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Guide to the Pat Bond Papers, 1910-1994 [bulk dates 1979-1985]
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Pat Bond Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1910-1994 [bulk dates 1979-1985]
    Accession number: 92-5
    Creator: Bond, Pat
    Extent: 3.5 linear feet
    Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
    San Francisco, California.
    Shelf location: Housed at the GLBT Historical Society.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The Papers (#92-5) were donated to GLHS in 1992.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society holds copyright to unpublished photographic image only.

    Audio-Visual Materials

    The Papers contain photographs, audio cassette tapes, and VHS cassette tapes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Pat Bond Papers, 92-5, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.


    Patricia Childers was born on February 7, 1925 in Chicago. She 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. Pat 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, she 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, Pat was interviewed for the documentary Word is Out, directed by Peter Adair. Pat'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 Bérubé 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 she 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 Pat's memory, her friends established the Pat Bond Memorial Old Dyke Award to honor lesbians over the age of sixty. Pat's papers and photograph albums were collected by her close friends and donated to GLHS.

    Scope and Content

    The collection (3.5 linear feet) consists of the background research, notes, early drafts, and manuscripts for Pat's four one woman shows. Also included are Pat's correspondence, her poetry, writing practice, character sketches, stories, incomplete manuscripts, as well as reviews and awards for her shows. Finally, the collection includes Pat's diaries from 1966 through 1987. Some of the diaries are journals with substantial entries; however, most of the diaries are date books in which Pat kept a record of her daily life, including comments about the weather and doctors' appointments as well as notes about friends and relationships.
    Boxes 1 and 2 contain the manuscripts of Pat's productions, arranged in chronological order. While The Only Gay Bar in Town and Pat's Autobiography were never produced or published, they are included in Box 2 because they are substantial works. Box 3 contains miscellaneous documents and manuscripts. All of the legal sized documents from all series are included in Box 4.
    Pat Bond's photographic collection consists of her head shots and performance pictures (8" x 10", black and white, positive and negative images) as well as six photo albums comprised of her personal snapshots (different sizes but mostly 3 1/2" x 5"; color and black and white). The personal pictures show: Pat's grandmother and mother in the 1910s and 1920s; Pat as a child in the 1920s and 1930s; Pat as a young woman in the 1940s; Pat with friends (gay male friends and women friends) in Marin County and at the Russian River in the 1950s and 1960s. The majority of the pictures are from the early 1980s and show Pat and her friends, dogs, and cats at her home in Marin County. The photographs do not seem to have been placed in any particular order in the albums, but the order of the albums has been maintained.
    The collection also consists of video and audio of Pat Bond's performances, and some of the costumes she wore during her shows.

    Related Collections

    Title: Phyllis Abry Kaplan Papers,
    Identifier/Call Number: 95-8
    Title: World War Two (WW II) Project - Records,
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