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Pat Bond Papers
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Pat Bond (1925-1990) was a lesbian playwright, theater performer, and Women’s Army Corps veteran. The collection includes research materials, drafts, manuscripts, audiovisual recordings, photographs, and costumes from Bond’s one-woman plays; additional correspondence, poetry, writing practice, character sketches, stories, and incomplete manuscripts; diaries spanning from 1966 to 1990; photographs of Bond, family, and friends from the 1910s through the 1980s; and materials commemorating Bond’s life.
Born Patricia Childers on February 7, 1925 in Chicago, Pat Bond grew up in Davenport, Iowa. In 1945 she joined the Women’s Army Corps with the hope of meeting other lesbians. In the army, she cared for wounded soldiers returning from the South Pacific and later served in occupied Japan. In 1947, in Tokyo, 500 women were dishonorably discharged from the army on the charge of homosexuality. She escaped this “witch hunt,” in which many lesbians testified against each other in trial, because before going to Japan she had married a gay man, Paul Bond, in San Francisco. With her marriage license Pat Bond was able to get an honorable discharge from the army on July 3, 1947, and she moved to San Francisco. She studied theater at San Francisco State College, earning a B.A. and an M.A., and for the next several decades she acted in various small theater groups, did some bartending, and for a short time owned her own bar. In the late 1970s, Bond started to write a book about Gertrude Stein, but was overwhelmed with the project until her friend Nancy Adair suggested she transform the book into a performance piece. In 1978, Bond was interviewed for the documentary Word is Out, directed by Peter Adair. Bond’s performance in this film, in which she speaks humorously and poignantly about her experiences in the army, stole the show, and her career as an actress and comedienne was launched. In the 1970s and 1980s she performed four one woman shows in small theaters and at colleges and universities across the country: Gerty, Gerty, Gerty Stein is Back, Back, Back; Conversations with Pat Bond; Murder in the WAC; and Lorena Hickok and Eleanor Roosevelt: A Love Story. Gerty was shown repeatedly on national public television. Pat also played the part of Nurse Maxine in the movie The House of God (1980). In the 1980s she served on the board of directors of Theater Rhinoceros in San Francisco and directed several plays there. During the 1980s an oral history was done by historian Allan Berube for the book Coming Out Under Fire. She was also taped for the documentary film based on the book but didn’t appear in the movie, because she had become too sickly by that time. In 1990, Bond was honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for her service during World War II. She died in Marin County, California on December 24, 1990. In Bond’s memory, her friends established the Pat Bond Memorial Old Dyke Award to honor lesbians over the age of sixty. Bond’s papers and photograph albums were collected by her close friends and donated to the GLBT Historical Society.
7.8 linear feet (2 cartons, 4 manuscript boxes, 2 half-manuscript boxes, 2 oversized boxes, and 1 oversized folder)
Copyright to photographic materials created by Pat Bond has been transferred to the GLBT Historical Society. All requests for reproductions and/or permission to publish or quote from material must be submitted in writing to the GLBT Historical Society Archivist. Copyright to other materials in the collection may be held by their creators, or the creators' heirs or assigns. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Collection is open for research.