Where Did We Drop Those Beads? Looking for a Map of Undocumented Feelings

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James V. Carmichael, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Barbara Gittings was the first among us to notice—in print, anyway—the connection between homophobia and the disease model of gayness: all the (mis)information contained on library shelves. If she had not published “Combating the Lies in Libraries” in Louie Crew’s The Gay Academic, and if I had not read it in 1979, I would not even be here today. That she was not a professional library worker speaks to both the profession’s social morbidity during the latter part of the Betty Crocker era. She is so right to emphasize the importance of stories to queer culture, for paper and the print upon it held inordinate sway on collective memory until the internet changed how we communicated, to whom we communicated, and in what circumstances—anonymously, if that was our bent. Much of the real story, however, is communicated only lover to lover, one coming-out at a time. Finally, we are grappling with archiving all of those bits and bytes and, while one half of the culture still laments the loss of the archival record, the other seems content to let the Googlization of life proceed apace, to let the past be buried with the past, and to hell with who gets credit for what. That must not be allowed to happen. For many of us, our tortured past lives held at least the possibility that social conditions could be ameliorated for gays, lesbians, the differently gendered and for a host of other non-elites. For us, print, however veiled its references, provided the only tangible validation for our existence outside of our heads.

Additional Information

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Archives, Libraries Museums and Special Collections, Minneapolis, MN, May, 2006.
Language: English
Date: 2006
Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender, Gay history, American history

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