Skip to main content

Gays at Drexel records

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-Coll-41
This small collection is made up correspondence to and from the student group (including a letter and resume from Franklin Kameny); organizational records such as a statement of purpose, constitution, meeting schedules, and application for student status (including the signatures of both homosexual and heterosexual students and faculty supportive of the group); essays by graduate student Richard Keiser and faculty sponsor Gerald Fleischer; announcements and flyers for speakers and events; clippings from the Drexel Triangle and other local newspapers; and a small assortment of brochures, flyers, and records from other groups including Gays at Penn, WXPN's "Sunshine Gaydream" radio show, the ALA Task Force on Gay Liberation, and the National Gay Task Force.

Dates

  • 1975 - 1976

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may exist. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives of the William Way LGBT Community Center.

Extent

0.1 Linear Feet (6 folders)

Overview

Officially formed in the spring of 1975, Gays at Drexel was the first gay student group at Drexel University. This small collection is made up correspondence, organizational records, essays, flyers for speakers and events, clippings from the Drexel Triangle and other local newspapers, and a small assortment of brochures, flyers, and records from other groups. Gays at Drexel became inactive in 1977.

Biographical / Historical

Officially formed in the spring of 1975, Gays at Drexel was the first gay student group at Drexel University. A February 21, 1975 article in the Drexel Triangle titled "Gays Organizing at Drexel," quoted graduate student Richard Keiser (using only his first name) as saying, "We believe it is time for Gay students at DU to develop a Coffeehouse for both males and females and offer a series of lectures to be informative of the Drexel community." By April 15 of that year, the nascent student group had selected officers and had submitted an application to the Student Congress for probationary student group status. After being rejected for minor code violations, the application was resubmitted in November 1975 and was subsequently approved.

Among the group's activities were a campaign to have the Drexel University Libraries purchase books supportive of gay liberation. An October 27, 1975 memo to librarian Dick Binder states "Gays at Drexel feels these books present points of view which are not adequately covered in the Drexel Libraries' other holdings on this subject." Gays at Drexel sponsored several events including lectures by Barbara Gittings on May 13, 1975 ("Gay Liberation: What Every Heterosexual Should Know"), and by Franklin Kameny on February 10, 1976 ("Gays and the Civil Service"). They also publicly presented a forty-minute filmstrip with sound called "The Invisible Minority: Homosexuals in Our Society" in November 1975, and co-sponsored with the Drexel Psychology Club a program about counseling gays with guest Joan DeForrest, acting director of the Eromin Center, in December 1975.

According to co-founder Richard Keiser, "Gays at Drexel became inactive [in] 1977 because its members graduated and I was gone from Drexel, 1978-1979." Officers of the group included coordinators Allen Kratz and Richard Keiser, and secretary David Mowery; John M. Harkins is cited as a "co-representative" at the time of the group's first student group application in April 1975. The group was sponsored by Drexel University professor of psychology Gerald Fleischer.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Richard Keiser, 2015.

Separated Materials

Approximately 18 issues of The Weekly Philadelphia Gayzette came with this donation and were incorporated into the Archives' periodicals collection.
Title
Gays at Drexel records, 1975-1976
Status
completed
Author
John Anderies
Date
2015
Description rules
dacs

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center Repository

Contact:
1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia PA 19107
215-732-2220