Shepherd Family Papers
Span Dates: 1931-2002
Volume: 7.2 cubic feet
Papers of Susan (Susie) M. Shepherd and her parents Ann M. and William K. Shepherd, primarily related to lesbian and gay issues in the 1970s and 1980s. Includes personal and family correspondence, legislative materials, files of the Portland Town Council, files on churches and religious groups, subject and clipping files, and a small number of photographs.
Bill and Ann Shepherd became deeply committed to fighting for gay and lesbian civil rights in Portland, Oregon, after their daughter, Susie, came out to them in 1972. Together the Shepherds helped pave the way for tolerance of sexual minorities in Oregon. They fought every anti-gay ballot measure and candidate that arose. In 1976, Ann Shepherd was appointed to Oregon Governor Robert Straub's Task Force on Sexual Preference. From then on the Shepherds spoke before church and civic groups to encourage parents and members to love and accept their gay and lesbian children.
In 1977, the Shepherds, with Charles and Rita Knapp, formed the Portland chapter of Parents of Gays, later affiliated with the national organization Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). In 1997, Ann received the first Shepherd Award (named for her and her husband) from the Metropolitan Community Church; in 2000, the Northwest district of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches awarded Ann its Human Rights Award and in 2001she received the Vollum Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.
The Shepherd's daughter Susan (Susie) Shepherd was born in 1949. She was educated at the University of Oregon (B.S., 1972) and also attended Portland State University and Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She was a volunteer for the V.I.S.T.A. program in Oklahoma, 1973-1974, taught school, and worked for various human rights and gay/lesbian organizations, including the Portland Town Council, and as a clerk for Judge Kathleen Nachtigal in Portland. In 1991 she married the artist K.T. Chase.
An online finding aid is available.
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Activist (church change) | PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) | Portland | Oregon | MCC