Finding aid to the Steven F. Dansky papers, 1968-2016 Coll2015-014

Kyle Morgan
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
© 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: Steven F. Dansky papers
creator: Dansky, Steven
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2015-014
Physical Description: 0.8 Linear Feet 2 boxes.
Date (inclusive): 1968-2016
Abstract: Clippings, writings, periodicals, correspondence, exhibit records, marriage records, photographs, and promotional materials of Steven F. Dansky, 1968-2016. Dansky is a writer, photographer, videographer, and activist, and was an initial member of the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in New York City. The collection also includes photographs and video interviews from Dansky's project, "Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers."

Biographical / Historical

For more than a half-century from the 1960s through the early 21st century, Steven F. Dansky has been a political activist, writer, and photographer. He has been referenced as such, particularly as a figure within the modern LGBT movement, continuously from the formative era to the present—from The Gay Militants (1971); Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation (1971); to Victory: The Triumphant Gay Revolution (2012); Radical Relations: Lesbian Mothers, Gay Fathers, and Their Children in the United States since World War II (2013); and Historical Dictionary of the Lesbian and Gay Liberation Movements (2013). During the early 1960s while still a teenager, he was a member of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) on the campus of the City College of New York (CCNY), and he was an activist against the War in Vietnam with several organizations. During the late 1960s on New York City's Lower Eastside, he published two mimeographed, bilingual newsletters (Peace/La Paz and Basta), which he hawked on the street for a penny. With others, he established the I-Kon Bookstore on East 4th Street that published I-Kon, an avant-garde, art and political magazine; sold radical books, magazines, and posters; and hosted monthly poetry readings. He was a reporter for the New York Free Press, writing articles on such topics as the Black Panther Party and community control of public schools. After the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969, he joined the legendary Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and was active in various groups affiliated with GLF including, Femmes Against Sexism and the Flaming Faggots. He worked in the collective that published Come Out! newspaper, and he was the publisher/editor of a journal with essays and poetry titled, Faggotry. When his articles, "Hey Man" (Gay Flames, Come Out!, and RAT) and "God, Freud, Daddy and Us Faggots" (Faggotry) appeared, he became recognized pro-feminist. Jill Johnston wrote about his writing in The Village Voice and in her collection of essays, Admission Accomplished: The Lesbian Nation Years, 1970-75 (1998), designating him "an early gay polemicist." During the 1970s, he was a founder of the Effeminist movement that published Double-F: A Magazine of Effeminism, and he co-authored, "The Effeminist Manifesto," with John Knoebel and Kenneth Pitchford, considered "one of the most enduring documents to emerge from the modern gay liberation movement" (The Gay Rights Movement, 2003) and "unique in the history of lesbian and gay politics" (We Are Everywhere: A Historical Sourcebook of Gay and Lesbian Politics, 1997). Dansky went to the University of New York, Hunter College, earning a BA in English Literature and Art History. From 1983 to 1991, he was a volunteer with Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC), served as a consultant to Body Positive, and was a group therapist for AIDS Center of Queens County (ACQC). His chronicle of caregiving, "Carry me When You Go Forth," was published in the GMHC Training Manual. He returned to graduate school at Hunter College School of Social Work, getting a Master's degree in social work (MSW) and received post-graduate training at the Institute for Human Identity. From 1990 to 2001, he had a psychotherapy practice, specializing in those with HIV infection and those affected by it. He was a community based and hospital administrator overseeing HIV/AIDS programs in the underserved communities of New York—East New York; Harlem; Jamaica; and the South Bronx. He wrote two books: Now Dare Everything: Tales of HIV-Related Psychotherapy (1994) and Nobody's Children: Orphans of the HIV Epidemic (1997). From 2002-2004 in Albany, New York, he joined Choices, a psychotherapy practice in Albany, New York, that provides counseling to an exclusively transgender population; and he was a psychotherapist in pediatric oncology at the Children's Hospital, Albany Medical Center; Instructor of Pediatrics, Albany Medical College; Guest Lecturer, State University of New York, Albany. From 2009 to the present, he pursued a life-long interest in photography, and his work has been exhibited at juried exhibitions and galleries in Massachusetts, New York, and Las Vegas. His work is in the permanent collection of The Smith Center for Performing Arts, Las Vegas. A curatorial project, "Gay Liberation Front (1969-1971): A 40th Anniversary Retrospective," was shown at the LGBT Center, New York (2009). A monograph, "18b: The Aerosol Paintings of Las Vegas" was published in LensWork (2013), it and was a touring exhibition at three branches of the Clark County Library District (2013-2014). His graphic plate, "Effeminate," was published in Art & Queer Culture (2013). He started Christopher Street Press, an independent publishing company in 2010 with a list that includes The Come Out! Reader (2013); Hot August Night/1970: The Forgotten LGBT Riot (2012); On Bearing Witness: Images & Reflections of the LGBT Movement (1969-1971) (2010). From 2009 to 2015, he has been a frequent contributor to the Gay and Lesbian Review, writing essays on everything from Oscar Wilde to Robert Mapplethorpe, from Mahatma Gandhi to Malcolm X, from the persistence of camp and beefcake to art and queer culture. His anthologized essays include "The Effeminist Moment," in Smash the Church, Smash the State!: The Early Years of Gay Liberation (2009) and "On Anger: The Months After the Stonewall Rebellion," in After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation (2013). "Broken Gender," a short story was published in Gertrude: A Journal of Voice and Vision (2007).
In 2013, he started OUTSpoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers (initially co-founded with John Knoebel), a nonprofit venture to preserve the narratives of our forbearers. The project resides on a dedicated website that provides access to the entire collection of videotaped interviews from coast-to-coast from rural communities to urban epicenters, from a hospice bed to a senior retirement community, and globally via Skype to Bangkok, Buenos Aires, and Melbourne. Dansky has spoken across the country on the LGBT movement, a partial list includes, "Telling Our Stories," Diversionary Theater, San Diego (2015); "Revisiting 'The Effeminist Manifesto,'" Maryland Institute of Art (2013); "Hot August Night: The Forgotten LGBT Riot," The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, New York (2012), and the Hudson Valley LGBTQ Community Center, Kingston, NY, (2012); "On Bearing Witness," Sahara Library, Las Vegas (2009); "The Gay Liberation Front Alive!," New York Public Library (2009); "Smash the Church, Smash the State," San Francisco Main Public Library (2009). In 2004 as a marriage equality activist, he and Barry Safran were married in Williamstown, Massachusetts, on the first day, in the first state, of marriage equality in the United States.
Source: [Box 1, Folder 19] Steven F. Dansky Papers, Coll2015-014.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers. The digital video interviews from Dansky's Outspoken project are available for viewing in the Archives' reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish 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.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives at the University of Albany Libraries. Deed of gift by Steven F. Dansky, 2015. The Tom Ashe New York gay pride photographs were donated by Allen Young, 2016.

Preferred Citation

[Box/folder #, or item name] Steven F. Dansky Papers, Coll2015-014, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Kyle Morgan, 2015.

Content Description

Clippings, writings, periodicals, correspondence, exhibit records, marriage records, photographs, and promotional materials of Steven F. Dansky, 1968-2015. The materials primarily document Dansky's writings, exhibits, and publications. The collection also includes photographs and video interviews from Dansky's project, "Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers."


The collection is divided into two series: (Series 1) Personal papers and (Series 2) Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers. Both series are arranged alphabetically.

Separated Materials

DVDs separated to the ONE audiovisual collection
"18b: Aerosol Paintings of Las Vegas," KNPR interview with Steven Dansky. 2013.
Branson, M.L. interview by Steven Dansky regarding the Gay Liberation Front. February 13, 2008.
"Christopher Street Press Catalog 2013," reading and video by Steven F. Dansky, 2013.
"Faces – Portraits by Steven F. Dansky." Dansky curator and photographer of this Gay Liberation Front photograph exhibit.
"Gay Liberation Front Alive!" at the New York Public Library, video by Steven F. Dansky, 2013.
"Gay Liberation Front (1969-1971): 40th Anniversary Retrospective" at the Campbell Soudy Gallery, LGBT Community Center, New York. Video by Steven F. Dansky, 2012.
"In Public – Studies from the Street." Video by Steven F. Dansky (with video footage by Kenneth Kit Lamug), 2013.
"LensWork Extended 101." Extended portfolios with audio interviews of Bret Culp, Steven Dansky, Rafael Goldchain, Robert Hecht, Michael Jackson, Brian Killigrew, Chris Rauschenberg, and George Tice. LensWork Publishing, 2012.
"On Bearing Witness: Images & Reflections of the LGBT Movement (1969-1971)" lecture at Sahara West Branch, Clark County Library District, Las Vegas, Nevada on June 7, 2010. Video by Steven F. Dansky (with video footage by Kenneth Kit Lamug), 2012.
Separated to the ONE periodical collection
Come Out!, 1969-1972 (photocopies of original).
Community, the monthly news journal of the Capital District Gay and Lesbian Community Council, Inc., September 2004.
Faggotry, 1972.
The Flaming Faggots, 1972.
Gay, v.2, no.40, December 21, 1970.
The Gay & Lesbian Review, 9 issues, 2009-2013.
Gertrude, 2006.
Notes on Gay Males in Consciousness Raising, Summer 1971.
Out Week, no.1, June 26, 1989.
Q Vegas, June 2010.
Separated to the ONE pamphlets collection
On our Own: Gay Men in Consciousness-Raising Groups, 1970.
Separated to the ONE library
Pitchford, Kenneth. The Contraband Poems. New York: Templar Press, 1976.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Gay liberation movement
Gay men's writings
Gay photographers


Personal papers Series 1

Box 1, Folder 1

Articles written by, about, or with images of Dansky 1970-2010

Scope and Contents

Articles written by Dansky include "The Look of Liberation," "Come Out!'s Historic 3-Year Run," "Chronicles of an Activist Photographer," "The Visible Vidal," "Mapplethorpe's Muse," "The Politics of Focus," "Love Songs of Gandhi and Malcolm X," "Of Beefcake and Beauty Queens," and "On the Persistence of Camp," The Gay & Lesbian Review (2009-2013). Other articles written by Dansky include "Alice Crimmins vs. The Brotherhood," "Strange Bedfellows: The Right and Left Against Jane Alpert," and "Motherhood, Monogamy and Love," The Soho Weekly News (1975); as well as "Hey Man," Gay Flames and Come Out! (1970); "Our Critical Direction," Community (2004); and "Broken Gender," Gertrude (2006). Includes the articles "40 years after Stonewall" interview of Dansky (2009); "Vegas resident Steven F. Dansky presents photo exhibit and lecture," Q Vegas (2010); and images of Dansky in Out Week, no.1 (1989) and Gay, v.2, no.40 (1970).
Box 1, Folder 2

Basta Enough, no.10, editor Dansky May 1969

Box 1, Folder 19

Biographical information 2015

Box 1, Folder 3-4

Correspondence 1970-2008

Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence with Robin Morgan, Blake Morgan, and Kenneth Pitchford (2004-2008). Also includes correspondence with Jane Alpert (1975-1976), Adrienne Rich (1974), and Erica Zimetbaum (1982), and an invitation to attend Christopher Street Liberation Day (1970).
Box 1, Folder 5

Double F: A Magazine of Effeminism 1972-1976

Scope and Contents

A periodical of Steven Dansky, John Knoebel, and Kenneth Pitchford.
Box 1, Folder 6

DVDs, second copies 2010-2013

Existence and Location of Originals

See the ONE audiovisual collection for a listing of the orginals.
Box 1, Folder 7

"The Effeminist Moment: Thirty-Eight Years Later" 2008

Box 1, Folder 8

"The Effeminist Papers: The Making of a Male Profeminist" 2006

Box 1, Folder 18

Faggotry periodical, creator Dansky 1972

Box 1, Folder 9

Gay liberation flyer and press release 1971, 1994

Box 1, Folder 10

"In Public: Studies from the Street" exhibit records 2010

Box 1, Folder 11

Marriage records, including media clippings 2004-2006

Box 1, Folder 12

"On Anger: The Months After the Stonewall Rebellion" 2013

Box 1, Folder 13

"On Bearing Witness: Images & Reflections on the LGBT Movement" exhibit records 2010

Box 1, Folder 14

On the occasion of "From the Shadows to the Sunlight: The First Year of Gay Liberation" 2008

Box 1, Folder 15

Peace/La Paz periodical, editor Dansky 1968-1969

Box 1, Folder 16

Photographs 1970-2014

Physical Description: [12 photographic prints]

Scope and Contents

Includes images of Dansky, Suzanne Levine, Robin Morgan, Blake Morgan, Ned Rorem, and Gloria Steinem.
Box 1, Folder 20

Tom Ashe photographs of first New York gay pride march 1970

Physical Description: 8 photographs : b&w.Includes a CD of digitized images.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Allen Young, 2016.
Box 1, Folder 17

"The Work of Steven F. Dansky" pamphlet circa 2005


Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers Series 2

Scope and Contents

This series primarily includes digital video interviews produced by Dansky for project Outspoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers, begun in 2013. This series also includes photographs and release forms for the project.

Conditions Governing Access

The digital video interviews from Dansky's Outspoken project are available for viewing in the Archives' reading room.
Box 2, Folder 1

Interviewee release forms ca. 2013-2016


Still photographs

Box 2, Folder 2

Portraits A-B ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Trey E. Allen, Dennis Altman, Taura Anderson, Ron Auerbacher, Steve Ault, Paola Bacchetta, Bill Baird & John Kennedy, Ian Baldwin, Dennis Baum, Nick Benton, Renee L. Birder & Karen Schmidt, Mark Blumberg, Richard Bolingbroke, Richard Bradbury & Dick Weismann, Christopher Bram, Perry Brass & Hugh Young, Ellen Broidy, William Bryan.
Box 2, Folder 3

Portraits C-D ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Roberto Camp, Glenorchy Campbell, David Carter, Jacob Carter & Don Johnson, Brenda Catania & Deb Perkins, Sam Chong, Elizabeth Clifford, Judy Corbisiero, Kristine Cottom & Trina Porte, Steven F. Dansky & Barry Safran, Nikos Diaman.
Box 2, Folder 4

Portraits E-H ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Murray Edelman, Tim Elliott, Angel Adrian Plancarte Entrada & Fina Plancarte Entrada, Jim Fouratt, Miriam Frank, Jack Fritscher & Mark Hemry, Marcia Gallo, Danny Garvin, Donna Gottschalk, Michela Griffo, Walter Herron, Ingrid Holmgaribay, Katie Anne Holton, Jerry Hoose, Andy Humm.
Box 2, Folder 5

Portraits J-K ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Karla Jay, Karen Kerner & Woody, Ted Johnson, Miguel Juarez, Dajenya Kafele, Charles Kameyski, Jeffrey Karaban, Sue Katz, Jonathan Ned Katz, Ellsworth Kelly, John Kennedy, Don Kilhefner, John Knoebel, Giles Kotcher, Larry Kovacs, Martin Kreloff & Tim Olsen.
Box 2, Folder 6

Portraits L-O ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Richard Landman, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, Michael Lavery, Sally H. Levy, Fernando Zweifach, Barbara Love, Connor Maddocks, Elaine Magalis, Tommi Avicolli Mecca, Debra Moldavan, Jason Baumann Montilla, Tracy Moore, Kyle Morgan, Thomas Negron Jr., Robert Patrick O'Connor, Tim Olsen.
Box 2, Folder 7

Portraits P-S ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Trina Porte, Flavia Rando, Linda Rhodes, Ned Rorem, Matile Rothschild, Claire Russell, Barry Safran, Rob Schlegel, Sarah Schulman, Jason Serinus, Martha Shelley & Sylvia Allen, Ellen Shumsky, Dennis Siple, Hilary Sloin, Dan Smith, Susan Stryker.
Box 2, Folder 8

Portraits T-Y ca. 2013-2016

Scope and Contents

Includes photographs of Steve Tortell, Meredith Vezina & Ellen B. Holzman, William Bond Walker & John Balkema, Rich Wandel, Dick Weismann, Liat Wexler, Fran Winant, Merle Woo, Gary Wotherspoon, Allen Young.

2nd Anniversary ca. 2013-2017


Altman, Dennis ca. 2013-2017


Anderson, Jim ca. 2013-2017


Anderson, Taura ca. 2013-2017


Athens, Ohio portraits ca. 2013-2017


Auerbacher, Ron ca. 2013-2017


Bacchetta, Paola ca. 2013-2017


Baird, Bill ca. 2013-2017


Bookish: The Art of William Bond Walker ca. 2013-2017


Bookish trailer ca. 2013-2017


Bradbury, Richard ca. 2013-2017


Bram, Christopher ca. 2013-2017


Brass, Perry ca. 2013-2017


Brass, Perry, teaser ca. 2013-2017


Bryan, William Joseph ca. 2013-2017


Campbell, Glenorchy ca. 2013-2017


Carter, David ca. 2013-2017


Carter, Jacob ca. 2013-2017


Chong, Sam ca. 2013-2017


Clifford, Elizabeth ca. 2013-2017


Clifford, Jim ca. 2013-2017


Corbisiero, Judy ca. 2013-2017


Cottom, Kristine ca. 2013-2017


Cruse, Howard ca. 2013-2017


Dansky, Steven F. ca. 2013-2017


Del Mar and San Diego, California portraits ca. 2013-2017


Diaman, Nikos ca. 2013-2017


Edelman, Murray ca. 2013-2017


Elliot, Tim ca. 2013-2017


Elliot, Tim, teaser ca. 2013-2017


Fall Catalog ca. 2013-2017


Frank, Miriam ca. 2013-2017


Fritscher, Jack ca. 2013-2017


From Trauma to Activism ca. 2013-2017


Garner, Darlene ca. 2013-2017


Garvin, Danny ca. 2013-2017


Griffo, Michela ca. 2013-2017


Herron, Walter ca. 2013-2017


Holmgaribay, Ingrid ca. 2013-2017


Hoose, Jerry ca. 2013-2017


Hot August Night ca. 2013-2017


In Public: Studies from the Street ca. 2013-2017


Javors, Irene ca. 2013-2017


Jay, Karla ca. 2013-2017


Johnson, Ted ca. 2013-2017


Kafele, Dajenya ca. 2013-2017


Karaban, Jeffrey ca. 2013-2017


Kennedy, John ca. 2013-2017


Knoebel, John ca. 2013-2017


Knoebel, John; Memories of My Uncle Roy ca. 2013-2017


Knoebel, John; Gay Men's Chorus ca. 2013-2017


Koob, Richard ca. 2013-2017


Kreloff, Martin ca. 2013-2017


Landman, Rick ca. 2013-2017


Langer, Cassandra ca. 2013-2017


Lanigan-Schmidt, Thomas ca. 2013-2017


Latronico, Nestor ca. 2013-2017


Lavery, Michael ca. 2013-2017


Love, Barbara ca. 2013-2017


McNaught, Brian ca. 2013-2017


Mecca, Tommi Avicolli ca. 2013-2017


Miller, Carl ca. 2013-2017


Olsen, tim ca. 2013-2017


On Performing Identity ca. 2013-2017


Outspoken Film ca. 2013-2017


Outspoken Trailer ca. 2013-2017


Perez, Frankie ca. 2013-2017


Porte, Trina ca. 2013-2017


Portraits ca. 2013-2017


Rothschild, Matile ca. 2013-2017


Schlegel, Rob ca. 2013-2017


Schnapp, Marc ca. 2013-2017


Schulman, Sarah ca. 2013-2017


Sederbaum, Ed ca. 2013-2017


Serinus, Jason Victor ca. 2013-2017


Shelley, Martha ca. 2013-2017


Shelley, Martha, teaser ca. 2013-2017


Shumsky, Ellen ca. 2013-2017


Sloin, Hillary ca. 2013-2017


Smith, Dan ca. 2013-2017


Stockman, Thor ca. 2013-2017


Stonewall Teaser ca. 2013-2017


Stryker, Susan ca. 2013-2017


Toy, Jim ca. 2013-2017


Turtell, Steve ca. 2013-2017


Vider, Stephen ca. 2013-2017


Wandel, Rich ca. 2013-2017


Weismann, Richard ca. 2013-2017


Witeck, Bob ca. 2013-2017


Young, Allen ca. 2013-2017


Young, Allen, teaser ca. 2013-2017


Young, Paulette ca. 2013-2017