LGBT Religious Archives Network News

Newsletter #107: December 18, 2013

This month's news:

  1. Oral History Interview with Keith Wedmore
  2. LGBT-RAN Welcomes 40,000 Visitors a Year
  3. Added to Web Site
  4. Gifts Help Secure LGBT-RAN Future
  5. In Memoriam

1.  Oral History Interview with Keith Wedmore

Keith Wedmore is the only living member of the 11-person working group that wrote the momentous Toward a Quaker View of Sex 50 years ago, the first study by a Christian group with a positive perspective on homosexuality.  In two interviews conducted over the past year, Wedmore relates being raised in Britain around World War II and his connections to the Society of Friends there. While studying at Cambridge he encountered persons struggling with sexual identity, including a suicide. At this time he also met the prominent Quaker educator Anna Bidder, who later invited him to join a group of Quaker educators and social scientists to study attitudes toward homosexuality.  This remarkable group met together every month or two for seven years to collectively write and publish Toward a Quaker View of Sex, which was received with both praise and furor in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S.

Wedmore lives in northern California and provided significant records--not previously been seen by researchers--to the LGBT-RAN team that is creating an online exhibit on Toward a Quaker View of Sex. This exhibit is expected to be released in early 2014.

2.  LGBT-RAN Welcomes 40,000 Visitors a Year

Every day 115 persons visit the LGBT-RAN web site to find information about LGBT religious history--a 15% growth over the past year.  Just over 80% of those visitors are viewing the site for the first time.  While most of the visitors are from the U.S., 4% come from the U.K. and 3% from Canada.

The most-viewed pages on web site are the Profiles Gallery, involving 40% of all visits.  However, this is a notable decrease from previous years, due to the rising popularity of the new Upstairs Lounge Fire exhibit and other parts of the web site. Increasingly visitors come to the web site via referrals from other web sites--rather than via Google searches or direct connects. This is indicative of the widespread recognition of LGBT-RAN as a valuable information source by other groups.

3.  Added to Web Site

These persons were added to the Profiles Gallery over the past month:

Twenty profiles were posted to the Profiles Gallery this year, which now includes a total of 365 biographical statements of LGBT religious movements from around the world.  Also this year four persons were added to the Oral History Project, which now contains in-depth interviews with 31 significant leaders from a wide diversity of backgrounds. Undoubtedly the most-acclaimed addition to the LGBT-RAN web site in 2013 was the ground-breaking Upstairs Lounge Fire exhibit.

Many thanks to all of the supporters and volunteers who have assisted in the development of LGBT-RAN as the foremost source of information on LGBT religious history.

4.  Gifts Help Secure LGBT-RAN Future

Giving to LGBT-RAN in 2013 has almost reached the highest annual total ever. So far this year 40 Friends and Partners have contributed almost $10,000 to underwrite LGBT-RAN's unique efforts to preserve LGBT religious movements. Securing a sponsoring gift of $50 for each day of the year provides sufficient funds for basic LGBT-RAN operations.  Currently there are host givers for 60% of the days of the year. Will you help ensure LGBT-RAN's future?

Your $50 gift yet in 2013 will guarantee that LGBT-RAN is a valuable source of free information for one day in the coming year.  Click here in order to easily give online or to get information on mailing a check--as well as find out how your gift is used to "host" the web site.

Together we can ensure that our voices and stories are preserved for future generations--and enable 2014 to be another stellar year for LGBT-RAN.

5.  In Memoriam

We honor the lives and historical contributions of these leaders of LGBT religious movements who died over the past year:

The passing of these lives reinforces the critical importance of acting now to preserve our voices and stories for future generations. If you knew any of these persons well--or other movement leaders in the Profiles Gallery who are deceased--recording your Remembrance of her/him is a most valuable contribution to the historical records.

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.