December 19, 2014 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Snapshots of LGBT life in Midcentury America Coursey of the ONE national gay and lesbian archives at the University of southern California libraries.
posted by The Whelk (12 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
So beautiful! In the midst of a hard era, it's just heartwarming to see these images of friendship, community and love.
posted by salishsea at 4:17 PM on December 19, 2014

Incredibly neat.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:23 PM on December 19, 2014

God, these photos are marvelous. The wedding photos are particularly heartbreaking. Can you imagine taking something as joyful and intimate as wedding photos and then not getting them back? I hope that couple had other photos of their special day.
posted by missmary6 at 5:02 PM on December 19, 2014 [6 favorites]

A potent and visual reminder (especially for younger examples like myself who have a habit of forgetting) that LGBT people did not suddenly appear in the 21st century. It's one thing to have pored over accounts of Casement, Der Eigene and the Stonewall Riots in gay/lesbian/trans histories, and another to connect the struggles of the 20th century to real human lives with all the joys, sorrows, celebrations and disappointments that come with them. Additional thanks for the link to the ONE Archives.
posted by The Zeroth Law at 5:12 PM on December 19, 2014 [8 favorites]

It is so great to see such love and joy in these photos. As one who has always had the right of marriage it has pained me greatly to meet so many wonderful people who can not. I am heartened as more of the public at large accept that equality is the right side of the moral arc. As of this evening, it has been announced that my home state of Florida will be able to start issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples as of January 6th 2015.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 5:27 PM on December 19, 2014 [7 favorites]

Ah, so THIS is why The Whelk didn't do the post about Wodehousing.
posted by hippybear at 6:01 PM on December 19, 2014

Pre-1969 drag is the fiercest drag. Always.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:12 PM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

We were at a holiday party the other night for one of the local lgbt Democratic clubs, and it was in a gay bar (a lesbian bar, actually, the last or one of, depending on if the other one considers itself "lesbian", and it will close in the new yeat), and I was chatting shouting with a friend who's some years older and he commented how struck he was at times by how freely and unthinkingly we all took photos ALL THE TIME now in bars. Gay bars, full of lgbt people, and no one was hiding their face and not only did we not have to worry if the photo store would confiscate them, we willingly and happily annoyed all our friends by posting a lot of blurry bar photos on social network sites!

Times do change. These are wonderful.
posted by rtha at 6:40 PM on December 19, 2014 [37 favorites]

Is there anywhere i can read ONE magazine online, or even just browse the cover illustrations and stuff? i went to that library link, but it seems to just be the search interface for well, an offline library. Is none of this stuff digitized?

Because holy crap, that is some *amazing* mid century design right there.
posted by emptythought at 4:32 AM on December 20, 2014 [5 favorites]

Not going to lie, I cried. I'm so very glad to be living now, with my wife snoring beside me, and where I can say that out loud online and it's not a big deal (and yet, every kind of big deal at the same time.) We hung out with my family the other night and she's listed as my wife on Facebook and I hold hands with her almost anywhere I damn well please, and it's easy to forget how lucky we are. Thank you for posting this.
posted by joycehealy at 7:33 AM on December 20, 2014 [16 favorites]

These are awesome photos. ONE Archives is even awesomer. Good on the Council on Library and Information Resources for funding the digitization project. Good on USC for sponsoring and hosting the project and the archives. Good on ONE Archives and the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco for their tireless work against a lot of odds in finding, curating, and preserving all of this priceless material. Good on all the awesome people listed here for donating their treasures. This is the essence of queer history, and 20 or 30 or 50 years ago, there was a very real danger that without the dedication of people such as the ones involved here and in other projects, the material would have been lost forever.

Is none of this stuff digitized?

You can search for some of the digitized photos here.
posted by blucevalo at 8:32 AM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Related: Wearing Gay History, the digitized t-shirt collection of the Chris Gonzalez Library and Archives. (More.)
posted by MartinWisse at 3:10 AM on December 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

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