A Guide to the Richmond Gay Documents Collection, 1974-1988 Richmond Gay Documents Collection M317

A Guide to the Richmond Gay Documents Collection, 1974-1988

A Collection in
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library
Accession Number M317


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Virginia Commonwealth University, James Branch Cabell Library

Special Collections and Archives
James Branch Cabell Library
Box 842003
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia 23284-2003
USA
Phone: (804) 828-1108
Fax: (804) 828-0151
Email: libjbcsca@vcu.edu
URL: http://www.library.vcu.edu/about/special-collections/cabell/

© 2006 By Virginia Commonwealth University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Alex Lorch

Repository
Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library
Accession Number
M317
Title
Richmond Gay Documents Collection 1974-1988
Physical Characteristics
1 microfilm reel and 0.23 linear feet.
Location
Stacks
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Richmond Gay Documents Collection, Collection Number M317, Special Collections and Archives, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.

Acquisition Information

Microfilm donated to VCU Libraries by Bob Swisher in December 1988.

Alternative Form Available

Photocopies.


Historical Information

Gay Awareness in Perspective (GAP) was Richmond's first fully organized gay rights organization. The group met for the first time in April 1974 and principally concerned itself with a wide range of personal and sociological aspects of homosexuality.

Gay Rights Association (GRA) was formed on 23 October 1977, two weeks after anti-gay crusader and Miss America Anita Bryant visited Richmond. The group's mission was to formulate action programs aimed at the repeal, enactment, and modification of laws and ordinances for the benefit of the gay community in Richmond.

Virginia Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights was a state-wide gay rights organization formed in 1978 intending to unite the various gay and lesbian groups and advocates in Virginia.

Richmond Gay and Lesbian Alliance was originally called the Richmond chapter of the Virginia Gay Alliance and formed in the early 1980's. The organization attempted to bring together the various gay and lesbian groups in the Richmond area into one alliance.

The Richmond Pride was a monthly newspaper edited by Bev Rainey and Mary Dean Carter that served the lesbian and gay community of the greater Richmond area from 1986-1988.

Gay Alliance of Students was a student organization at Virginia Commonwealth University created with support from assistant dean Stephen Lenton and student leaders Walter Foery and Brenda Kriegel in 1974. The organization applied for space and monetary assistance from the university and was denied, sparking a long court fight between the Board of Visitors and the organization. The organization received financial support from both the ACLU and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, ultimately providing it with the opportunity to win a ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The ruling ultimately altered law in ten regional states.

Dignity-Integrity, Richmond chapter, advocated for gays within the local Catholic (Dignity) and Episcopal (Integrity) churches. The organization was founded in 1974.

Scope and Content

The collection, 1974-1988, consists of documents concerning the gay and lesbian community in Richmond, Virginia. Principally contains clippings, correspondence, legal files, minutes, newsletters, and publications, concerning local gay organizations. Organizations represented include Gay Awareness in Perspective (GAP), the Gay Rights Association (GRA), the Virginia Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights, the Richmond Gay and Lesbian Alliance, the Gay Alliance of Students (VCU), and the Richmond chapter of Dignity-Integrity. At the end of the reel, there is a copy of Sodomy in Virginia: Comments on the Statute and the Cases, 1 April 1975.

Arrangement

Arranged in eight series:

Series I. Gay Awareness in Perspective Files, 1974-1978 Series II. Gay Rights Association Files, 1977-ca. 1978 Series III. Virginia Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights Files, 1979 Series IV. Richmond Gay and Lesbian Alliance Files, 1982-1986 Series V. Richmond Pride Newspaper, August 1986-October 1988 Series VI. Gay Alliance of Students v. Alfred T. Matthews, et.al. Case Files, 1974-1976 Series VII. Dignity-Integrity, Richmond Chapter Files, ca. 1981-1983

Related Material

Bob Swisher, Papers, 1974-1991, James Branch Cabell Library, Virginia Commonwealth University, M343.


Adjunct Descriptive Data

Location of Originals

Original microfilm and documents owned by and located at the Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Contents List

Series I: Gay Awareness in Perspective Files, 1974-1978.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the first item on the reel.

Files, 1974-1978, of Gay Awareness in Perspective (GAP) consisting principally of GAP Rap newsletters, October 1974-April 1978; the constitution and by-laws; blank GAP informational surveys for the gay community; and three complaints filed on behalf of gay men to the City of Richmond Commission on Human Relations alleging harrassment on the part of the Department of Public Safety (police).

Series II: Gay Rights Association Files, 1977-1978.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the second item on the reel.

Files, 1977-1978, of the Gay Rights Association (GRA) including newsletters; correspondence concerning City of Richmond legislation, the Department of Public Safety Vice-Squad, and allegations of solicitation between GRA members and city officials; meeting minutes; Richmond City Council candidate questionnaires; and the consitution of the organization.

Series III: Virginia Coalition for Lesbian Gay Rights Files, 1979.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the third item on the reel.

Files, 1979, of the Virginia Coalition for Lesbian Gay Rights principally consisting of meeting minutes, October 1979.

Series IV: Richmond Gay and Lesbian Alliance Files, 1982-1986.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the fourth item on the reel.

Files, 1982-1986, of the Richmond Gay and Lesbian Alliance generally comprising letters to members, 1982-1986; minutes, 1985; by-laws, 1985; a policy and procedures bulletin, 1985; VGA newsletters, 1985-1986; a Richmond Pride Festival programs, 1984-1985; a contact list and activities calendar, n.d.; and clippings, n.d.

Series V: Richmond Pride newspapers, August 1986-October 1988.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the fifth item on the reel.

Copies of the Richmond Pride newspaper published from August 1986 to October 1988.

Series VI: Gay Alliance of Students v. Alfred T. Matthews, et.al. Case Files, 1974-1976.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the sixth item on the reel.

Files, 1974-1976, related to the lawsuit filed by the Gay Alliance of Students against the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors and its president Alfred T. Matthews seeking full rights as a student organization on campus. Consists of correspondence and legal files concerning the case.

Series VII: Dignity-Integrity, Richmond Chapter Files, ca. 1981-1983.
Reel: 1
Physical Location: This series is the seventh item on the reel.

Files, ca. 1981-1983, consisting of a history of the organization published by Samuel W. Gage in 1983, correspondence between the organization and Congressman Thomas Bliley, and newspaper clippings.