News from GLAPN:
New news is at the top of the page.
We keep the older news (farther down) to remind ourselves what we have been up to recently!
GLAPN's meetings are held on the 4th Thursday of every month, at Q Center, 4115 N Mississippi Ave, Portland, Oregon, from 7-9PM, except in months where holidays conflict.
The meetings are open to the public, and
anyone interested in regional LGBTQ history is welcome to attend.
Next GLAPN meeting: Thursday, April 27, at Q Center
GLAPN will meet at Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Ave., Portland, OR, from 7-9PM on Thursday, April 27. Our meetings are always open to the public – anyone interested in regional LGBTQ history is welcome to attend.
Honoring Portland's Black LGBTQ History:
a February 23,
2017 reception in the gallery at Q Center
From the day of Gay Liberation Front organizing in 1970 in Portland, members of the African-American community have been front and center in the struggle for LGBTQ rights.
During the Oregon Citizens Alliance ballot measures of the 1990s-2000s, some of the LGBTQ community's most prominent leaders were African-American, and through the present time several of our boasts for "first" and "best" involve members of the Black community.
GLAPN has filled the Q Center gallery with materials from our archives, documenting the the Black LGBTQ presence in Portland.
Please join us Thursday, February 23 at Q Center from 6:00-8:00PM, for a reception honoring the LGBTQ side of Black History Month. We'll have light refreshments, a movie, and popcorn.
Change in plans for February 23 GLAPN meeting –
Please join us in the Q Center gallery for a reception for
our Black LGBTQ History
We have filled the Q Center Gallery with materials featuring the involvement of Portland's African-American community in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. Please join us between 6:00-8:00PM for light refreshments, a short film, and a look at the history of the activism of African-American LGBTQ community members and allies. That's Thursday, February 23, 2017, in the Gallery at Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Ave., in Portland.
GLAPN's meetings fall on the 4th Thursday of every month, except when a holiday gets in the way. Watch this space or our Facebook page for updates.
Nathanial Boehme, an OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) veteran still serving in the Oregon Air National Guard, is beginning in this startup position, created to assist members of the LGBTQ community in Oregon.
Click on the image at right to download the ODVA flyer
Boehme will address issues such as correction of military records, including discharge upgrades for veterans separated under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, official name changes on DD214 and VA health records, and removing DADT-related language from military discharge records.
He will provide assistances with veterans services and benefits for Oregonians who don’t trust mainstream veteran-serving organizations. This may include VA health care, service-related compensation issues, pensions, home loans, or homeless services.
Boehme’s charter includes promotion and support of a culture of inclusion for ALL veterans -- regardless of sexuality or gender identity – and work as a liason between veteran and LGBTQ serving organizations.
He’ll be working to create and sustain LGBTQ veteran events and developing community and support among LGBTQ veterans in the state of Oregon, and advocating for legislative changes to support the LGBTQ community.
Part of Nathaniel’s job – perhaps the biggest part – is assessing the needs of this underserved and undocumented community of veterans. He has created on an online survey to help with the process, and it can be found here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5PQTD7X
Nathaniel Boehme has been working with veterans and their families in crisis, specifically experiencing housing instability, for over four years in Portland, Seattle, and most recently Los Angeles. He holds two bachelor’s degrees (Sociology and Psychology) with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from Utah State University, as well as an M.A. in Sociology from Washington State University. Boehme and his partner are excited to be back in the Oregon, and looking forward to serving LGBTQ veterans and the community at large.
The Oregon Historical Society has named GLAPN member and author Michael Helquist the recipient of the 2016 Joel Palmer Award for the best article published in the previous year. Helquist’s article, “”Criminal Operations”: The First Fifty Years of Abortion Trials in Portland, Oregon,” appeared in the Spring 2015 issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly. The annual prize carries with it a $300 award which will be presented during the annual meeting of OHS on Saturday, May 21, at 2pm. The meeting is free and open to the public.
“Criminal Operations” presents original research that documents every abortion trial conducted in Portland and reported in the Oregonian from 1870-1920 (27 in all). Helquist’s study reveals two significant factors that hindered prosecutions and thwarted convictions: a lack of sufficient evidence peculiar to abortion cases and the ambiguities of the abortion law itself. Prosecutors obtained convictions in only 7 of the 27 cases.
Helquist remarked in an interview, “Oregon’s anti-abortion law thrust into the public realm an inherently private and personal matter involving a woman and her provider. It was seldom a good mix for anyone involved.” He noted that physicians were reluctant to cooperate with the law, concerned with their professional prerogatives; prosecutors wrestled with the “intent” of providers and of patients; and women feared the public humiliation that might result from a trial.
One of the few doctors to provide abortions in Portland was Marie Equi, whose skill and discretion prompted other doctors to refer their patients to her (and allow her to assume the risk). Oregon State University Press published Helquist’s biography of Equi, “Marie Equi, Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions,” in September 2015. Her efforts for women’s rights and the struggle to obtain reproductive services are featured in the biography. The American Library Association named Marie Equi a 2016 Stonewall Honor Book for Non Fiction.
Helquist’s full article about “Criminal Operations” is available here: http://www.ohs.org/research-and-library/oregon-historical-quarterly/joel-palmer-award/upload/Helquist_Criminal-Operations_OHQ-116_1_Spring-2015_p.pdf
Celebrating Portland's African-American LGBTQ
Black History Month: a display in the Q Center gallery, February 22, 5-7PM
From the moment LGBTQ organizing began in Oregon, African-American members of the community have been involved in shaping local policy and leading statewide campaigns against repressive and discriminatory ballot measures.
At the same time, they were exploring the intersections of racism, sexism, and homophobia in the African-American community.
GLAPN salutes these community-builders with a display in the gallery at Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Ave., from 5-7PM on February 22, 2016. Light food will be catered by Adams Rib.
A grant from the Regence Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation was the occasion for an impromptu GLAPN meeting at Q Center on January 14, 2016.
David Weir and Steve Lesky, members of the LGBTQ Employees Group at Cambia Health Solutions, presented a check for $250 to GLAPN President Robin Will at the meeting.
In the photo, that's David on the left, Steve in the center, and Robin on the right GLAPN's George Nicola took the picture.
Impetus for the grant came from a GLAPN presentation last June at for the LGBTQ employees group at The Standard, which David and Steve attended.
There were several good outcomes from the Q Center gathering. Several GLAPN members brought guests who spoke briefly about their early work in LGBT civil rights organizing and youth work, and those stories will eventually be added to our records. In addition, some of our guests were able to speak to the beginnings of LGBTQ employee groups in local businesses, and we'll also be following up on those histories.
Finally, David and Steve expressed a wish for GLAPN involvement with the Cambia Health Solutions group. It was a wish easily granted, and GLAPN will meet with Cambia employees on planning for a program in the near future.
For the fifth year running, PFLAG Portland will be making small financial grants for youth-originated, youth-operated projects in Gay-Straight Alliances or other nonprofit organizations in the metro area.
Grants are limited to $250 per organization per year, and this year, PFLAG is prepared to fund six of them.
Funds are available for the Tri-County (Multnomah-Washington-Clackamas) area only, and projects must be completed in the 2015-2016 school year.
For full information, follow this link to PFLAG Portland's web page.
GLAPN was proud to be included in this year's celebration of America Archives Month, entitled "History: Feed Your Head" and hosted at the City of Portland Archives and Record Center on the Portland State University campus.
The event was similar to the organizationally and physically demanding Archives Crawls of previous years, but this year it took place in a single location, putting some of the city's most prominent historic preservationists together, where they could circulate, swap stories, and contemplate collaboration.
The public was invited, and showed up in droves. Exhibitors observed very few lulls in the action during the 11AM-3PM event. It's gratifying to see that sort of turnout at an event for historians.
GLAPN's George Nicola and Robin Will manned the GLAPN table, swapping stories and contact information with organizations and individuals alike. It was time well-spent for GLAPN, in terms of community visibility, and also in terms of locating people who can add to our understanding of local queer history.
George Nicola took the picture. That's Robin Will standing beside the GLAPN table.
We used the Mildred's Palace poster as a link from the front page: Mildred's was the first commercial establishment in town that was oriented to LGBTQ young people, who up until that time had gathered on the street in the vicinity of the Greyhound Depot. Both the clientele and the proprietor, Lanny Swerdlow, got an unreasonable amount of grief from Portland Police. Click on the poster at right to get George Nicola's account of the situation.
GLAPN was Out on the sQuare on September 27
Out on the sQuare was part volunteer fair for the LGBTQ organizations, and part block party in Pioneer Courthouse Square on September 27, 2015, with a good time had by all.
The event has been around for awhile – it began as "Gay Fair on the Square," sponsored by Portland Gay Men's Chorus. More recently, Q Center has organized and produced the event.
This year, Q Center's board and staff turned out in strength, aided and abetted by Cory Murphy-Helmkamp's brainchild, Iconiqs Media, and the result was received enthusiastically. Exhibit space sold out, the entertainment slate was impressive, and the weather was great.
It's not often that LGBTQ service organizations are in a position to chat with one another, so this was a great opportunity to catch up on each other's work and see how we can help each other.
GLAPN brought a display of historic posters, and enjoyed chatting with visitors about our role as a regional queer historical society.
One more event to launch Michael Helquist's Marie Equi biography: McMenamins History Pub on October 27
The "official" September 14 launch of Michael Helquist's Marie Equi: Radical Politics & Outlaw Passions, will be followed by an expanded History Pub program on October 27, and we're looking forward to an expanded presentation about Portland's favorite lesbian-radical-rabblerouser-war protestor from a century ago.
- McMenamin's Edgefield -- Tuesday, Oct. 27, 6:30 pm (doors open at 5:00) History Pub at McMenamin's Edgefield, 2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale
Marie Equi was a Portlander 100 years ago, one of the northwest's first practicing women physicians, a lesbian who lived openly with her partner, a champion of women's suffrage, labor rights, and reproductive freedom – who ultimately served three years in San Quentin, convicted of sedition for her opposition to American involvement in World War I. Breaking boundaries in all facets of life, she became the first well-known lesbian in Oregon, and her same-sex affairs figured prominently in two U.S. Supreme Court cases.
PURCHASE THE BOOK AT THE LAUNCH PARTIES, OR ORDER IT ONLINE NOW!
Marie Equi: Radical Politics & Outlaw Passions, by Michael Helquist, Oregon State University Press.
Here's advance word from OSU Press: [Helquist's book] is a finely written, rigorously researched account of a woman of consequence, who one fellow-activist considered “the most interesting woman that ever lived in this state, certainly the most fascinating, colorful, and flamboyant.” This much-anticipated biography will engage anyone interested in Pacific Northwest history, women’s studies, the history of lesbian and gay rights, and the personal demands of political activism. It is the inspiring story of a singular woman who was not afraid to take risks, who refused to compromise her principles in the face of enormous opposition and adversity, and who paid a steep personal price for living by her convictions.
Michael Helquist is an historian, journalist, and editor and has written for several publications including the Oregon Historical Quarterly, the Journal of Homosexuality, the American Medical News, MS Magazine, The Advocate, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. He has edited four volumes on health communication, social marketing, and behavior change. He directed a global AIDS and health communication program and worked on campaigns for safe streets and alternative transportation, development of GLBT history archives, and community resilience and sustainability. Helquist is a Portland native, now living in San Francisco.
Elder LGBT Oral Histories
Click on the image at right to download a full-size PDF about the event.
Marcy Westerling, one of our community's most prominent and effective activists, died June 10, 2015 after a long struggle with ovarian cancer.
Marcy founded the Rural Organizing Project (ROP) in the 1990s to help small communities in Oregon organize against the spate of anti-gay Oregon Citizens Alliance ballot measures, and ROP has gone on to become significant in a variety of ways in the life of Oregonians outside of regional population centers.
She was one of GLAPN's Queer Heroes for 2012, and this link leads to the profile and picture we created at that time.
A full obituary appears on Marty's blog at http://livinglydying.com/2015/06/11/in-memory-of-marcy-westerling/
Memorial plans are not yet complete, but the date of Sunday, August 23, 2015 has been chosen. More information will develop at
On June 9: The history of lesbians and other women in the earliest days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic
A facilitated storytelling round-table conversation.
All ages, all genders, all everything. Please join us.
Many of us who are still alive, and old enough to remember, recall the 1980s as a time of injustice, mass death and human indifference. AIDS decimated a community seen as disposable.
BUT, we also saw heroes and angels step up when no one else would, serving as caregivers, companions, nurses, blood donors, activists, and witnesses who comforted the dying and buried the dead. These are people, many of them women, who we thank and celebrate.
Join us and sit with friends and other fine folks on June 9th to tell and listen to our stories, and to remember the strength that comes from compassion, and the peace that comes from remembrance.
Tuesday, June 9th, 2:30-4:30, Q Center, 4115 N. Mississippi Avenue, Portland, OR
Part of an observance of National HIV/AIDS Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day.
Co-sponsored by *eRa* at Q Center, the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN), and SAGE Metro Portland. Questions? Susan@pdxQcenter.org
If we don't know where we've been, how will we know where we're going?
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter shares a timeline of Black LGBTQ History in Oregon through photos and video to guide the conversation of the future of the Black LGBTQ Movement. Join a panel of longtime organizers and activists as we remember our past and build towards our future.
Celebrate our rich history as Black LGBTQ Oregonians!
PLEASE RSVP: http://bit.ly/BLGBTQHM2015
Check out our website for event updates and details: pflagpdx.org
This month, December 2014, is the 40th anniversary of the first success Oregon had in getting some sexual orientation non-discriminatory government protection. The action was not an ordinance but a resolution stating that the City of Portland would not discriminate based on sexual orientation in municipal employment. It passed by a margin of one. Portland banned gender identity discrimination at a later date.
During the Reagan presidency, AIDS wasn't a Federal concern, and research and relief efforts went unfunded. Communities dealt with the AIDS crisis as best they could – and people of a certain age will never forget the grief and rage of those early years.
From November 15 to December 7, Multnomah County Library (downtown, in the Collins Gallery) presents a display of CAP and ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) materials, showing the rich and sometimes uncomfortable history surrounding AIDS in Portland, through memorabilia, posters, program materials, and artifacts.
From the passion and creativity of its grassroots beginnings in Portland's gay and arts communities to today's nationally recognized program, this exhibition captures 30 years of HIV prevention, outreach and advocacy in Portland.
This exhibit was made possible in part by a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission to Cascade AIDS Project, and curated by members of GLAPN.
We strongly recommend it.
Portland historian George Nicola and PFLAG Portland will be among individuals and groups recognized with a Spirit of Portland award in a ceremony on November 6 at Legacy Emanual Hospital.
It's a cause for celebration when LGBTQ-related activists and/or organizations win this sort of public honor.
George Nicola has moved gracefully from his role as an early gay activist (he wrote and lobbied for the gay civil rights bill that was introduced in the Oregon Legislature in 1973) into his current role as chronicler of local LGBTQ history.
PFLAG Portland (Parents, Friends & Family of Lesbians & Gays) has been providing support and advocacy in the LGBTQ community since the mid-1970s. PFLAG, a national organization, now operates three chapters in the Portland area, with the addition of an East County chapter, and the nation's first Black PFLAG chapter.
By Robin Will
Historians are able to do their work because people save old stuff. When it is done systematically, it's called archiving. Folks who refer to this practice as "hoarding" are clearly not enlightened historians.
The truth is, behind every learned text, behind every museum, behind (or inside of) every library, stand literally tons of archival material that was saved because somebody recognized its value and made space for it.
Portland area archivists open these seldom-seen spaces once a year for the Oregon Archives Crawl, and this year it happens on October 18. Oregon Historical Society, Multnomah County Library, and the City of Portland Archives & Records Center will all be giving the public a look at how professionals deal with raw history.
Other groups will be participating, including Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest, which will have a display in the lobby of Oregon Historical Society.
The event happens from 10AM-3PM in three different Portland locations. There's plenty of time to visit all three.
Click on the small poster at right to open a full-size version, and check the fine print to see a list of the other historical organizations which are participating.
GLAPN's George Nicola, a prolific documentor of local queer history and somewhat of a historic figure in his own right, was included on PQ Monthly's Brilliant List, the magazine's annual feature honoring movers & shakers in Portland's LGBTQ community, on July 16, 2014.
George substantially wrote and tirelessly lobbied for Oregon's first gay civil rights bill – in 1973 – leaving the field only when he finally needed to get a job and support himself. Approximately 35 years later, with the job behind him, he returned to the field as a historian, documenting the struggle for LGBTQ rights.
On July 22, 2014, Portland Latino Gay Pride released their annual Mariposa Awards, and George's name was on that list as well.
Mariposa Awards recognize (1) History of community involvement and volunteerism, (2) Advocacy and support of the Latino and/or LGBTQ community, (3) Commitment to arts and culture as a means to educate and inspire, and (4) demonstrated leadership and dedication to social justice.
An index of George's writings on post-Stonewall LGBTQ history may be viewed on our Pacific Northwest Queer History page.
George was selected as one of the GLAPN/Q Center Queer Heroes NW in 2013, and here's a link to George's Queer Heroes profile.
QDoc and GLAPN present the story of the first gay rights organization in Europe, Sunday May 18 at Kennedy School
GLAPN will be partnering with QDoc, Portland's queer documentary film festival, in a Sunday, May 18, 2014 screening of The Circle, which tells the story of the first gay rights organization in Europe.
Held in the Kennedy School Theatre (5736 NE 33rd Ave., Portland), the showing begins at 2:45pm. General admission tickets are $10; tickets for students and seniors 62+ with ID are $8; youth 23 and under are admitted free by reservation only (reserve at this link.) http://www.queerdocfest.org/tickets/.
"Stefan Haupt's docudrama about the origins of Switzerland's – and Europe's first gay rights organization in the 1950s, won the Teddy Award for best documentary highlighting LGBT issues at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.
Set in Zurich in 1958, the film follows the life of Ernst Ostertag (Matthias Hungerbuhler), a young teacher who falls in love with the transvestite star Röbi Rapp (Sven Schelker) and is torn between his comfortable middle-class life and the ostracized life that is the fate of the out-of-the-closet homosexual. Ernst becomes a member of The Circle, a gay rights organization that becomes a pioneer of gay emancipation throughout Europe. [Röbi and Ernst went on to become the first gay men married in Zurich.] Anatole Taubman, Marianna Sagebrecht and Antoine Monot Jr. also star."
Read more, or purchase tickets, at this link.
We're proud that GLAPN member Heather Burmeister has an article in the Spring 2014 Oregon Historical Society Quarterly that excerpts her research on the lesbian back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s & 1970s.
by Heather Burmeister
The photo, from Special Collections and Archives at the University of Oregon, is captioned, "Jean Mountaingrove (right) with her partner Ruth Mountaingrove stand in front of the cabin they shared for five years at Golden, a mixed-gender, gay community outside Wolf Creek, Oregon."
Young women of the 1960s and 1970s countercultural revolution era were not only active in a wide range of social justice movements but also began organizing and advocating for women. A number of women during that time emerged as lesbians, finding a place for themselves in the back-to-the-land movement, another emerging subculture. Separating themselves from mainstream society, Jean Mountaingrove and Bethroot Gwynn created safe spaces for women to interact.l Historian Heather Burmeister argues that the women's experience on their own lands and creation of publoished material helped create regional, national, and even global networks through which women could re-create themsleves and construct and express their new identifies through art, spirituality, and other forms of creative culture. Burmeister's introduction is followed by edited selections from oral histories she conducted with Mountaingrove and Gwynn.
The article, accompanying photos and footnotes, occupies 30 pages in the OHS Quarterly, which is a print-only medium available at libraries or for purchase at OHS.
At PSU January 23: History of Portland's Gay Press
The History of Social Justice Organizing Program presents an evening with three pioneers in gay journalism, with a discussion entitled History of Portland's Gay Press.
The program takes place Thursday, January 23, 7-8:30PM in 298 Smith Memorial Center, 1825 SW Broadway, on the Portland State University campus.
The personnel are:
Renée LaChance is the former editor of the NW Fountain and The Cascade Voice, and was co-founder and publisher of Just Out;
Rupert Kinnard, an award-winning graphic designer and art director who has worked for NW Fountain, Cascade Voice, and Just Out.
Learn what was happening – from the people who were making it happen.
See the video of the event, courtsy of History of Social Justice OrganizingL
The History of the Gay Press in Portland
At PSU: A History of the Portland LGBTQ Movement
UPDATE: Here's a link to the video of the October 24 program:
Portland State University's "History of Social Justice Organizing" program presents a stellar group of LGBTQ history-makers in a panel discussion on Thursday, October 24, 7-8:30PM, at the Urban Affairs Building, 2nd floor gallery, 506 SW Mill.
Steve Fulmer, Cliff Jones, Susie Shepherd, Pat Young and George Nicola will all be attending.
For more information, follow this link:
Anyone wishing to help the Bell family with arrangements for Joe Bell may visit this link, or click on the Faces for Change picture with this article, to donate via Pay Pal. Any remaining funds will support the Faces for Change program.
Joe was on a cross-country walk to raise awareness about bullying after his son, Jadin Bell, was hounded to suicide at his high school in La Grande, OR, on January 19 of this year.
Although brain-dead, Jadin's body didn't die until February 3, after his family removed him from life support.
Dealing with Jadin's death took two public forms: one, the family founded Faces For Change, a non-profit organization set up to combat bullying, and two, Joe Bell set off to walk across the USA, speaking to community groups along the way.
In April, 2013, members of the Bell Family visited the Shepherd Scholars' Class Act fundraiser, where a special offering jump-started the Faces for Change account at Equity Foundation.
An apparently sleep-deprived truck driver put a stop to Joe's walk in Lincoln County, Colorado. Joe died beside the road, and the driver was cited for negligence.
Services for Joe Bell will be held Thursday, October 17, 2013, at the Gilbert Center on the Eastern Oregon University campus in La Grande, OR, at 2:00PM.
Anyone wishing to help the Bell family with arrangements for Joe Bell may visit this link, or click on the Faces for Change picture with this article, to donate via Pay Pal. Any remaining funds will support the Faces for Change program.
Following a long illness and after the death of her husband Charles last summer, Rita Knapp passed on the evening of October 2, 2013.
GLAPN will announce plans for a memorial service as we receive them from the family.
Rita and Charles were co-founders of Portland's PFLAG chapter in the mid-1970s, along with Bill and Ann Shepherd.
Rita Knapp is famous in queer circles for her eloquent address in 1973 to the Oregon House Committee which was receiving public input on HB 2930, the first Oregon statewide bill that would ban employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation. Her address began, “I am the parent of a gay woman … “ It was the first time a parent had spoken for a gay child in a public meeting where the press was present.
Her speech lasted just a few minutes. But her words in support of her lesbian daughter were so moving and sincere that they would become the Gettysburg Address of parents who love their gay children.
Rita had come to know her daughter’s friends as socially conscious, intelligent, educated, warm and happy persons. She continued, “People must recognize that everyone has the right to be free to choose the life style he [or she] wishes. We of the establishment must disengage ourselves from myths and vague fears.” (“Homosexual issue argued in the House”, Oregonian, 5-3-1973).
The crowd could not hold back after hearing Rita’s words, and burst into a thunderous ovation. Not expecting this, in the process of rising from her chair, Rita knocked over the microphone.
At that time, few gay people were out to straight people, unless it was to their closest friends. The vast majority, fearing rejection, probably kept it secret from their families. Parents of gay children were supposed to be ashamed of their kids. Wasn’t that a shortcoming of their parenting? And even if they were not ashamed, they certainly would not talk about it in public.
But here for the first time, an Oregonian spoke in support of her gay daughter in a very public meeting where the press was present. Rita’s testimony was the lead paragraph in the Oregonian article about the hearing. The first sentence of the Oregonian article read “A mother spoke.” The letters before that – “AP” -- indicated that Rita’s story would go over the wires throughout the country through the Associated Press.
In the subsequent years, the Knapps worked with a number of organization promoting LGBT equality and acceptance. For instance, they campaigned against the very anti-gay Ballot Measure 9. They were members of the Portland’s First Congregational Church, the United Church of Christ. UCC’s national organization had already been promoting the acceptance of gays for a couple of decades. As moderator for his local church from 1991 to 1992, Charles led his led First Congregational in becoming open and affirming of LGBT people.
But perhaps the Knapps are best known for their contributions to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Several years after Rita addressed the legislative hearing, Rita and her husband Charles teamed up with another couple named Ann and Bill Shepherd to found what is today called PFLAG Portland. The Shepherds had a gay daughter named Susie.
Queer historians explore "Untold History of Portland" on September 9
GLAPN's Pat Young is one of three panelists appearing in the Oregon Encyclopedia's September 9, 2013 program entitled, "100 Years Ago But Not So Far Away: Exploring Portland's 1912 Homosexual Controversy and Exploring Its Legacy."
Click on the picture at right to open the poster for the event.
The program will explore consequences of Portland's 1912 Vice Clique scandal, in which 68 men were eventually involved in a "scandal" that involved nothing more than consensual sex.
Peter Boag, Professor of History at Washington State University and author of Same-Sex Affairs: Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest (2003) and Re-Dressing America's Frontier Past (2011) will provide an overview of the event and will then explain the implications it had for Oregon state law. In the years following Portland’s 1912 homosexual scandal, legislators increased penalties for those arrested for homosexual acts, ranging from longer sentences to sterilization.
Kimberly Jensen, Professor of History, Western Oregon University, will highlight the social and political climate of Portland during the time of the 1912 scandal and perhaps talk about influential women (especially Esther Lovejoy) who were active at this time.
Pat Young, faculty member of Portland State University’s Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and founding member of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest, will provide information on current issues that LGBTQ community members are facing today including Oregon anti-gay ballot measures in 1988, 1992, and 1994.
The event takes place Monday, September 9, 2013, 7:00-9:00pm, at McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St. Patrons will be able to purchase food and beverages, and minors are welcome when accompanied by an adult. This event is sponsored by The Oregon Encyclopedia with support from The Oregon Humanities.
GLAPN's President Appointed as State Library Trustee
In April of 2013, Ismoon was appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber to be a member of the Trustees of the State Library. Ismoon is currently president of GLAPN. She is also the Head Librarian of Q Center’s Kendall Clawson Library.
New Seasons donates Pride booth to Queer Heroes Northwest
GLAPN had a place to show our stuff at Pride 2013, thanks to a donation from New Seasons Market.
The booth provided a much-needed space to set up the Queer Heroes Northwest display where folks could pause to read without blocking traffic. It also allowed GLAPN to display some of the materials gleaned from our archives: The "Scandal May Bring Death" headline about the 1912 Vice Clique Scandal actually did stop bypassers in their tracks.
Q Center actually received the donated both, made the decision to separate the Queer Heroes NW display from the Q Center program booths, and asked GLAPN if we could contribute display materials and staffing.
It worked well for everybody concerned. GLAPN members got a chance to talk to local history buffs, and introduce GLAPN to folks who had never heard of us. We certainly hope for a similar opportunity next year.
Pride Northwest honors GLAPN's George Nicola
with Community Activist Award
The Community Activist award is given on alternating years, and recognizes individuals and organizations who are participating in grassroots efforts with limited resources. The intent is to highlight nominees that are working on the front lines of important LGBTQ issues and concerns, which might not otherwise gain broad attention, and bring visibility to that work. This year, Pride Northwest is proud to recognize George Nicola, for his tireless work in bringing visibility and action to a number of LGBTQ issues and efforts. Active in the Portland LGBTQ community since the early days of the modern movement, George has given countless hours to keeping LGBTQ issues at the forefront of public policy and preserving Pacific Northwest LGBTQ history, all with a grace and humor that belies the impact he has, and continues to have on our community.
George began his activism in the early 1970s with The Second Foundation of Oregon, a group which appeared in Portland not long after the Gay Liberation Front began to organize. He lobbied the legislature extensively for gay rights until 1974, when it became necessary for him to get a paying job.
In 2008, George was one of the speakers at GLAPN's Our Stories event marking the passage of the Oregon Equality Act and the Oregon Family Fairness Act – 35 years after gay rights bills were first introduced by Oregon lawmakers. Since then he has been contributing regularly as a writer and speaker about the history of Oregon's LGBTQ movement.
Many of his articles are on GLAPN.org at this link: Click here to read the reminiscences and research of this important Oregon historian.
Daniel Spiro's documentary on Sister Paula Nielsen
debuts at Portland Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Sept. 30, 2012
PLGFF presented the world premiere of Sister Paula: The Trans Evangelist on September 30, 2012 in Portland.
The film, a work-in-progress, tells the story of Portland native Paula Nielsen, a transgender pioneer, legal secretary, cabaret performer, Pentecostal preacher and public access television star.
Daniel Spiro, who produced and edited the 103-minute feature, is an active member of Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN).
Through interviews, television appearances and her sermons, the film tells Paula’s story in her own words. Born Larry Nielsen in 1938, Paula transitioned to female on May 1, 1963 and has lived as a transwoman ever since. In 1950 she became a born again Christian and a preacher. During the 1970’s Paula was the first church secretary for Metropolitan Community Church in Portland, Oregon, when she came out publicly as a transwoman. In 1980 Paula became a featured attraction as a cabaret entertainer at the legendary Darcelle’s. Throughout the 1990’s Sister Paula made guest appearances on national and international television programs and was a featured guest on PM Magazine, Jenny Jones, Joan Rivers and The Daily Show.
Sister Paula continues to spread the gospel on public access TV, her podcast and internet radio.
Ismoon featured in September's PQ Monthly!
GLAPN President Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton was featured in column entitled "Local Hero: Ismoon Hunter-Morton – Rebel librarian at large"
This is the first in a series of "Local Hero" articles by PQ Monthly's Sunny Clark.
GLAPN supports International Queer Archive Convention
We proudly sent a donation at the "sponsorship" level to the IHLIA LGBT ALMS 2012 convention which was held in Amsterdam, August 1-3, 2012. We're happy to support such an event in any way, and of course, it puts GLAPN on the world map of LGBTQ archives.
IHLIA is Dutch: Internationaal Homo/Lesbich Informationcentrum en Archief. It's the world's biggest LGBTQ archive, and it's located in Amsterdam. The full link to their English pages is http://www.ihlia.nl/english/english/english_home.
ALMS is an acronym for Archives, Libraries, Museums and Special Collections.
Here's the text of the thank-you that our treasurer, C. Allen Giles, received.
The LGBT ALMS 2012 conference has succesfully taken place in the great
venues of the Public Library of Amsterdam in the beginning of august.
This was not only a succes because it just happened, it was aspecially
succesful for the participants who never before have been able to meet
each other, to exchange ideas, knowledge and experiences.
For the first time, IHLIA succeeded to create an opportunity, with a very
divers and interesting programme, within reach for people from over 30
countries in Europe and elswhere.
This could only happen with your support. We are very greatfull for your
gift and like to thank you for that.
Do you like to stay connected? Describe for our newsletter at
Thank you again, kind regards,
GLAPN joins regional archivist group
GLAPN president Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton was about to join NW Archivists, Inc., a cool local professional association for archives and archivists. She planned on joining on her own, but discovered the possibility of organizational membership, so she joined in GLAPN’s name.
It seems to be the first time GLAPN has joined a professional organization of this type, and the potential for networking is huge.
As a result, we will be featured in their newsletter, in the New Member Spotlight, November, 2012.
GLAPN announces new officers
Ismoon Maria Hunter-Morton and C. Allen Giles were elected president and treasurer, respectively, of Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest at the organization's March, 2012, meeting.
Ismoon is currently Q Center's librarian, among other community jobs and activities, and Allen brings the experience and perspective of a professional archivist who, among other things, has been working with the Cascade Aids Project's archives.
Robin Will continues as GLAPN's secretary/webmaster. _________________________________________________________________________
October 1, 2011 – Walking Tours benefit
Oregon Safe Schools & Communities Coalition
GLAPN's Rob Douglass and Dave Kohl will be leading the tours, which are chock-full of juicy anecdotes about queer life in Portland over the last century or so.
Two expeditions are planned, with a break in-between at Hobos (120 NW 3rd Avenue) for refreshments and presentations by GLAPN and OSSCC. Really enthusiastic walkers will be able to take in both tours!
Tour 1: Who's on Third will take folks through Old Queer Portland. In the old days, Portland's "vice district" spread along Third Avenue as far south as Lownsdale Square, the "gentlemen's gathering place" of the 19th Century. Gather in front of Hobos for a 1:30pm step-out, stroll south along SW Third Avenue and return along SW Broadway to Hobos at 3:00pm.
Intermission at Hobos: From 3:00-4:30pm, participants will mingle upstairs at Hobos. GLAPN will present a pictorial display and a short discussion of their role in preserving northwest queer history, and OSSCC will describe their campaign to keep schools and communities safe for all of us.
Tour 2: The Stark Truth will explore more recent developments in Portland's queer community. As the name suggests, SW Stark Street will be its focus. It is scheduled to end back at Hobos, at 6:00pm.
Tickets (for one tour) are $30, available through OSSCC's website, OregonSafeSchools.org.
“Welcome to a day of living history. In collaboration with GLAPN, the Gay, Lesbian Archives of the Pacific NW, OSSCC will be leading downtown history tours, honoring our community’s rich past and remembering those who made our journey possible.”
May 3-5, 2011
A portion of the receipts from the grand opening will benefit GLAPN's treasury.
As if you needed a reason to see what has happened to the old Silverado and the Portland Baths!
By Robin Will, Secretary & Webmaster
Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest
A couple of years ago, GLAPN was contacted by Tim Hills, staff historian for McMenamins, the business which has become as famous for their historic buildings as it is for food, brew, and hospitality.
The McMenamin brothers had just purchased a [smallish] city block in Portland's Gay Triangle, the old Majestic Hotel, site of the Silverado Bar and the Portland Baths.
McMenamins celebrates the history of every property they acquire.
"Could GLAPN help them in their research of this site which had lots of history in the LGBTQ community?"
Several GLAPN members responded. The job wasn't easy, because like most gay history, very little about this site was written down. Personal memories were explored. Personal contacts were exploited. One recollection triggered another. And in the end, it was surprising how much information we were able to generate about this Queer Portland landmark.
The renovation is complete, and the property will open to the public on May 3, 2011.
Of course, Tim Hills didn't stop with the queer portion of the property's history. Judging by pictures on the walls through all four stories, it appears that he looked at every city directory, every newspaper article, and every deed and tax record in existence for that little triangle of land -- and tracked down descendants of original owners, and got access to their family scrapbooks.
There are even pictures of the farmhouse that was on the property before Stark Street came so far west!
This is a see-to-believe proposition. As a Portlander since 1956 (I was in third grade -- go ahead and do the math!), I was amazed at the memories Tim's work brought back.
In appreciation for GLAPN's contribution to the historical research, a portion of the proceeds from the May 3-4-5 Grand Opening celebration, which will include the Crystal Hotel, Ringlers Annex and the Crystal Ballroom, will be donated to GLAPN. There will be food, libations, and music in several venues in the new Crystal complex.
That provides any number of good reasons to visit, and see the new life that McMenamins has breathed into this old Portland landmark.
P.O. Box 3646 • Portland, OR 97208-3646 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2015, Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest