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Guide to the Joseph Rose-Azevedo Papers, 1977-1990
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Collections
  • Materials Removed from the Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Joseph Rose-Azevedo Papers,
    Date (inclusive): 1977-1990
    Accession number: 1989-06
    Creator: Rose-Azevedo, Joseph
    Extent: .3 linear feet
    Repository: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Historical Society.
    San Francisco, California.
    Shelf location: Housed at the GLBTHS Archives.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    The Joseph Rose-Azevedo Papers (#1989-06) were received by GLHS from Joseph Rose-Azevedo in 1989 with some additional papers donated in 1990.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright to unpublished manuscript materials has been transferred to the Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.

    Audio-Visual Materials

    Photographs shelved in photo room.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Joseph Rose-Azevedo Papers, 1989-06, The Gay and Lesbian Historical Society of Northern California.


    Joseph Lester Rose (surname changed to Rose-Azevedo, 1979) was born on September 15, 1949, raised in Massachusetts, and came to the Bay Area in 1975. He was hired as a Patrolman with the San Francisco International Airport Police Department in 1979, and held that position until 1986.
    When Joseph Rose-Azevedo first applied for his position at the Airport Police Department in 1977 he became involved in a conflict over a polygraph test which asked questions about sexual preference. He underwent over a year of protests in this matter, seeking the help of many gay attorneys, politicians and city officials, before finally being hired. He was the only acknowledged gay person in the Department throughout his years there. Because of his sexual orientation he reported, and other observers confirmed, numerous incidents of harassment directed towards him primarily during his first 18 months on the job. These included verbal insults, graffiti, macing of his locker, interruption of his radio transmissions, failure to get back- up when he needed it, and avoidance or open hostility from other officers. Eventually such stressful incidents started to dissipate when some of his fellow workers, as Officer Rose-Azevedo later stated, began to realize he did not fit their mental stereotypes of gay men.
    In 1984 there was a major situation in which he had difficulties with two of his superiors, Sergeants Schlotz and Scott, who gave him a "below competent and effective" evaluation because of his work reports which they considered insufficient. As a result Chief Damon of the Department initiated a reprimand. Officer Rose-Azevedo in turn filed a discrimination suit. After discussions with the claimant's attorney, both the reprimand and the discrimination suit were withdrawn.
    His medical history shows that he was found to be HIV positive in April, 1986, with development over the next year of multiple symptoms suggesting AIDS or ARC. Subsequently four months later on August 24, 1986 he resigned from his position with the San Francisco Airport Police. In his letter of resignation there was no indications of stress, harassment or medical reasons for leaving.
    In November, 1986 he was denied unemployment benefits because, although medical reasons were claimed, he had quit work without medical advice. Then again in 1987 he filed a stress claim with the San Francisco Employees' Retirement System, Workers' Compensation Division, and was awarded a settlement in October, 1988.
    After resigning from his job he did find time to travel abroad visiting Amsterdam, Milan, Athens, Alexandria, Cairo and Australia.
    In 1989 he became a member of The Old Catholic Church (Utrecht Succession), the name of which represents a federation of several national churches which are independent of Rome, but are fully Catholic in faith, and claim a valid apostolic succession. A year later he was ordained a deacon of the Church by The Orthodox Missionary Vicariate of San Francisco. Coming into conflict with Rev. Richard P. Lane, presiding Bishop of the Church, he was suspended and released from the office of deacon on February 26, 1990. Shortly thereafter Joseph Rose- Azevedo returned his membership certificate, thereby terminating his connection with the Church.

    Scope and Content

    The collection primarily comprises correspondence and other related materials (.3 linear feet) covering Joseph Rose-Azevedo's years of employment with the San Francisco International Airport Police Department and several years after his resignation.
    These records have been kept in chronological order. Basically they document his conflict over the first pre-employment polygraph test, intra-departmental memoranda and related material leading up to his 1984 discrimination suit with the San Francisco Airport Police Department, and finally his stress claim filed with the San Francisco employees' Retirement System, Workers' Compensation Division in 1987.
    There is one folder of portraits of Rose-Azevedo and one folder containing scrapbook pages and negatives from Rose-Azevedo travels.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Gay men
    Law enforcement

    Related Collections

    Collection of other gay law enforcement officials

    Title: Paul Seidler Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: #90-13

    Collections concerning police interaction with the lesbian and gay community

    Title: Meg Barnett Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: #89-5
    Title: Buzz Bense Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: #91-26
    Title: Brian Bringardner Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: #92-16
    Title: Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: #93-13
    Title: Tavern Guild Records
    Identifier/Call Number: #95-2
    Title: Lowell Williams Film
    Identifier/Call Number: #92-9

    Materials Removed from the Collection

    Photographs have been removed to the photo room.

    About .25 linear feet of tax forms were discarded.