Gittings, Barbara and Kay Tobin Lahusen Gay History Papers and Photographs

Span Dates: 1855-2009
Bulk Dates: 1963-2007
Volume: 79.16 linear feet includes 305 audio files


This collection contains the personal and professional papers of gay civil rights pioneers librarian/activist Barbara Gittings and photographer Kay Tobin Lahusen. While the vast majority of documents, photographs, and audio files center on secular organization, their correspondence and audio files may provide rare insight into early religious change. Their work with Daughters of Bilitis and other early homophile organizations focused on psychiatry, religion, and law. This collection includes their correspondence files with leaders in LGBTQ religious movements such as Robert Wood, Louie Crew, Jeannine Grammick, and Brian McNaught. There is correspondence with Integrity, Presbyterian Church, Friends for Gay Concerns, MCC, the National Council of the Church of Christ, and extensive audio files from the Greater Hartford Council of Churches Symposium on Homosexuality (1967).

Hist/Bio Note

Barbara Gittings (1932-2007) and Kay Tobin Lahusen (1930-) were leading activists and spokespersons of gay rights activism. They had no religious affiliation, but advocated human rights to a multitude of groups from the early organizing efforts of the LGBTQ movements until the 2000s.

Finding Aid

A finding aid is available online. To find materials related to religious organizations, go the the Detailed tab and scroll through Correspondence and Other Organizations.


This extensive collection is located in the New York Public Library.


Gramick, Jeannine | Gittings, Barbara | Crew, Louie | Council on Religion and the Homosexual | Integrity | Philadelphia | Pennsylvania | Presbyterian Church (USA) | McNaught, Brian | Wood, Robert | United Church of Christ/Congregational Church | MCC | Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns | New York | New York City | Lahusen, Kay Tobin