Elihu Burritt Library
Questions

Other Gay and Lesbian Resources

Gay Activists Alliance, New York, Records 1970 - 1983

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Files, 1972 - present (pdf)

Mattchine Society of New York, Records, 1951 - 1976

Oral History Interviews

 

Gay Activists Alliance

The Gay Actavists Alliance (GAA) was founded in New York City in December of 1969 in the aftermath of the Stonewall riots. Its founders were dissident members of the Gay Liberation Front who sought to form a militant, non-violent organization dedicated exclusively to the attainment of civil and social rights for gays. In the words of its first president (Jim Owles), its ultimate goal was "to secure basic human rights, dignity and fredom for all gay people."

During its most active period (1970-74) the GAA lobbied vigorously for the enactment of fair employment and housing legislation, for the repeal of state laws respecting sodomy and solicitation, and for the banning of police entrapment and harassment of gays.

In 1972 GAA and the Chicago Gay Alliance organized the first national gay convention which adopted a platform on gay rights and voted to conduct demonstrations at the Democratic and Republican party conventions.

Its newssheet (Gay Activist) ceased publication in June of 1980. In October of 1981 its remaining members voted formally to dissolve the organization.

The microfilm of these records are located in the serials department, 4th floor.

Mattchine Society of New York

The Mattachine Society, Inc., of New York (MSNY) was founded in York City in 1955 (incorporated in 1961) as a non-profit organization for educating the public in all aspects of homosexuality, for assisting the individual gay in coping with problems related to his homosexuality, for effecting changes in social attitudes towards gays and for securing the repeal of laws discriminating against gays in housing, employment and assembly.   It was one of several affiliates of  the Mattachine Society founded in Los Angeles in 1951.  The name was derived from the Italian "mattachino" meaning a court jester who dared to tell the truth to the king.  During the 1950's other Mattachine societies were established in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Philadelphia, and the District of Columbia, The parent organization subsequently shifted its headquarters to San Francisco and by 1961 had ceased existence a national organization, its affiliates becoming fully independent.

The MSNY lobbied for the revision of federal,, state and municipal laws discriminating against gays in housing, employment and assembly, demanded honorable discharges for homosexuals in the armed forces, the decriminalization of consensual sodomy between adults, and the suppression of police harassment and entrapment, and the enactment of a bill of gay rights.

Facing bankruptcy and torn by internal feuding the MSNY was disbanded in January of 1987.

The microfilm of these records are located in the serials department, 4th floor.

Oral History Interviews

The oral history project was part of Professor Katherine Hermes' History 301 course, The Historical Imagination. All interviews were conducted in the fall of 2002.

Inventory of projects (pdf)

GLBTQ Archives Digital Collection (Windows media required for viewing interviews)

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