James C. Hormel LGBTQIA Center

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Archives October 2010: New Leaf

After 35 years of providing support services to the LGBT community, the doors to New Leaf closed on October 15, 2010. New Leaf was a nonprofit multi-purpose counseling center for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities of San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area.

Services included comprehensive mental health, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS and social support and were available to all income levels especially to middle and low-income individuals and families who could not afford private therapy or support services.
Staff members at New Leaf saved flyers, photographs, memoranda, promotional literature, and handbooks in order to document their work with the community. This material forms the New Leaf collection.

Of particular interest are some older materials from Operation Concern (which merged with 18th Street Services to form New Leaf), GLOE (Gay and Lesbian Outreach to Elders), and a draft of Peg Cruikshank's Fierce with Reality, an anthology of literature on aging. It is worth noting that the collection does not include any patient files.

Because the New Leaf collection is a very recent acquisition and not yet organized, it is not currently available for research. All Hormel Center archives are handled through the San Francisco History Center, 6th floor, Main Library. For questions, please contact the San Francisco History Center reference desk at 415-557-4567.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Queer Politics and the Rise of the Religious Right

At election time informed decision making becomes a top priority. Library materials can provide a research resource for a myriad of issues. These two books both deal with the rise of the religious right and the role that homophobia, quite literally fear of homosexuals, has played in shaping shaping right-wing talking points and LGBT activism.

The first book,"How the Religious Right Shaped Lesbian and Gay Activism," by Tina Fetner takes a historical approach. From the Evangelicals of the fifties, through Anita Bryant and the rising of the "moral majority" to the AIDS crisis of the eighties and culminating in the "culture wars" that persist today, Fetner takes us on a chronological journey through the right-wing battle strategies of times gone by as well as how the Gay Movement moblilized around them.

In many ways the second book,"Kingdom Coming: the Rise of Christian Nationalism" by Michelle Goldberg takes up where Fetner leaves off. She chronicles the ascendancy of evangelical fundamentalism which she renames "Christian Nationalism" because of their emphasis on the construction of a theocratic state. Goldberg details how, under the George Bush administration they congealed as a movement. Now, a thriving minority, they comprise the right wing of the Republican Party and, in many races, are taking center stage in this mid-term election.