LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #100: January 25, 2013

This month's news:

  1. New on the Web Site
  2. Help Quaker History Project
  3. Largest-Ever Award Submissions
  4. Giving to LGBT-RAN Soars in 2012

1.  New on the Web Site

An oral history interview with Mari Castellanos has been posted to the LGBT-RAN web site.  The interview relates her dramatic life story from growing up in Cuba and fleeing after the revolution to her involvement in LGBT activism in south Florida and in Dignity--and finally to her leadership in United Church of Christ justice ministries.  

LGBT-RAN's oral histories are unique in that they are easily accessible to read or to listen to on our web site.  LGBT-RAN welcomes other existent interviews with leaders of LGBT religious movements to add to the 28 oral histories currently in its collection.  

New biographical statements added to the Profiles Gallery this month are:

  • Royal Bush, chaplain & spiritual guide in Nebraska; and
  • Ron Mattson, one of the founders of the Friends LGBTQ organization.

2.  Help Quaker History Project

LGBT-RAN's Quaker History Project focuses on this year's 50th anniversary of the publication of Towards a Quaker View of Sex, a ground-breaking 1963 study by a group of Friends in the U.K. Although largely forgotten today, Towards a Quaker View of Sex (TQVOS) was one of the earliest religious publications to call for acceptance and affirmation of homosexual persons. You can peruse a copy of the 84-page second edition at this link.

This project aims to create a digital exhibition or publication about the roots and development of TQVOS as well as its impact in the U.K. and the U.S. Early and more recent articles about the working group that wrote TQVOS have been gathered. Also LGBT-RAN has interviewed one of the principal writers, the last living member of the original working group.

LGBT-RAN needs assistance in the completion of this project:

  • researching Quaker and other religious periodicals in the 1960s pertaining to TQVOS;
  • researching (in London) the collection of papers left by the TQVOS working group; and
  • writing papers or commentaries on TQVOS to be published digitally with this project.

If you or someone you know might be interested in assisting this very important project,  please contact Mark Bowman.

3.  Largest-Ever Award Submissions

LGBT-RAN received 15 scholarly papers to consider for the 2012-13 LGBT Religious History Award--the largest number of submissions ever received in the eight years this award has been offered. LGBT-RAN Coordinator Mark Bowman noted: "It is most gratifying to see this growing interest in the subject of LGBT religious history within the scholarly community and this affirms the invaluable work that LGBT-RAN is doing."

LGBT-RAN offers the only annual award for scholarly research and writing on LGBT religious or spiritual history. Honorees received a $500 honorarium in addition to the recognition this award brings.  More details available here.

4.  Giving to LGBT-RAN Soars in 2012

Gifts to LGBT-RAN in 2012 from individuals, families and groups totalled just under $10,000. This amount is double what LGBT-RAN received in 2011 and is greater than any other year thoughout LGBT-RAN's 10+ years--except for two years.  In 2007 and 2008 LGBT-RAN giving totalled slightly more--$11,000 and $10,000 respectively.

This major increase in giving is related to LGBT-RAN's new sponsorship initiative begun mid-2012. Every $50 of giving now enrolls the donor as "host" of the LGBT-RAN web site for one day. The name of the host is posted prominently on the web site along with someone honored or memorialized with the gift.  LGBT-RAN has received much praise for how this raises the visibility of its financial need as well as publicly honors donors' generosity.  

LGBT-RAN has secured host gifts to cover 50% of the days of the year at this time. Reaching 100% of the days of the year is critical to ensuring LGBT-RAN's financial self-sufficiency and long-term viability.

Will you join dozens of other LGBT-RAN Friends to give $50 or more and enable continued free access to this unique treasure of LGBT religious history?

The LGBT Religious Archives Network News is an occasional email newsletter for persons interested in supporting the preservation of the history of LGBT religious movements. Subscribe now.