Broshears, Raymond Papers

Span Dates: 1965-1984
Bulk Dates:
Volume: 5.2 linear feet


The Raymond Broshears Papers include the ordination of Broshears as a Universal Life Church minister in 1967 and in the Orthodox Episcopal Catholic Church in 1968. The collection contains correspondence, ephemera, financial records, newsletters, photographs and subject files. There are materials related to the Orthodox Episcopal Catholic Church, the Lavender Panthers and files he collected on other ministries and religious figures. The collection includes scrapbooks documenting the Gay Activists Alliance, which Broshears founded in 1972, and materials related to Helping Hands Center, the gay community center he operated in the Tenderloin, as well as his newspaper the Gay Crusader (also known as the S.F. Crusader).

Hist/Bio Note

From his finding aid: Raymond Broshears, one of San Francisco’s most controversial gay citizens, was a community activist and ordained minister in the Orthodox Episcopal Catholic Church. Born in Centreville Station, Illinois in 1935, he was raised primarily by his grandmother and aunts. He served in the United States Navy and received a medical discharge in 1955. Broshears, who preferred to be called “Reverend Ray,” formed the Gay Activists Alliance in 1971, the Lavender Panthers in 1973, helped found San Francisco’s first gay pride parade in 1972. He edited the Gay Crusader and was also a strong advocate for the poor and elderly communities in the Tenderloin. Broshears died in 1982.

Finding Aid

The GLBT Historical Society also holds three oral histories that refer to Ray Broshears.


The collection is held at the GLBT Historical Society of Northern California (San Francisco, CA).


Catholic (Orthodox Episcopal) | Broshears, Raymond | Ordination/clergy | California | San Francisco