promoting respect and understanding for all people, especially in regard to sexual orientation and gender identity

Back To The Home Page




Add to Favorites




Participating and
Contributing Member of
United Vision For Idaho



Participating and
Contributing Member of
The Idaho Women's Network




Participating and
Contributing Member


Click here for the InterPride web site & Global Pride Calendars 2000

Your Family,
Friends & Neighbors
P.O.Box 768
Boise Idaho 83702
(208) 344-4295


Who is Barbara Gittings?
back to Pride '04 home

 Barbara Gittings, (1932- ) has been a gay activist since 1958, "when there were scarcely two hundred of us  (gay activists) in the whole United States.  It was like a club--we all knew each other."  In 1958 she established the first East Coast chapter of the first lesbian organization in the United States, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), founded in 1955 in San Francisco.  From 1963 to 1966 she edited THE LADDER,  DOB's pioneer national magazine.  She subtitled it A LESBIAN REVIEW and introduced photo covers of gay women, a victory over the pervasive gay invisibility of the time.

    She marched in the first gay rights picket lines in the mid-60s at the White House and the Pentagon and at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.  "It was risky and we were scared.  Our protests seemed  outlandish even to most gay people."  She was a charter member of the boards of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (founded  1973) and the Gay Rights National Lobby (founded 1976), which was the  forerunner of the Human Rights Campaign.

    From 1971 to 1986 she headed the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association and edited its "Gay Bibliography" and other gay  reading lists.  She wrote a brief history of the group called "Gays in  Library Land" which was published in 1990 and is reprinted in DARING TO  FIND OUR NAMES, edited by James V. Carmichael, Jr. (Greenwood Press,  1998).  She also starred in the first-ever gay kissing booth, called "Hug a Homosexual," run by the gay librarians' group at the 1971 annual  convention of librarians.  Her campaign to promote gay materials and  eliminate discrimination in libraries has been recognized by an honorary  lifetime membership conferred by the American Library Association in 2003.

    In the 1970s, she was on a panel at the American Psychiatric  Association challenging anti-gay views.  She produced three gay exhibits  at APA conventions: "Gay, Proud and Healthy," "Homophobia: Time for A Cure," and "Gay Love: Good Medicine."  She was also fairy godmother to  the emerging caucus of lesbian and gay psychiatrists.

    She has addressed over 400 audiences, gay and non-gay, and  especially enjoys running workshops such as "Lavender Leverage: How You  Can Make a Difference" and lecturing on "Gay and Smiling: Tales From Our Fifty-Five Years of Activism."

    She served on the first board of the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund,  which promotes philanthropy to benefit the gay/lesbian community in the  Philadelphia region.  From 1998 to 2002 she served on the Endowment  Committee for the Hormel Center Gay and Lesbian Library at San Francisco  Public Library.  She is a member of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against  Defamation, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Human Rights Campaign, American Civil Liberties  Union, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, Service members Legal Defense Network, the gay/lesbian TV show "In  the Life," and the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses.

    She appeared in the classic 1987 documentary film "Before Stonewall" and its 1999 sequel "After Stonewall," and she is featured in the 1998  documentary "Out of the Past."   She is also in the 2001 PBS documentary  "Gay Pioneers."

    She and her longtime partner Kay Tobin Lahusen are now organizing more than forty years' worth of movement memorabilia--correspondence,  artifacts, publications, photographs, and much more---for future  distribution to gay/lesbian archives.  In June 1999 she chaired a panel  on "Daring to Save Our History: Gay and Lesbian Archives" at the annual  conference of the American Library Association.  In spring 2001, the  Barbara Gittings Gay/Lesbian Collection of circulating materials was  opened in her honor at the Philadelphia library's Independence Branch.
    "Also I continue to march, to boost the cause, to give practical
help, and to cheer other activists and supporters," she said


kepner2.jpg - 81.73 K












Barbara Gittings at Jim Kepner's Memorial Celebration
in Los Angeles in May, 1998.

Find out more about Barbara at these links:

Barbara Gittings at

Barbara Gittings Archive at Badpuppy

Please thank those whose generosity
brought us Barbara Gittings

Idaho Human Rights Education Center

The Emerald Club

Susie Stertz

John Roberts

Jim Wanek


Mike Esposito

Javier Smith



[return to main Pride page]

[return to YFFN intro page]