North Texas Daily

Library to host LGBT archives exhibit

Library to host LGBT archives exhibit

Library to host LGBT archives exhibit
October 16
08:32 2013

Hasan Waheedi / Intern Writer

UNT Libraries is scheduled to present a historic collection of archives and items from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in the Dallas area on Oct. 17 at the Willis Library.

The Resource Center LGBT Collection: 50 Years of LGBT History will unveil past documents, photographs and stories of the gay social movements in the North Texas region. The free exhibit is located in Archives and Rare Books in room 437 of the Willis Library, where the opening reception is set to begin 5 p.m. Thursday.

“It is going to be a time to meet people and celebrate this history,” said Morgan Gieringer, head of Archives and Rare Books

Around 100,000 items were donated to UNT last year by the Resource Center in Dallas, a national leader serving the LGBT community.

Milestones such as the first gay parade in Dallas and the appearance of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected in public office, at the Texas Gay Conference, will be showcased.

“We have information about very important people that a few know about,” Gieringer said. “These were people who were literally fighting for their lives, struggling with discrimination and hate crimes.”

GLAD: UNT’s Queer Alliance and UNT Allies are two active groups on campus that provide education and support to LGBT students. This is the first time UNT will display items from the Resource Center LGBT Collection, and Gieringer said she believes the exhibit will represent students more accurately.

Business undeclared sophomore Sultan Abualrashid views black and white photos of a Gay Pride parade on display from the Dallas LGBT Archives. Photo by Eline de Bruijn / Contributing Photographer

Business undeclared sophomore Sultan Abualrashid views black and white photos of a Gay Pride parade on display from the Dallas LGBT Archives. Photo by Eline de Bruijn / Contributing Photographer

“We want to make our collection reflect who our students are,” Gieringer said. “By hosting an exhibit like this, we as a university are showing that this history is relevant, important and deserves to be celebrated because these individuals have a legacy that deserves to go on.”

Resource Center founder Phil Johnson began the collection in the 1960s by gathering materials that documented the gay community in Dallas.  The organization continued to grow over the years with donations from people and organization.

The Dallas Way, a partner and an LGBT history-focused organization, is hosting a story telling series the same day from 7 to 9 p.m. called “Outrageous Oral.” Stories will focus on personal experiences of people in the LGBT community.

“People will talk about events that have happened to them, how they came out and how they became involved in community organizations,” Gieringer said. “Sometimes they’re funny and sometimes they’re sad, but it’s another way to document this history.”

UNT also has an LGBT Studies Program that offers a minor and educates students on roles of gender and sexual minorities in modern society. LGBT studies minor and pre-studio art senior Monica Ugartechea said she is looking forward to hearing these stories.

“You get to hear an account of a time where the queer community didn’t have the privileges and the rights we have now,” Ugartechea said. “It makes you are more appreciative of where we are now and much we’ve progressed in society.“

Photography senior Jonathan Garcia uses themes of gender and sexuality in a lot of his work and is a big fan of Harvey Milk.

“He is a seminal figure,” Garcia said. “He has brought a lot of awareness to the gay rights movement, and I think his death sparked empathy.”

An article from a 1984 edition of Dallas Fort Worth Gay News on display at Willis Library’s Archives and Rare Books. The display will be at UNT until January 2. Feature photo by Eline de Bruijn / Contributing Photographer

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