Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Charles Thorpe Papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
The bulk of this collection documents the birth, growth, and activities of the Committee for Homosexual Freedom (CHF), probably the first "gay liberation" group in Northern California, originating in the spring of 1969 by Leo Laurence and Gale Whittington. Laurence was the current editor of Vector, the official publication of the Society for Individual Rights (SIR) the largest gay group in San Francisco during the late 1960s. In late March of 1969, Laurence had his young friend Whittington pose as a model for a Vector article on the new fashion styles of young gay men. The photographer hired to shoot the session also took one or more informal photos, including one with Leo hugging the shirtless Whittington. Without their knowledge, a copy of this photograph was acquired by the Berkeley Barb, where it was used to illustrate an interview of Laurence on the increasing militancy among some gay men. The bold headline over the photo was "Don't Hide It" with a smaller "Homo Revolt" to the side. A copy of this paper found its way into the hands of Whittington's boss at the States Line Steamship Company, who fired him from his clerical position on the spot.
Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.
Collection is open for research.