Barbara Gittings Discusses ’40 Years of Gay Activism’ Oct. 6 at WSU

PULLMAN, Wash. — Longtime lesbian activist Barbara Gittings will discuss “40 Years of
Gay Activism” Oct. 6 at Washington State University.
Sponsored by the WSU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Allies Program, her public address
begins 7 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center, Room 5062. There is no admission charge.
The speaker, who lives in Wilmington, Del., has been an activist since 1958, when she
established the first East Coast chapter of The Daughters of Bilitis, the first U.S. lesbian
She marched in the first gay rights picket in the 1960s at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,
and at Philadelphia’s Freedom Hall, said Melynda Huskey, WSU GLBA director. “In those days,
picketing was not a popular tactic and she was something of a firebrand. Today, she is
considered a foremother of lesbian and gay activism.”
Gitting’s activities have included heading the Gay Task Force of the American Library
Association for 15 years and, this summer, chairing the “Daring to Save Our History: Gay and
Lesbian Activities” panel at the association’s annual conference.
An author, she has produced exhibits about gays for the American Psychiatric Association
conventions, and served on boards of directors for funds and centers which benefit gays and
lesbians. Her memberships include those in the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation,
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the Human Rights Campaign, the American Civil
Liberties Union, the Lesbian and Straight Education Network, and the Gay and Lesbian Victory
Gittings appears in “Before Stonewall,” a 1987 documentary film, and the 1999 sequel, “After
Stonewall.” She is featured in “Out of the Past,” a 1998 documentary. In preparation for Gittings’
visit, the GLBA Program will show “Out of the Past” at 3 p.m. Oct. 4 in the GLBA Program office,
Compton Union Building, Room B19A.
For additional information, contact Melynda Huskey, WSU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and
Allies Program, 509/335-6428.