Pride Month at the Texas State Library and Archives

By Grace Hansen, Reference Archivist


It’s Pride Month! Pride Month is a celebration of the progress made in the fight for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) rights and the history of the community. Pride is held in June to commemorate the 1969 New York City Stonewall Uprisings, a six-day protest that transformed the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) collections document the progress toward equality and culture of the LGBTQ+ community.

There is a long history of criminalization of LGBTQ+ people, as well as a rich history of community organizing around gaining equal rights. All states had laws criminalizing same sex couples until 1962, when Illinois was the first to decriminalize same sex relationships. Nearly a decade later, the American Psychological Association issued a statement declaring that LGBTQ+ existence was not a mental disorder, and that people should not be discriminated against based on their sexuality. Despite this, many states, including Texas, retained laws criminalizing LGBTQ+ couples for decades until the 2003 United States Supreme Court Lawrence v. Texas case found these laws to be unconstitutional. [1] In 2015 the United States Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage with the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case. [2]

Titles from the Texas State Library collections related to Pride Month.

You can follow this history of LGBTQ+ civil rights like a thread through the US Documents Collection at TSLAC. US documents are publications issued by the federal government and are held in repositories like TSLAC throughout the country. Publications in the US Documents Collection such as the Defense of Marriage Act : hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary show that the resistance to marriage equality continued at the federal level up through the late twentieth century and into the aughts. Later documents show the transformation in the stance taken by the federal government. For example, the web resource Federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals shows commitment to affirming the full rights of LGBTQ+ people.

The U.S. Department of Labor: Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights, 2015. US Documents Collection, L 1.2:L 59. TSLAC.

Despite the massive obstacles they faced, LGBTQ+ activists organized and fought for their civil rights. One example of activism documented in the archives is in the Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records, the records of Texas’s planning committee for the 1977 National Women’s Conference.

Participants in Texas Coordinating Committee activities in Austin,1977. Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee records, 1978/032. TSLAC.

The Texas Coordinating Committee approved a resolution, pictured below, demanding equal treatment of lesbians, demonstrating  that LGBTQ+ women were engaged in this broad coalition and represented at the National Women’s Conference. A related publication titled “Sexual Preference,” also released by the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year, expands on the topic of lesbian civil rights, discussing discrimination against lesbians in areas including housing, employment, and child custody.

Resolution adopted by the Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee. Resolutions submitted by individuals, 1978/032-2, Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records. TSLAC.

Titles in TSLAC collections document LGBTQ+ cultural traditions and contributions. Researchers can find materials on community history, film theory, literary studies, Latinx and Chicanx studies, and cultural studies. These books, some of which are listed below, preserve accounts of LGBTQ+ history and culture and highlight voices that are often overlooked by mainstream narratives.To illustrate e a nationwide picture of LGBTQ+ history, the National Park Service has produced internet resources  that document LGBTQ+ historical sites across the United States. Tailored to students, the Pride Guide and LGBTQ America can be accessed from your home if you wish to learn more about the LGBTQ+ history in your hometown and all around the nation.

Finally, our Library Science Collection holds  resources to help librarians and educators support the information needs of queer youth and adults. If you are a librarian, you may wish to borrow these books through Interlibrary Loan to assist with collection development, programming, and outreach for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. These books are information-rich resources for taking that next step towards making your library a more inclusive and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community.

Interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ culture and history in Texas? You can check out many of these resources for yourself through Interlibrary Loan, or by visiting TSLAC yourself. Happy Pride Month!

Resources:

Title

Author

Call Number

 Collection

Sexual Preference

National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year

Y 3.W 84:10/14

US Documents

Pride Guide

National Park Service

I 29.2:L 57/2

US Documents (Web Resource)

LGBTQ America: a theme study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history

National Park Service

I 29.2:L 58

US Documents (Web Resource)

Civil Rights (1954-2015)

Shally-Jensen, Michael

323.0973 C499 US GOV & HIST

Reference

Accidental activists : Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and their fight for marriage equality in Texas

Collins, David

Z N745.8 C692ac

Texas Documents

Bridging : how Gloria Anzaldúa’s life and work transformed our own

Keating, AnaLouise

Z UA380.8 B764HO

Texas Documents

Spectatorship : shifting theories of gender, sexuality, and media

Samer, Roxanne

Z UA380.8 SP31

Texas Documents

Filming difference : actors, directors, producers, and writers on gender, race, and sexuality in film

Bernardi, Daniel

Z UA380.8 F487DI

Texas Documents

Cornyation : San Antonio’s outrageous fiesta tradition

Stone, Amy L

394.269764 ST71c

Texas Documents

Brown trans figurations: rethinking race, gender, and sexuality in Chicanx/Latinx studies

Galarte, Francisco J.

Z UA380.8 G131br

Texas Documents

Reading Chican@ like a queer : the de-mastery of desire

Soto, Sandra K.

Z UA380.8 So784RE

Texas Documents

Brown on brown : Chicano/a representations of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity

Aldama, Frederick Luis

Z UA380.8 AL21BR

Texas Documents

Brown on brown : Chicano/a representations of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity

Geffen, Sasha

Z UA380.8 G272GL

Texas Documents

Queer brown voices : personal narratives of Latina/o LGBT activism

Quesada, Uriel

Z UA380.8 Q319

Texas Documents

Argentine, Mexican, and Guatemalan photography : feminist, queer, and post-masculinist perspectives

Foster, David William

Z UA380.8 F812ar

Texas Documents

Serving LGBTQ teens : a practical guide for librarians

Houde, Lisa

027.63 H812s 2018

Library Science

Representing the rainbow in young adult literature : LGBTQ+ content since 1969

Jenkins, Christine

810.9353 J415r 2018

Library Science

Black like us : a century of lesbian, gay and bisexual African American fiction

Carbado, Devon W.

813.54 B561w

Library Science

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered literature : a genre guide

Bosman, Ellen

016.8108 B652g

Library Science

Rainbow family collections : selecting and using children’s books with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content

Naidoo, Jamie Campbell

028.1624 N143r

Library Science

Explore more resources from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/resources/

Notes:

[1] Michael Shally-Jenson, ed., Defining Documents in American History: Civil Rights (1954-2015), (New York: Salem Press, 2015), 222.

[2] Shally-Jenson, Civil Rights, 258.

[3] Shally-Jenson, Civil Rights, 217, 252.

[4] Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, eds., Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015), 52-55.