Making History Education FAIR: California
Brings the LGBTQ Past to K-12 Students

by Don Romesburg

In 2012, the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act -- known as the FAIR Education Act -- became law in California. This was just the start of an ongoing effort to bring the LGBTQ past into the state's K-12 classrooms. The act mandated that the contributions of LGBTQ Americans and people with disabilities be added to the history of other groups such as women, immigrants and people of color that the state required public schools to teach. Unfortunately, with no state funding for implementation and no penalty for schools that ignored it, the FAIR Education Act initially was largely symbolic.
Since then, I have been collaborating with other LGBTQ historians and LGBTQ youth and family activists to turn the law into something more concrete. The FAIR Education Act Coalition has focused on two major efforts: training educators to teach LGBTQ history and advocating for incorporation of that history into the state's K-12 History-Social Science Framework. The training was taken up by LGBTQ advocacy and history organizations, including the ONE Archives and Our Family Coalition.
Many of us learned from teachers that they simply did not know how to make LGBTQ history meaningful in their classrooms. With a major framework revision process set to begin in 2014, historian Leila Rupp, history education professor David Donahue and I worked with nearly 20 scholars of the queer past to suggest line-by-line changes. This became Making the Framework FAIR, a report from the Committee on LGBTQ History. In July 2016, the new framework adopted by the state showed the fruits of the coalition's labor: LGBTQ content appears in grades 2, 4, 5 and 8 through 12 -- an unprecedented breadth and depth that puts California's public schools light years ahead of any other state.
Don Romesburg is professor of women's and gender studies at Sonoma State University in Northern California. At the GLBT Historical Society, he has served on the board of directors, chaired the Program Working Group and curated numerous exhibitions.
FromEDFrom the Campus
by Kayla Hopper 
Over the past three years, I've taken all the history classes Upland High School has to offer. Something I discovered during my history education is a competition called National History Day that invites high school students across the country to compete in various categories making presentations on topics in history.
When researching topics, I saw that in all of my classes, we never discussed LGBTQ history, despite how relevant it is today. At the library, I stumbled across a documentary about the Stonewall Riots that brought me to tears and immediately made me choose LGBTQ history as my topic. As I researched the events that occurred at the Stonewall Inn, I realized how it was not a riot but an uprising.
For History Day, I decided to do a performance inspired by the struggle for LGBTQ rights. I wrote my script as a news reporter in the 1980s who was dealing with someone who wasn't accepting of the gay community. My performance ended with the newscaster quitting because she didn't want to have to deal with ignorant people anymore.
I learned on the night of my performance at San Bernardino County History Day that I had advanced to the California History Day finals. Only nine people out of the many of California contestants who competed in the individual performance category were selected for the state-level competition. The next day I redid my performance in front of a new set of judges.
I didn't move on to go to the National History Day competition, but I was the recipient of a very important honor: The GLBT Historical Society Young Scholar Award. I am planning to take part in National History Day again this coming year, and while I don't know yet know my exact topic, I know it's going to be about the LGBTQ community and its history that isn't shared as much as it should be.
Kayla Hopper is a senior at Upland High School in Upland, Calif. She is the first recipient of the Young Scholar Award that the GLBT Historical Society will present annually to a California student taking part in National History Day.
ArchivesIn the Archives 
by David A. Reichard

While the history of student activism in general in the United States is well documented, less so are organizing efforts by LGBTQ students. The GLBT Historical Society preserves several collections of interest on this topic, particularly related to college student organizing in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1970s-1990s.
Some of the materials provide insight into campus student groups that were often the hub of student organizing. Newsletters from the Gay People's Union at Stanford and the Gay Student Union at U.C. Berkeley are good examples, documenting their meetings, events and actions on campus and in the community.

Personal papers of those connected to LGBTQ campus organizing also provide invaluable documentation. Examples include the Charles Thorpe Papers, the Arthur Corwin Papers, the John De Cecco Papers and the George Raya Papers. Another useful source is the Historical Society's LGBT Groups Ephemera Collection, which includes materials from a variety of campuses and student organizations. And several collections include posters and flyers, striking examples of how LGBTQ students made themselves visible to each other and to their campus neighbors.

One rare source is an early video: a rough cut of a report produced by Queer Blue Light in the early 1970s documenting the Gay Student Union at Bakersfield College. The footage includes interviews with student organizers, staff, faculty and students on campus generally. The video is part of the Daniel A. Smith Collection.  
While finding such materials may take some digging, reflecting in part the ephemeral nature of student organizing, they provide rich evidence that LGBTQ students have organized and advocated for themselves and their communities in important and very visible ways.  
David A. Reichard is professor of history and legal studies at California State University Monterey Bay. He is working on a book on LGBTQ college student organizing in California in the 1960s and 1970s.
UpcomingUpcoming Events   
History Talk
Bohemians: Yone Noguchi & Charles Warren Stoddard
Wednesday, September 6          
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
$5.00  | Free for members  
"Faces From the Past" is a new display in our "Queer Past Becomes Present" exhibition that portrays more than 150 years of queer presence in Northern California. In conjunction with the exhibit, historian Amy Sueyoshi will trace the affairs of Japanese immigrant poet Yone Noguchi, San Francisco author Charles Warren Stoddard and their bohemian circle at the turn of the 20th century. Her talk will examine how same-sex sexuality, marital infidelity and interracial love could exist openly in the United States in an era when the law criminalized sodomy and miscegenation. Sueyoshi is associate dean of the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State and is the author Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi (Univesity of Hawaii Press, 2012). Join the Facebook conversation here 
Benefit Party
KINGDOM! Night at the Museum 2: History Lesson
Friday, September 8           
7:00-10:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
Suggested Donation: $10 - $20
(No one turned away for lack of funds)   
KINGDOM! -- the only monthly drag king night in San Francisco -- joins forces with the GLBT History Museum for "KINGDOM! Night at the Museum 2: History Lesson." This unforgettable evening of sexy drag king performances, music and partying is a benefit for the drag king history exhibition set for next summer at the museum. The hosted bar opens at 7:00, followed by a special KINGDOM! show at 8:00 p.m. with emcee Alex U. Inn and the Bay Area's star drag king troupe Momma's Boyz laying down their old school hip hop and funk live vocals for dancing in the galleries. Join the Facebook conversation here
Curator Talk
Queer Before the Theory: Gavin Arthur's Circles of Sex
Thursday, September 14 
7:00-9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum 
4127 18th St., San Francisco 
$5.00  | Free for members   
In conjunction with the exhibition "Lavender-Tinted Glasses: A Groovy Gay Look at the Summer of Love" at the GLBT History Museum, curator Joey Cain will present the astounding story of bisexual adventurer, utopian, philosopher and astrologer Gavin Arthur (1901­-1972). The grandson of U.S. president Chester A. Arthur and the son of a mining millionaire, Gavin Arthur fled his privileged upbringing in the 1920s to take up outsider causes and bohemian pursuits. He frequented early 20th-century homosexual emancipationists, Irish liberation fighters and avant-garde culture-makers, ending his days in San Francisco as a philosophical grandfather of the hippies. Arthur laid out his radical theory of the fluidity of sexual orientation in his book The Circle of Sex, first published in 1964 and released in a much expanded edition in 1966. Join the Facebook conversation here.   
Exhibition Tour
Picturing Kinship: Perspectives From the Artist 
Monday, September 18  
7:00 - 9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum   
4127 18th St., San Francisco  
$5.00  |  Free for members 
For the closing night of "Picturing Kinship: Portraits of Our Community by Lenore Chinn," the painter and photographer herself will offer an informal tour of the exhibition. Chinn will share stories about the portraits and their subjects and about the processes and politics of her work during 35 years of depicting San Francisco's LGBTQ community. The subjects of the portraits are individuals who have contributed to the diversity of San Francisco's cultural landscape in such fields as poetry, visual and performing arts, film, rock music, academia and the LGBTQ movement. The exhibition is curated by Tirza True Latimer, chair of the graduate program in visual and critical studies at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Join the Facebook conversation here.   
Community Forum
Fighting Back: Marching for Our Rights 
Tuesday, September 26  
7:00 - 9:00 PM 
The GLBT History Museum   
4127 18th St., San Francisco  
Free  |  $5.00 donation welcome   
The latest in the GLBT Historical Society's monthly "Fighting Back" series exploring contemporary queer-community issues in a historical context, "Marching for Our Rights: 1987 and Beyond" will offer a multigenerational conversation about marches as a tactic for advancing our rights, with a special focus on the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights in 1987. A panel of historians, veteran organizers and younger activists will discuss the history of marches as a tactic for promoting LGBTQ equality and how this history can inform today's intersectional resistance movements. Join the Facebook conversation here.  

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San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 621-1107
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The GLBT Historical Society
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CREDITS. Feature: Photo courtesy Our Family Coalition. From the Campus: Photo courtesy Kayla Hopper. In the Archives: Gay Students Coalition Poster (circa 1974); collection of the GLBT Historical Society. Bohemians: Yone Noghuchi (1903); courtesy Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif. Exhibition Tour: Detail of Veuxdo in the Fillmore (2012); acrylic on canvas by Lenore Chinn. Gavin Arthur: From the dust jacket of The Circle of Sex (1966). Fighting Back: Button for the 1979 March on Washington; collection of the GLBT Historical Society

Gerard Koskovich       Design: PEPE Creatives

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