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LGBTQ+ Studies: A Resource Guide

The collections of the Library of Congress tell the rich and diverse story of LGBTQ+ life in America and around the world. This research guide serves as an introduction into the excellent collection of LGBTQ+ resources available at the Library of Congress


Welcome to the LGBTQ+ Studies Resource Guide. This guide offers an introduction to the impressive LGBTQ+ collections of the Library of Congress. The Library collects at the research level in the area of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) studies. Library holdings are particularly strong in LGBTQ+ politics, history, literature and the performing arts. This guide is organized by subject, format, and time period. Have a question? Submit your query to the Library of Congress Ask a Librarian Service, and our LGBTQ+ Studies Librarian will assist you.

Map for Pride Power ’94, a 10 Day Festival of Pride & Spirit. 1994. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

June 2020 marked the 50th anniversary of annual LGBTQ+ Pride traditions in the United States

The first Pride march in New York City was held on June 28, 1970 on the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Primary sources available at the Library of Congress provide detailed information about how this first Pride march was planned, and the reasons why activists felt so strongly that it should exist. Looking through the Lilli Vincenz and Frank Kameny Papers in the Manuscript Reading Room, researchers can find planning documents, correspondence, flyers, ephemera and more from the very first Pride marches in 1970. This, the very first U.S. Gay Pride Week and March, was meant to give the community a chance to gather together to, "...commemorate the Christopher Street Uprisings of last summer in which thousands of homosexuals went to the streets to demonstrate against centuries of abuse....from government hostility to employment and housing discrimination, Mafia control of Gay bars, and anti-Homosexual laws" (Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Fliers, Franklin Kameny Papers).

The concept behind the initial Pride march was formally proposed by lesbian activist Ellen Broidy (NYU Student Homophile League), who had written the proposal together with Craig Rodwell (Homophile Youth Movement). E.R.C.H.O. had been organizing an annual July 4th demonstration (1965-1969) known as the "Reminder Day Pickets," at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. At the E.R.C.H.O Conference in November 1969, the 13 homophile organizations in attendance voted to pass a resolution to organize a National annual demonstration, to be called Christopher Street Liberation Day.

As members of the Mattachine Society of Washington, Frank Kameny and Lilli Vincenz participated in the discussion, planning, and promotion of the first Pride along with activists in New York City and other homophile groups belonging to E.R.C.H.O. John Marshall is listed as a representative for the Mattachine Society of Washington in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Files, so researchers may wish to search that name specifically in the Kamney and Vincenz collections. For a comprehensive list of which homophile groups contributed financially to the first Pride, researchers can reference the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee Bulletin and Reports External. The organization with the largest donation to Christopher Street Liberation Day 1970 was the Queens Liberation Front, donating $50 (CSLDC Bulletin and Reports External, Cash Receipts Journal).

By all estimates, there were upwards of 3-5,000 marchers at the inaugural Pride in New York City, and today NYC marchers number in the millions. Since 1970, LGBTQ+ people have continued to gather together in June to march with Pride and demonstrate for equal rights.

Watch documentary footage of the first Pride march held in New York City on June 28, 1970, Gay and Proud, a documentary by activist Lilli Vincenz: