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Stephen Fish papers
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Collection Overview
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This collections contains journals, personal notes and subject files from activist and PWA Stephen Fish (1948-1991). Fish was also a co-chair of Black and White Men Together and one of the founders of People with Immune Systems Disorder. He was active in ACT-UP, Stop AIDS Now or Else and was involved with the Radical Faeries.
Stephen R. Fish was born on May 4, 1948 in Plainfield, Iowa. In 1974, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and sociology at Sioux Falls, South Dakota. From there he went to earn his Masters of Divinity at the Northern Baptist Theology Seminary. In the 1970s, his activities were very much centered around the Baptist Church. However, Fish stopped being quite as active in the church for many reasons including those having to do with his homosexuality. Prior to moving to San Francisco, he worked in Minneapolis as a youth counselor in juvenile detention facilities. While in San Francisco, he earned a living as a legal secretary until 1991 when he was unable to work due to AIDS complications. Fish had a major problem with substance abuse. Primarily through his involvement with Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, he succeeded in being clean and sober for eight years. Throughout the 1980s, he was active in the Radical Faeries (Star Circle and Stonewater gatherings). Fish's powerful interest in spirituality led him to investigate many spiritual communities. In San Francisco Fish was active in several gay and lesbian community organizations, including. Black and White Men Together (BWMT), of which he became co chair in 1989 . His commitment to remedy the AIDS crisis is represented by his involvement in a multitude of SF AIDS organizations. He was one of the founders of People with Immune Systems Disorder (PISD), and was active in ACT UP in San Francisco. He also joined Stop AIDS Now or Else (SANE) and, in the name of this organization, participated in blocking the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena and in 1989, interrupted a performance at the Opera House in San Francisco. He died from AIDS at Mount Zion Hospital on February 8, 1991.
2 boxes, 1 oversize folder (.85 linear feet)
The collection is open for research, with the following exception: 1 file of medical records. Funding for processing this collection was provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).