The Billy DeFrank LGBT Silicon Valley Community Center Records (1970-1999) consist of news clippings, newsletters, and magazines.
There is a sizeable photographic collection that contains pictures of social events hosted by the Billy DeFrank LGBT Silicon
Valley Community Center, including Gay Pride San José and other social outings.
The Billy DeFrank LGBT Silicon Valley Center opened on March 1, 1981 in downtown San José, California. The center was posthumously
named after Billy DeFrank, the stage name of William Price (1936-1980). From San José, William Price was a well known African-American
drag entertainer as well as a prominent gay rights activist who dedicated his talents to the development of gay communities
throughout California. He was considered one of the "best-loved goodwill ambassadors" for the LGBT community. At the time
LGBT activists were generally influenced by the political legacy of Stonewall. The Stonewall riots, the escalation of a series
of violent confrontations between gay rights activists and police that began on June 28, 1969 outside the Stonewall Inn (a
bar in New York City), became the genesis of an international gay rights movement focused on social justice and human rights
for the LGBT community. The founders of the DeFrank Center concerned with practical challenges and most concerned about the
lack of housing and employment protections for lesbians and gay men living in Santa Clara County envisioned transforming the
legacy of the Stonewall riots by creating "a place to call home". The grassroots efforts to establish this LGBT center were
driven by forces from within the Lambda Association Board of Directors of San José, San Jose Staté University's Women's Center,
and other local activists. The center became the fulcrum whereby the large and diverse community of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgendered in the South Bay could find refuge. The inception of the center's success was marked by an increase in activist
support from local political figures such Mayor Janet Gray Hayes in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The center continues to
offer a safe haven for a large and diverse community.
(7.71 linear feet)
Copyright has not been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission
for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives 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 by the reader. Copyright restrictions
also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational
The collection is open for research.