Out of the Archives

Tracing San Diego’s queer history

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

On a bright December day in 1970, 60 or so San Diegans gathered in Presidio Park with balloons, face paint, and guitars to take part in a monumental picnic. Despite homophobia and hostility toward gays prevailing as a mainstream position of society at that time, these folks came together to publicly express and celebrate their sexuality. The crowd danced, sang, played games, and displayed posters asserting their right to be out and proud. In the spirit of civil rights activism, the event was declared a “Gay-In.”

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30 years of marching for equality

By Lambda Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

As we prepare for the Equality March this Sunday, June 11, we’d like to take a look back on the LGBTQ community’s legacy of protesting, marching and stepping up for our rights. Specifically, one of the precursors to this weekend’s Equality March: the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

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Remembering Orlando

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

June 12, 2016 is a date that will be burned forever into the collective memory of our community. In the early morning hours of that day, 49 of our siblings were senselessly murdered in a horrific act of hate at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Our community was shaken to its core; in the midst of nearing Pride celebrations, we were reminded that violence can and does sometimes enter our sacred spaces.

The global reaction of support was swift and overwhelming. Vigils quickly grew in major cities across the world, with allies condemning the act and honoring those who were lost. News sources focused on remembering the victims, telling their stories, and saying their names.

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Dipping into our collections

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Lambda Archives Staff | Out of the Archives In a change from our usual reporting on events at Lambda Archives, we are going to mix things up to highlight some of our collections this time. We’ve chosen to highlight a collection that was processed very recently by a volunteer, Caro Vera, who also provided this report on the collection. The Archives is grateful for volunteers including Caro, who make all of what we do possible.

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Events far and near

Posted: October 28th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives While our mission is to preserve local LGBT history, sometimes we get to “play on the big stage.” We were recently honored to fulfill a request from our friends Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina of TransNarratives to provide a tour and meeting space to a group of transgender activists from India. The lively discussion was video recorded so others can learn from the conversation. You can access it […]

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A night with Jim Obergefell

Posted: September 30th, 2016 | Columns, Out of the Archives, Top Story | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

A large and enthusiastic crowd turned out on Sept. 15 to hear Jim Obergefell — lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that resulted in nationwide same-sex marriage — talk about his journey from being a “checkbook activist” to being center stage in the fight for equality.

The audience laughed and cried as local attorney Matt Stephens interviewed Obergefell about how he promised his late husband that he would continue to fight to have their marriage recognized. Obergefell met attendees before and after the discussion and signed copies of his new book, “Love Wins.”

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Donations and recent happenings

Posted: September 2nd, 2016 | Columns, Out of the Archives, Top Story | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives

We are proud and happy to have contributed to the city of San Diego’s LGBTQ Context Statement. To read the preliminary report, visit If you see anything lacking or incorrect in the statement, please reach out to Kelley Stanco, the city’s senior planner/HRB liaison, at 619-236-6545 or

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Pride, presentations and outreach

Posted: August 5th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | 1 Comment

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives This year, Pride was especially meaningful: poignant in many ways, yet joyful. We were honored by San Diego Pride when Jen LaBarbera, our head archivist, was asked to give the opening speech at the Spirit of Stonewall rally, Friday night. Jen delivered a very brief history of Pride and its origins, starting with the riots led by drag queens Marcia P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Both of these […]

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The history of LGBT tragedy

Posted: June 24th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives The philosopher George Santayana is often paraphrased to the effect that “those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it.” The tragedy in Orlando was unprecedented, but not without roots. As an LGBTQ institution, we would be remiss if we did not comment on the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. We at Lambda Archives grieve along with the rest of the LGBTQ+ community […]

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We continue to branch out

Posted: May 13th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives May 13 is the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) awards at The San Diego LGBT Community Center and we’ll have people there with information about the Archives. On May 19, the Archives will have representatives at the Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast. And May 20 at San Diego Pride’s Stonewall Awards at the Lafayette Hotel, we will be doing a display about the many sports groups and […]

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Successes, new ventures and local LGBT history

Posted: April 15th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Archives Staff | Out of the Archives Thank you for making our “Heroines, Pioneers, and Trailblazers” gala a huge success at the San Diego Woman’s Club on March 19. Nearly 180 attendees honored the work of our 11 honorees and the women they represented. Congresswoman Susan Davis introduced former Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who in her “no holds barred” style, delivered an impassioned speech about HIV/AIDS and the need to continue the fight.

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A focus on outreach

Posted: March 18th, 2016 | Columns, Featured, Out of the Archives | No Comments

By Walter G. Meyer | Out of the Archives The biggest news this month is that we are gearing up for our major fundraising brunch on March 19. If you don’t have your tickets, visit our website to get yours! Tickets are going fast for this important event and you don’t want to miss this. Our guest speaker is Dr. Jocelyn Elders, the first woman and first African-American to serve as Surgeon General of the United […]

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