The collection is open to the public.
Robert Ashworth is a politically active member of the gay and lesbian community in Bellingham, WA. During the 1970s and 1980s, Ashworth compiled a collection of papers documenting the activities of the Union of Sexual Minorities Center (USMC) of Western Washington University. The USMC was a student association at Western Washington University, created "to actively promote and defend human and civil rights for all sexual minorities."*
The center provided outreach and support to gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender students at Western Washington State College (now Western Washington University). Through various conferences and symposia, the USMC advocated for fair and equal treatment of all individuals, regardless of sexual preference. In 1976, the coordinators of one symposium were interviewed on the "Radio Impact Show" on KGMI, a local Bellingham radio station.
The USMC has since been renamed the Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender Alliance (LGBTA), which remains an active advocacy organization at Western Washington University. The Robert Ashworth collection on the Union of Sexual Minorities Center is a rich resource for the study of gender and sexuality, and gay and lesbian political activity in the Pacific Northwest region.
* Source: Union of Sexual Minorities Center bylaws (1977-1978), in the Robert Ashworth collection on the Union of Sexual Minorities Center, available at the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies.
The Robert Ashworth collection on the Union of Sexual Minorities Center (USMC) of Western Washington University consists of the administrative records, program and activity materials, and publications of a student association in Bellingham, Washington.
Administrative records span the dates 1979-1984 and include the USMC's bylaws and handbook, as well as a proposal by USMC members to the university community encouraging their support for the organization. These records provide some significant information about the USMC, including its intent to provide support for all sexual minorities and advocate for equal treatment of all individuals, regardless of sexual preference.
Program and activity records date from 1976-1977 and contain writings generated through USMC advocacy and educational projects such as the "Autobiographies of Gay People" and "What to Do When You Meet a Gay Person: Hints for Heterosexuals." Programs and activity records also contain an audiocassette recording of interviews with the organizers of a gay pride symposium that were aired on the KGMI "Radio Impact Show." The collection also contains information from various regional conferences and symposiums either organized by or attended by members of the USMC.
Publications span the dates 1975-1984 and consist of a variety of ephemera including announcements, flyers, and posters advertising events of the USMC and affiliated organizations. The materials also include a number of issues of Proud, the official newsletter of the USMC, and select copies of The Other Side, another GLBT community newsletter from Bellingham.
Robert Ashworth collection on the Union of Sexual Minorities Center of Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
Handbook and bylaws
Union of Sexual Minorities proposal to the university community
Interview on KGMI "Radio Impact Show" - WWSC Gay Symposium coordinators
Symposiums and conferences
Announcements and flyers
Proud - the official newsletter of the USMC
The Other Side