Please visit the Fall 2012 class website project at Queer Arts Los Angeles Website.

Monday, March 20, 2017

ONE Archives @ USC

I visited the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC with John and left a more educated queer woman complete with two new books on sexuality-- it was great! 

The moment I arrived, I was totally captivated. The red brick building is adorned with green vines and strong lights, complete with a bar near the back indicating that this is a place where people come together to spend good time. The welcoming environment continues inside: several tables filled the room with stacks of books and magazines sitting atop. The day I visited, there were about four people quietly and diligently accounting for each publication. One of them, we'll call him Jim, came up to us and offered us the opportunity to see the current exhibit. Please refer to Midori's post about her trip to the archives for an in depth intro into their current exhibit featuring Die Kraenke!

When we finished, Jim came back to us and gave us a tour of the entire place! He started with the history, including the wall of ONE's gay magazine covers throughout their history and the Lesbian Legacy Wall, featuring the professors work with a Mexican queer magazine! It was all truly inspiring, especially considering we were up and close with material that told such person stories. Jim talked to us about letters that the zines received from their readership thanking them for a community that made them for safe and comfortable. Jim even chimed in with his own story, sharing with us the fact that he has consistently been the first openly gay guy in all his professional environments: "it makes me feel like I have made me own contribution to the movement."

Jim took us through ONE's entire history, complete with an inside look into the content they curate including the back room full of queer magazines from all over the world. On our way back to the front of the building, Jim picked up a copy of a book they are adding to their collection: Jeanne Cordova's Outlaws, including some of her other publications including the Lesbian Tide-- what a coincidence that we had just read that book!

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