LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #64: December 16, 2008

This month's news:

  1. New Historical Info on Web Site
  2. Oral Histories Preserved
  3. Contact with European Forum Expands Global Links
  4. Affiliation with Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies
  5. New Online Exhibition with Maranatha
  6. Deaths of LGBT Religious Leaders

1.  New Historical Info on Web Site

A core purpose of the LGBT Religious Archives Network (LGBT-RAN) is to be an electronic information clearinghouse on LGBT religious history for scholars, students and other interested persons. Over the past year LGBT-RAN added 14 postings to the Profiles Gallery and 3 postings to the Collections Catalog--the most frequently visited parts of its web site.  The Profiles Gallery now contains biographical sketches of 208 leaders of LGBT religious movements and the Collections Catalog provides info on 149 archival collections in repositories around the world. Thanks to the volunteer friends who provided this information to help preserve our history.

2.  Oral Histories Preserved

One of LGBT-RAN's unique contributions has been to make oral histories of LGBT religious leaders widely accessible--to be either read or listened to on its web site. A new oral history with Archbishop Robert Clement was completed and posted. LGBT-RAN received a special grant from the Sharing Fund at Riverside Church to interview some early African-American LGBT religious leaders. An interview with Archbishop Carl Bean has been completed and will be posted soon.  Other interviews will be forthcoming.

LGBT-RAN also commends Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) archivist Angel Collie and colleagues who have begun collecting historical interviews with a cross-section of MCC leaders and activists, as part of the celebration of MCC's 40th anniversary.  You can read or listen to these interviews here

3.  Contact with European Forum Expands Global Links

LGBT-RAN's mission is to preserve the history of all LGBT religious expressions around the world, yet most of the historical information currently preserved is from the U.S. LGBT-RAN coordinator Mark Bowman attended the annual conference of the European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups last May to discuss ways to collaborate on preserving LGBT religious history in Europe and other parts of the world. One of the first collaborations was to collect oral histories from some European LGBT religious leaders.  An interview with the Rev. Malcolm Johnson is now on the web site. Other interviews are still being prepared for posting on the web site soon. In addition, European Forum leader Brenda Harrison has joined the LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee to help strengthen these links.

4.  Affiliation with Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies

n order to help ensure its long-term stability LGBT-RAN became a program of the Center for Lesbian & Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California this past year.  As the largest existent academic center on LGBT issues in religion, CLGS provides resources with which to undergird and expand LGBT-RAN's historical preservation work.   Because of LGBT-RAN's unique existence as an electronic repository, no physical move of personnel or resources was involved in this change.

The LGBT-RAN Advisory Committee approved this new affliation at its annual meeting last May and extended deep appreciation to Chicago Theological Seminary for providing the birthplace and home for LGBT-RAN in its early years.

5.  New Online Exhibition with Maranatha

Another of LGBT-RAN's innovations has been the development of online exhibitions or digital models of special exhibitions like one would view in a museum or library. These online exhibitions provide widespread access to artifacts like photos, documents, media articles and interviews that otherwise are stored away in repositories. An online exhibition with Maranatha: Riversiders for LGBT Concerns was launched this past year. LGBT-RAN is seeking other groups with which to collaborate in portraying their history in an online exhibition.

6.  Deaths of LGBT Religious Leaders

LGBT-RAN honors the lives and historical contributions of LGBT religious leaders who died in 2008.  You can read about these three in the Profiles Gallery:

Rev. Jeri Ann Harvey
Del Martin
Rembert Truluck

These deaths remind us of the critical importance of acting now to preserve our voices and stories for future generations. LGBT-RAN invites your assistance in these endeavors in the new year.

The LGBT Religious Archives Network News is an occasional email newsletter for persons interested in supporting the preservation of the history of LGBT religious movements. Subscribe now.