco 1975


Born to Die August 1974

Box 2, Folder 1

Unattributed photograph Undated