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Audio & Video

Poetry & Literature

Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature

Features literary readings by hundreds of poets, authors, dramatists, and actors, including countless LGBT poets like John Ashbery, James Baldwin, Elizabeth Bishop, Audre Lorde, and Alice Walker. The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature was launched in 1943 when Allen Tate was Consultant in Poetry to the Library, the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature now contains recordings of over 2,000 poets reading their own work.

LGBT History

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting (AAPB), a collaboration between the Library of Congress and WGBH Boston, provides the public with access to a collection of American public radio and television content dating back to the 1950s.

Browse LGBTQ-related digitized recordings

Featured AAPB Program:

  • The Homosexual in Our Society: Part 1
    This recording from 1958 – The earliest known radio recording to overtly discuss homosexuality - features Public Affairs Director of KPFA Elsa Knight Thompson interviewing Hal Call, the editor of the Mattachine Review; Dr. Blanche Baker, a psychologist noted for her then-rarely-shared belief that homosexuality was not an abnormality nor an illness; and Leah Gailey, the mother of a gay man.
  • The Homosexual in Our Society: Part 2

Elsa Knight Thompson moderates a second panel discussion focusing on laws regarding homosexuals, civil rights of homosexuals, identification of homosexuals, gender identification in society, possible causes of sexual choice, i.e. heredity versus environmental causes, and how society can constructively deal with these issues.

Keynote Presentations

D.C. Councilmember David Catania to Keynote Library’s 2010 Celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month

OPM General Counsel Elaine Kaplan to Keynote Library’s Celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride Month 2009

Veterans History Project

“Breaking the Silence: Our Military Stories”
A panel discussion that focused on such topics as the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal and experiences, the current status of LGBT equality in the U.S. military, Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8 as it relates to military families, and the current ban of transgender service members.

“Serving in Silence”
Gay members of the Armed Forces have had to live with an extra layer of discretion and professionalism. Here are stories of men and women who served their country while balancing the need to keep their private lives private.

Speaking Out: LBGT Veterans
While military service oftentimes demands sacrifices from those in uniform, historically, LGBT veterans have faced a unique set of challenges. For many of these veterans, following a call to serve meant keeping their private lives entirely private, for fear that exclusionary policies would hold them back or end their careers altogether.

Related Blog post

Speaking Out: LGBT Veterans

StoryCorps – Links to stories related to the LGBT community

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, over 50,000 everyday people have interviewed family and friends through StoryCorps. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and with the permission of the participants is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Millions listen to StoryCorps weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition. StoryCorps OutLoud

  • August Faustino and Chris Elardo
    “I remember wishing I would wake up a boy.” August Faustino and his friend Chris Elardo talk about being transgendered men.
  • Bobbi and Sandi Côté-Whitacre
    “Do you remember when we were 19, totally in love, and couldn't tell anyone?” Bobbi Côté-Whitacre and her wife, Sandi, talk about their relationship.
  • David Wilson
    A plaintiff in the 2004 court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts remembers the death of his first partner.
  • Don Boniface and Ted Kuhar
    “It wasn't love at first sight, but there was some kind of a recognition.” Don Boniface and his life partner, Ted Kuhar, talk about how their relationship began.
  • Gayle and Frank Newby
    “We decided, maybe we wanted to see each other again...” Gayle and Frank Newby remember meeting on a triple blind date in 1950.
  • John Brown and his brother Paul Corbit Brown
    The announcer was saying all these untrue things about gay and lesbian people...”John Brown tells his brother Paul about an encounter with a local radio station in West Virginia.
  • Jules Fishelman and Cathy Resmer
    “You're the kind of person that we want our child to grow into...” Cathy Resmer to her friend Jules Fishelman.
  • Kaitlyn Sever and Lynne Lande
    “I think I might want to be straight with a nice husband, but, of course, I don't have any idea what it's like to have kids, 'cause I am a kid myself.” Kaitlyn Sever interviewed by her mom, Lynne Lande, who is a lesbian.
  • Kendall Bailey
    Kendall talks to his friend Don Davis about his dismissal from the U.S. Marines under the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy.
  • Michael Levine and Matthew Merlin
    “The lights went up, the music went off and you could hear a pin drop.” Michael Levine, who witnessed the Stonewall Riots on June 27th, 1969, speaks with his friend Matthew Merlin.
  • MJ Seide talks to her granddaughter Genna Alperin
    “There was this hole that I had all of my life.” MJ Seide talks to her granddaughter Genna Alperin about falling in love with her partner, Genna's biological grandmother.
  • Robert Madden
    “When I was 10, I told my parents I was going to marry a man.” Robert Madden tells his friend Tom Kurthy about coming out to his parents.
  • Sue Hyde and Jesse McGleughlin
    “What do you think the differences are in the way you grew up and the way I grew up?” Jesse McGleughlin to her mother, Sue Hyde.
  • Tony Perri and his grandson Jeffrey Perri
    “I just felt I was not living an honest life.” Tony Perri tells his grandson, Jeffrey about coming out as a gay man.
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