"Barbara Gittings" Prints
"Barbara Gittings" is a print of a hand drawn polygonal drawing on 11 x 14" Bristol board paper using micron marker, prismacolor colored pencils, mars black acrylic paint and hand stamped with antique letter stamps and white ink.
Barbara Gittings (1932 - 2007) is widely regarded as the mother of the LGBT civil rights movement. In the 1950s gay activism was in its infancy. “There were scarcely 200 of us in the whole United States,” Gittings said of her fellow crusaders. “It was like a club—we all knew each other.” Although Gittings lived in Philadelphia, in 1958 she started the New York chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB). From 1963 to 1966, Gittings was the editor of the DOB’s publication, The Ladder, the first national lesbian magazine. With fellow organizer Frank Kameny, Gittings helped enlist activists from New York, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia for the first public demonstrations for gay and lesbian equality. Held in front of Independence Hall each Fourth of July from 1965 to 1969, the protests known as Annual Reminders paved the way for the Stonewall riot in 1969. After 1969, Kameny, Gittings and others suspended the Annual Reminders to marshal support for a 1970 march commemorating the first anniversary of Stonewall. Gittings and Kameny waged a multi-year campaign for the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder. In 1970 the Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance demonstrated at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). The next year, Gittings, Kameny and fellow agitators stormed the meeting and Kameny seized the microphone, demanding to be heard. For the APA’s annual meeting in 1972, Kameny and Gittings organized a panel on homosexuality. When no gay psychiatrist would serve on it openly for fear of losing his medical license and patients, Gittings recruited Dr. H. Anonymous (John E. Fryer, M.D.), who appeared masked and using a voice modulator. Gittings, Kameny and Dr. Anonymous asserted that the disease was not homosexuality, but toxic homophobia. Consequently, the APA formed a committee to determine whether there was scientific evidence to support their conclusion. In 1973, with Gittings and Kameny present by invitation, the APA announced its removal of the classification. Kameny described it as the day “we were cured en masse by the psychiatrists.” At the time, the “cures” for homosexuality included electric shock therapy, institutionalization and lobotomy. With the APA’s retraction, the gay rights movement was no longer encumbered by the label and its consequences. Gittings also successfully crusaded to promote gay literature and eliminate discrimination in the nation's libraries. She volunteered with the Gay Task Force of the American Library Association, the first gay caucus in a professional organization. Although she was not a librarian, she soon became the group's coordinator—a position she held for 16 years. Gittings edited the Task Force's bibliography and wrote “Gays in Library Land,” a history of the group. The American Library Association awarded her a lifetime membership. Barbara's legacy can be summed up in this quote: “I've had the satisfaction of working with other gay people all across the country to get the bigots off our back, to oil the closet hinges, to change prejudiced hearts and minds, and to show that gay love is good for us and for the rest of the world too.”
20% of the proceeds of sale goes directly to Video Out an organization that emboldens members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their stories.