Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid to the Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Papers, 1990-2018
GLC 110  
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement

  • Title: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Papers
    Date (inclusive): 1990-2018
    Date (bulk): (bulk 1996-2018)
    Identifier/Call Number: GLC 110
    Creator: Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein
    Physical Description: 7 cartons, 4 oversized folders, 1 map folder (8 Cubic Feet)
    Contributing Institution: James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library
    100 Larkin Street
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    Abstract: Mattilda is a writer and activist concerned with various issues within the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. The major subjects include assimilation, gender, identity, and politics. The collection contains manuscripts, 'zines, published articles and books, photographs and audiovisual materials.
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Material: Collection materials are in English; one item is in Italian.

    Conditions Governing Access

    The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright retained by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Papers (GLC 110), LGBTQIA Center, San Francisco Public Library.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Donated by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore in three accessions, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Sycamore donated 2 cartons of writing on October 17, 2016, and an additional 2 cartons on February 14, 2018.

    Biographical / Historical

    Mattilda has been known by various names throughout her life: Matt Bernstein Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and just Mattilda. She was the editor of her high school yearbook and its literary magazine, and has been involved with activism for GLBT issues, AIDS, and politics. She participated with ACT UP and was the co-founder of "Gay Shame" with one other person.
    She's an avid diarist and writer, and has lived in a variety of cities including New York and San Francisco. She is the author of The End of San Francisco (2013), The Freezer Door (2020), and the novels So Many Ways To Sleep Badly (2008), Pulling Taffy (2003), and Sketchtasy (2018). She's also the editor of five anthologies: Tricks and Treats: Sex Workers write About Their Clients (2000); That's Revolting: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation (2004); Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity (2006); Dangerous Families: Queer Writing on Surviving (2004); Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform (2012).

    Scope and Contents

    The collection includes manuscript writings, subject files, photographs, diaries, 'zines, books and published articles, and realia. The majority of the collection consists of heavily edited drafts of The End of San Francisco, Sketchtasy, The Freezer Door, and the submitted and edited drafts and correspondence for the anthology Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots? The collection also contains a number of 'zines, such as Gay Shame and Swallow Your Pride, which Mattilda produced, books, articles and reviews written by Mattilda, and several published interviews of Mattilda. There is an almost complete run of the journal Make/Shift: feminisms in motion.


    The collection is roughly grouped into series: Manuscripts and Writing; Subject Files; 'Zines; Photographs; Diaries / Journals; Books and Magazines; Audiovisual Materials; and, Realia and Memorabilia.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Assimilation (Sociology).
    Gays -- Identity.
    Gender indentity.
    Sycamore, Mattilda Bernstein -- Archives