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 through the TransNarratives website.
In another “big playground,” head archivist Jen LaBarbera recently presented a keynote address to archivists at a conference at UCLA. Titled, “Out of the Box: How Community Archivists Can Engage and Inspire Today’s Activists,” the presentation is her take on how history can inform and shape ongoing struggles for equality.
Closer to home, Jen went to Escondido for three days this month to accept a very large book and video donation from Bob Lynch, a retired architect. Lynch has been an avid collector of LGBTQ books and adult films for years and donated approximately 800 books and 100 DVDs. We’re so grateful to add such a wide variety of fiction, nonfiction and art and photography books to our library.
Of course, we now have the massive task of sorting and cataloging these invaluable additions to our library before we can make them available to you. Film buffs and librarians are welcome to assist.
And speaking of books and movies — we hope you didn’t miss the Oct. 26 “Out at the Archives” (OATA) special evening with historian and author Lillian Faderman. Professor Faderman spoke about her latest book, “The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle,” which gives an in-depth and extremely readable overview of the history of the movement for LGBTQ rights and liberation, from the 1950s to the present. We may still have a few copies if you want to buy one signed by the author.
The following day we partnered with the San Diego Biomedical Research Institute and Sir Dermot Turing to present a screening and discussion of the movie, “The Imitation Game,” which focuses on the work of Alan Turing and his struggles as a gay man in his work of code-breaking for U.S. military intelligence during World War II.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, the San Diego Repertory Theater invites you to “Rep Your Pride” at a special performance of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Disgraced.”
Included in your ticket price is the play, followed by a wine reception and discussion and 15 percent of all ticket sales benefit Lambda Archives, so be sure to get yours now. Tickets available from sdrep.org or 619-544-1000.
Our next OATA is in honor of Veterans Day, when we will present, “We Ask, They Tell: LGBTQ in the Military” on Nov. 14. The panel will discuss being LGBT in the U.S. military before and after the policy of President William J. Clinton (and the repeal by President Barack Obama).
You will hear personal stories from local activists Jeri Dilno, who because she was a lesbian, was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force just three days prior to her date of separation; Morgan Hurley, who was investigated three times in seven years by the Navy; Autumn Sandeen, who chained herself to the White House fence to protest “don’t ask, don’t tell”; and Zachary Schmidt, who is currently able to serve openly and proudly in the Marine Corps today.
Seats for this powerful presentation will likely fill up fast. To reserve your free ticket, call us or go to Diversionary.org. Consider making a special contribution in honor of a veteran or current active duty service member.
By the way, the wonderful volunteer exhibits team of Nicole Verdes and Brandon Torres — who put together a beautiful display about marriage equality — are putting together an exhibit that showcases veterans and their activism as well as service. The exhibit will include items loaned from the San Diego Veterans Museum in Balboa Park and materials from of our own collections, much of which comes to us from military veteran and local attorney Bridget Wilson, who helped so many gay and lesbian veterans throughout her career.
We are also very honored to welcome into our collections memorabilia from Autumn Sandeen relating to her Navy career and post-Navy activism. Donations are always appreciated; they allow us to continue to bring insightful programming, like OATA, to the community and to preserve and protect important artifacts, such as a military uniform and discharge papers, as well as the personal histories of San Diego area veterans.
The exhibit will be unveiled Nov. 6, in time for the Art and Taste of University Heights event. Tickets for the “Taste of UH” can be purchased from University Heights Historical Association. The art portion, including tours at Lambda Archives, is free.
Coming up: On Dec. 10, we will host our annual members meeting to elect new board members. That will be followed by a holiday open house. Everyone is welcome; watch for details.
—Lambda Archives, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to collecting, preserving and teaching the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in San Diego and the Northern Baja California region, is located at 4545 Park Blvd., in University Heights. To learn more or volunteer, stop in, call 619-260-1522, or visit their website at lambdaarchives.org.