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Grassroot Queers records

Identifier: Ms-Coll-11

Scope and Contents

The collection contains materials spanning 1993 through 1997 relating to the organization and its events. It includes materials like applications, awards, clippings, correspondence, event ephemera, financial documents, flyers, magazines, meeting minutes, newspapers, newsletters, organizational files, petitions, photographs, surveys, and testimonials. The collection covers topics of discrimination, corporate boycotts, organized protest, marriage equality, domestic partnership and community events. The collection is arranged in two series: “I. Organizational files” and “II. Initiatives.”

A third series, "III. Additional Materials," includes Grassroot Queers' financial records, meeting notes, assorted ephemera, informational activist resources, protest signs and banners from organization events.


  • 1993 - 1997


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.

Biographical / Historical

Grassroot Queers was a nonhierarchical queer activist organization active in Philadelphia from 1993 through 1999. The group was comprised of diverse membership with folks of all genders, races and sexualities that came into existence after Queer Action, Philadelphia’s Queer Nation chapter, dissolved in the early 1990s. Grassroot Queers' initiatives targeted institutions that oppressed, disenfranchised and ignored the LGBTQ community at the local and national level, while other events were aimed at bringing this community together and raising their visibility among the rest of society.

Their Fight the Right campaign culminated in a town hall meeting in April 1994 to organize against the political and religious right. They held the Bitter Queer Cafe as a forum to discuss queer issues and brought the LGBTQ community together for their annual Queer X-mas Carolling events. Grassroot Queers went on to organize a boycott of the Adolph Coors Foundation in 1995 because of its monetary contributions to homophobic groups. In 1995, Grassroot Queers organized Queerstock to celebrate the queer community in Philadelphia with assorted public events, games and contests. They held their first annual Drag King Contest in 1995 which ran until 1996. Grassroot Queers rallied around the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Colorado’s Amendment 2 in 1996, an act that had criminalized homosexuality. That same year, they also held a Queer Wedding on Ice that called for marriage equality and pushed then Mayor Ed Rendell to uphold his promise to grant domestic partnership rights in the city of Philadelphia.


2 Linear feet (4 document boxes, 2 flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Grassroot Queers was a Philadelphia-based queer activist organization that operated from 1993 through 1999 to fight for equal rights and increased visibility for the LGBTQ community. The Grassroot Queers records, 1993-1997, includes organizational records and ephemera pertaining to their diverse activist efforts and community events.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Ross Griffiths, 2008. Albo Jeavons, 2017.

Related Materials

"Grassroot Queers" in the William Way LGBT Community Center ephemera collection.

Separated Materials

T-shirt "The Homosexual Lifestyle" moved to William Way LGBT Community Center T-shirt collection. T-shirt "Grassroot Queers" moved to William Way LGBT Community Center T-shirt collection.


Grassroot Queers records, 1993-1997
Michael Carroll
November 14, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

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

1315 Spruce Street
Philadelphia PA 19107