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Studs Terkel Archive, Pride and LGBTQ image research and photo direction

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

In researching visual content to illustrate some of the oral histories found on the Studs Terkel Archive for WFMT, I tapped in to some really great archives and learned a more intimate perspective of the United States' evolving history of the LGBTQ movement. Below are some of the poignant images I sourced and selected to illustrate a variety of gay experience and rights issues (each photo hyperlinks out to the archive recordings they illustrate). The first image is one I chose for the general topics category on the Studs Terkel Archive site as it both clearly illustrates a non-conforming queer person from the era in which many of these oral histories were recorded, but it also shows the very real civil rights struggle the queer community, especially drag and transgender folks, have faced for decades--such as being arrested for the act of wearing a dress in public. I also chose this image with a modern photo editing lens of inclusivity, as transgender folks' voices are not represented in this archive's recordings.

A man dressed in an evening gown is arrested and handcuffed by police in New York City in 1962 for "indecent exposure".
Image used to illustrate general topic of LGBTQ for the Studs Terkel Archives. (Original caption) Dozens of 'queers' were locked up on charges of masquerading and indecent exposure at the National Variety Artists' Exotic Carnival and Ball held at the Manhattan Center on October 26, 1962. Police and detectives herded the costumed guests into police wagons in front of the ball. Here a policeman leads a man in drag by the arm. ©Bettmann/Corbis/Getty Images

Black and white photo of parents of gay children march in 1983 Pride parade in New york City in 1983.
Parents and friends of lesbians and gays (also known as PFLAG) taking part in the 1983 Gay Pride Parade in New York City, on the 13th anniversary of the founding of the Gay Alliance Association in Greenwich Village. ©Peter Keegan/Getty Images

Color photo of the NAMES Project AIDS quilt on the lawn in Washington, D.C. in 1987.
The NAMES quilt project displayed is a memorial to the lives of people lost to the AIDS, 1987. The Quilt was displayed on the Washington, D.C. Mall in October 1987. Illustrating the interview with Cleve Jones in 1988. © Everett Collection Historical/Alamy

Sepia tones photo from 1920's America of two lesbian couples, two of the people dressed masculine.
A photo of two lesbian couples in 1912, with two people in masculine drag, used to illustrate Jonathan Katz discussing his book "Gay American History". ©Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis/Getty Images

Black and white photo of lesbian women at a Sappho pride march in the 1980's
A group of lesbian women in a Sappho pride march in the 1980's, used to illustrate Jill Johnston discusses her book "Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution". ©Joan E. Biren/Courtesy Sophia Smith Collection, Smith College

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