LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #56: November 28, 2007

This month's news:

  1. Eight Profiles Added to Web Site
  2. Another Dissertation on LGBT Religious History
  3. New Collections at McNeill Archives in Berkeley
  4. New Website for Committee on Lesbian and Gay History

1.  Eight Profiles Added to Web Site

Profiles of these eight leaders of LGBT religious movements were added to the Profiles Gallery in the past few weeks:

Evelyn Torton Beck, Jewish lesbian scholar and activist;
Leila Gal Berner, lesbian rabbi and educator;
Justin Cannon, leader in gay online ministries;
Michael Kelly, educator on gay Christian spirituality;
Chris Paige, transgender-identified lesbian writer and organizer;
Vanessa Sheridan, transgender Christian writer and speaker;
Beth Stroud, United Methodist lesbian activist tried in church court; and
Judith Hoch Wray, lesbian scholar and activist in Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

The Profiles Gallery now includes biographical sketches of 200 leaders of quite diverse LGBT religious movements around the world. You can assist in this endeavor to preserve the stories of our leaders by sending a biographical sketch or inviting others to send a sketch to

2.  Another Dissertation on LGBT Religious History

Dr. Howell Williams received her Ph.D. this summer in American religious history from Florida State University (M.A. in 2003). Her dissertation, "Homosexuality and the American Catholic Church: Reconfiguring the Silence, 1971-1999," examines how gay and lesbian Catholic voices and reconciling ministries emerged from a specific and confusing social, cultural and religious climate. Williams' investigation documents an important chapter in the religious history of the LGBT community in the U.S., one in which the agency and resourcefulness of gay and lesbian Catholics stands in sharp contrast to the common narratives of their victimization by the tradition's deep homophobia. Williams is working on revising her dissertation for publication and currently serves as an instructor at Indiana University Southeast and Western Kentucky University.

Dr. Williams' dissertation is the third this summer in LGBT religious history, joining Heather Rachelle White with "Homosexuality, Gay Communities, and American Churches: A History of a Changing Religious Ethic, 1947-1977" (Princeton) and Julia Sheetz-Willard with "Seeking More Light: Contemporary Debate about Homosexuality in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A." (Temple). These are the first doctoral dissertations to provide in-depth research into large strands of LGBT religious history--truly a boon to preservation and promotion of our history.

3.  New Collections at McNeill Archives in Berkeley

The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion has announced the acquisition of papers and records from these LGBT religious leaders and groups:

Virginia Ramey Mollenkott
Chris Glaser
Janie Spahr
That All May Freely Serve

These collections will be added to the John J. McNeill and Charles Chiarelli Gay and Lesbian Liberation Collection which is housed at the Graduate Theological Union Archives.

Preserving papers and records for historical research is one of the most important ways to ensure that LGBT religious movements are recognized in future historical scholarship.  For more information on how to begin preserving your papers or your organization's records you can peruse the Guide to Preserving Historical Records.

4.  New Website for Committee on Lesbian and Gay History

The Committee on Lesbian and Gay History, an affiliate of the American Historical Association that has provided networking and support for scholars working in LGBT history for more than twenty-five years, has a new web site:

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.