Physical Description: 8 boxes
Series Scope and Content Summary
This series documents the literary tradition of the gay community, which dates back to the founding of an array of gay and
lesbian organizations, periodicals, and newsletters. Scholars interested in the development of the gay community in terms
of LGBT South Bay history as it applies to political and social reform, locally, nationally, and internationally, will find
this series engaging while extremely informative. The newsletters and magazines represented here reflect the local grass roots
concerns while the history can be traced back to the earliest organizations established to defend LGBT rights.
The formation of Daughter of Bilitis (D.O.B.), the first national lesbian organization founded in the San Francisco in 1955,
was an important breakthrough for the LGBT community. The group started with only eight members and included Phyllis Lyon
and Del Martin, the most well known founding members. The aim of D.O.B. was to offer broad based programming to lesbians
and the public to engage in discourse on lesbian lifestyle and community. Part of their struggle for obtaining legal reform
inspired this group to push for more research, locally, nationally, and internationally. An east coast chapter soon followed
in 1958 in New York. D.O.B. chapters sprouted up all over the United States and as far away as Australia. D.O.B. first national
convention was held in San Francisco in 1960.
Out of the early movement emerged a rich body of literature on sexual orientation that germinated identity and community building
in a variety of locations throughout the U.S., developing a well communicated network. The newsletters, newspapers, pamphlets,
magazines, and comics represented in this series reflect the grassroots social activism of the members of the Billy Defrank
Center in the South Bay and their connections within the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Examples include:
B.A.R. Bay Area Reporter,
A Catalyst for all factions of the Gay Community, and
Monterey LGBT Community Center Newspaper. Additionally, there is a smaller subset of religious gay press material such as
Insight - A quarterly of Lesbian/ Gay Christian Opinion as well as references to the religious gay press magazine
The Gay Christian/ In Unity Magazine. Other magazines include:
Community Capital District Lesbianand
Gay Bi-Monthly Magazine,
Oblivion San Francisco, and
The Gay Alternative. Scholars interested in tracing the South Bay sentiments following the murders of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and
County Supervisor Harvey Milk, will find a variety of articles memorializing their deaths. See the article entitled "In Memoriam
Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, December 1, 1978" in
The Sentinental, Vo. 5 No 24. Unique to the collection is the eclectic comic book selection,
Gay Cosmix 2 and
Hag Rag-Intergalatic Lesbian Feminist Press.
With the influx of movements and activism in the 1960s, the New Left and feminists contributed to discourse that challenged
the role of sexuality, and hegemonic forces within patriarchy. The LGBT, often referred to as the gay and lesbian movement,
pushed for legal change, state by state, as well as overturned national legislation. Nonetheless, the rise of the religious
right posed significant challenges to the gay rights movement.
At the forefront were Christian evangelicals who generally disdained any group that exhibited protests including the New Left,
the women's movement, hippies, and anyone part of the counterculture. Anita Bryant, an American singer from 1950s known mostly
for her top 40 hits, became an anti-gay crusader. She responded to victories gained in Florida which repealed a law that
had prohibited gays from the adoption of children. She went on to establish an organization titled "Save the Children "applying
her vilification of lesbians and gay men to legalize Prop 6 in California which would make homosexuals ineligible for employment
in the state's public school system. The mobilization of organizational efforts to oppose such legislation provided the momentum
needed to counter religious extremism. Ultimately, discrimination actually strengthened the alliance of gay and lesbian organizations
and opened up the public arena to what had been a large group of closeted gays. Together, all of these actions to rid society
of homophobia led up to homosexual activists picketing the White House and Pentagon in 1965, where for the first time ever,
homosexuals protested for their civil rights, including within the military.
Files are arranged by format and chronologically by date.