Orange County isn't exactly San Francisco, West Hollywood or Palm Springs when it comes to a thriving LGBT community, but we will always have Laguna Beach, which was a gay mecca for years before gays were priced out, and nearby Belmont Shore in Long Beach. There's also now a local LGBT Archive at UC Irvine's Langson Library, which hosts a reception and invites the public to come check it out Thursday.
America's Gayest County! A secret queer history of Orange County
An Incomplete History of Gay & Lesbian OC
Lou Sheldon Holds Anti-Gay News Conference and Only 3 Gay Rights Activists Show Up
document gay rights activism in Orange County starting in 1971 and
reveal how community activists came together in conservative 1970s
Orange County to organize services such as crisis hotlines and to fight
against a state ballot measure in 1978 that would
have encoded discrimination against gays and Lesbians,” reads the invite to Thursday's 4 p.m. event.
The archive was made possible thanks to “a generous donation” from Brad
Brafford and Barbara Muirhead, according to library officials. On view are the personal papers of prominent activist Brafford,
political organizer Patricia Callahan and transgender community
activist Patric A. Magee.
The records of the Gay
and Lesbian Community Services Center of Orange County–a.k.a. The Center OC in Garden Grove that Brafford helped found in 1972,
making it one of the country's oldest–is also part of the archives. For more information on the reception and the archive, visit: http://partners.lib.uci.edu/
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.