Archives West Finding Aid
Table of Contents
Queer Nation (Portland, Or.) collection, 1989-1993
Overview of the Collection
- Queer Nation (Portland, Or.)
- Queer Nation (Portland, Or.) collection
- 1989-1993 (inclusive)19891993
- 2 cubic feet, (2 document cases and 1 oversize folder)
- Collection Number
- Mss 2988-23
- Papers of an organization of Portland, Oregon, promoting the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered people in the early 1990s. Includes leaflets, posters, correspondence, news clippings, and agendas. Many of the items pertain to the 1992 anti-gay Measure 9 in Oregon, sponsored by the Oregon Citizens Alliance. Most materials were collected by Andrew Leavitt. Also includes materials from other LGBTQ organizations such as ACT-UP and R.A.T.S.
Oregon Historical Society Research Library
1200 SW Park Avenue
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open to the public.
Historical NoteReturn to Top
Queer Nation was founded in 1990 In New York City by four former members of ACT UP (Aids Coalition to Unleash Power) who wanted to focus on a wider array of queer issues outside of the Aids crisis. ACT UP was an Aids activism group that was founded in 1987. The group used a mixture of direct action, political tactics, and direct negotiation to bring about changes in legislation and medical treatment practices and policies to fight the AIDS crisis and impact the lives of people living with AIDS. ACT UP was born out of a feeling of frustration surrounding AIDS activism and the limited progress in treatment during the early 1980s, and sought to take a more direct and political approach to the fighting the AIDS Crisis.
Queer Nation was known for its direct action tactics and anti-assimilation stance, and was one of the earliest groups to re-appropriate the word Queer. The group Pink Panthers was an outgrowth. Portland's Queer Nation was founded in 1991 and was active in several different direct action campaigns and protests. The group was particularly focused on the fight against Measure 9, a ballot measure proposing a restriction on LGBTQ rights and supported by the Oregon Citizens Alliance, an organization that was often directly confronted by Queer Nation. Andrew Leavitt, a student at Reed College, was a leader in the Portland chapter of Queer Nation.
Content DescriptionReturn to Top
The collection includes materials from the organizations Queer Nation, Act Up, Pink Panthers, and R.A.T.S. from 1990 to 1993. The records include press releases, news clippings, agendas, sticker masters, posters, leaflets and pamphlets, correspondence, notes, and two photographs. Also included are materials from the conservative anti-LGBTQ group, Oregon Citizen’s Alliance. The OCA materials include newsletters, pamphlets and affiliated newspapers. Many of the documents in this collection are related to the conflict between the OCA and LGBTQ activist groups, particularly relating to the 1992 Measure 9. Of special importance are: materials relating to the founding of Portland Queer Nation in 1991; the "Queer for a day: An April Fools Day Challenge" event in 1991; protests against of KOPB-TV for the censorship of the documentary Tongues Untied; the OCA condemnation of Police Chief Tom Potter; condemnation and protests of the film Basic Instinct; and the protests against Representative William Dannemeyer’s visit to Portland in support of the OCA and Measure 9. It is important to note the overlap and connection between these groups, many of which can trace their origins to ACT UP.
Use of the CollectionReturn to Top
Restrictions on Use
A folder containing mailing lists is restricted until 2092.
Queer Nation (Portland, Or.) collection, Mss 2988-23, Oregon Historical Society Davies Family Research Library
Administrative InformationReturn to Top
The collection is arranged in alphabetical order by folder title.
This collection was donated to the Oregon Historical Society by the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN). It was titled the “Queer Nation/Portland Archive" because the majority of materials in the collection are related to Queer Nation. While the collection also contains documents related to and distributed by other groups, it seems clear that these were collected and used by Queer Nation.
Acquired June 1997, Library Accession 23224.
Materials relating to Queer Nation, ACT-UP, R.A.T.S., and other LGBT organizations in Oregon can be found through the LGBT collections at the Oregon Historical Society.
Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.
Queer Nation collectionReturn to Top
Act Up correspondence
Act Up: the Barbara McClinton Project to Cure AIDS
Correspondence and newsletters
Fight for the Right -- Action kit
"Hate is the law : the Oregon Citizens Alliance and their initiatives" (typescript)
Leaflets and pamphlets
Materials from Queer Planet
No on Hate, Coalition/Campaign for a Hate Free Oregon--Materials relating to the campaign against the Oregon Citizens Alliance initiatives
Oregon Citizen' Alliance materials
Out/look : national lesbian and gay quarterly (magazine)
Includes one photograph of a Queer Nation demonstration with participants holding signs that are included in this collection
Posters and poster masters (see also oversize folder)
Materials cannot be viewed until 2092
Original box in which collection was stored
Posters--including "Queer in your face" and "Promote Queer visibility"
Names and SubjectsReturn to Top
- AIDS (disease)--Northwest, Pacific
- Gay liberation movement--Northwest, Pacific
- Gay liberation movement--Oregon--Portland
- Gays--Northwest, Pacific
- Lesbians--Northwest, Pacific
- Leavitt, Andrew
- Queer Nation (Portland, Or.)
- ACT UP (Organization). Portland (Or.)
- Queer Nation (Portland, Or.)
- Oregon--Societies and clubs
- Portland (Or.)--Social life and customs
- Portland (Or.)--Societies and clubs
Form or Genre Terms
- Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (creator)
- Oregon Citizens Alliance (creator)