News clippings, journal articles, pamphlets,
flyers, printed materials from activist organizations, a videocassette and a
DVD, relating to pioneering lesbian activists Barbara Gittings and her partner
of 46 years, Kay Tobin Lahusen. Active from the 1960s, Gittings marched in the
first gay rights demonstrations at the White House, Pentagon and Independence
Hall; she worked with Frank Kameny to persuade the American Psychiatric
Association to remove homosexuality from its list of mental disorders; and she
headed the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association from 1971 to
1986. The collection contains articles by and about Gittings and Lahusen;
subject files covering a variety of topics, such as religion, mental health and
education; and printed material from several activist organizations, including
the Gay Task Force of the ALA, the Homophile Action League, the Mattachine
Society, the Gay Activist Alliance and the National Gay Task Force.
Barbara Gittings was born on July 31, 1932, in Vienna, Austria, where
her father was stationed as a United States diplomat. Returning to the U.S.,
the family eventually settled in Wilmington, Delaware. She entered Northwestern
University and soon came out as a lesbian. She left Northwestern after her
freshman year, settled in Philadelphia and supported herself with clerical
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