Stan Fortuna, Susan Henderson, Peter Prizer, Maine Gay Task Force, Mainely Gay, Maine, LGBTQ+, LGBTQ+ publications, Activism, 1970s
Donated collectively by Stan Fortuna, Susan Henderson, and Peter Prizer, early activists in Maine’s LGBTQ+ history, this collection of research material spans from 1974 to 2014, with the bulk of material from the mid-1970s.
This collection documents the development and activities of the Maine Gay Task Force, including the creation and publication of a newsletter from 1974 to 1980. It opens with planning materials and news coverage of the first statewide gathering for gay people, the Maine Gay Symposium held at the University of Maine’s Orono campus, an event which sparked statewide organizing efforts, including the creation of the Maine Gay Task Force. Completed and draft versions of the Maine Gay Task Force Newsletter from August 1974 to November 1976 are included in this collection, as well as issues of Mainely Gay from January 1977 to April 1980. Please note that these publications are also available on Digital Commons.
The collection shows how the publication evolved from MGTF Newsletter to Mainely Gay; the initial issue under new name (Vol 4, #1) notes that “we are a lot more than a group newsletter now” and that “35% of our subscriptions go out of Maine,” reflecting a growing engagement with the larger national community.
The bulk of the collection is comprised of LGBTQ+ newspapers and newsletters produced in Maine and across the U.S. between the mid-1970s and early 1980s. The collection’s donors engaged in publication “exchanges” and collected 4 relevant media coverage of local and national LGBTQ+ issues, as well as other areas of social justice interest, amassing over 100 statewide and national publications from over 20 states.
The collection also includes a number of subject files on LGBTQ+ and other sociopolitical issues, personal and organizational correspondence, registration forms and other planning information for the Maine Gay symposium, news clippings, pins, and other ephemera.
Fortuna, Henderson, Prizer Collection, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+ Collection, Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, Special Collections, University of Southern Maine Library.
American Studies Commons, Cultural History Commons, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies Commons, Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Commons, Social History Commons, United States History Commons