Archive | February, 2012

The Many Faces of John Teamer

23 Feb

The John Teamer papers (2005-04) document the life of a gay African American public high school science teacher and civil rights and AIDS activist who was born in Asheville, North Carolina and lived most of his adult life in San Francisco. The collection is especially rich in documentation of Teamer’s involvement in the National Association of Black and White Men Together (NABWMT), and his life as a gay man in San Francisco from the 1970s to the 1990s. Teamer served on the Boards of many organizations, including the Black Coalition on AIDS and the Gay-Lesbian Tennis Association. His papers include organizational records; personal correspondence; photographs of friends, family and events that date back to the 1940s; and personalia, including his high school and college yearbooks. Of particular interest are photographs, correspondence and ephemera from Teamer’s time in the Peace Corps in the Philippines, from 1963-1965. A very small portion of the collection documents the political activities of Teamer’s partner of 12 years, Michael C. Foo (1944-2004). Here are a few glimpses into John Teamer’s life.

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“La Familia Duca”

16 Feb

The Guy Duca photographs and ephemera (2001-10) document the life and family history of Italian-American hairdresser and entrepreneur, Gaetano “Guy” Duca (1936-1989). Duca was from Philadelphia but lived in San Francisco for 25 years before succumbing to AIDS. The family photos in his collection date back to at least 1919 and feature “La Familia Duca” (taken directly from the captions on the back of Guy’s photos) in Italy and Philadelphia. There are also lots of photographs from Guy Duca’s Navy days. Here are some of our favorite snapshots of Guy and his friends and family.

Allan Berube Papers processed!

9 Feb Allan riding a bicycle, ca. 1950

The GLBT Historical Society is happy to announce the opening of the Allan Berube Papers (#1995-17).  The finding aid can be viewed at:
http://www.glbthistory.org/research/FA/glbths_1995_17_AllanBerube_FA.pdf

Allan Berube was a historian, scholar, teacher and activist who devoted much of his life to researching history to better the world surrounding him. His archival collection, now available to access at the GLBTHS in San Francisco, encompasses his personal and professional life, offering a wide perspective on his life and work.

Allan was born in 1946. In the early 1950s, when Allan was a child, his family moved to Bayonne, New Jersey to the Sunset Trailer Park. Growing up in a working-class family, Allan had early insights into how class and race shaped and influenced the world around him.

Allan riding a bicycle, ca. 1950

Allan riding a bicycle, ca. 1950

The author of a well-known and influential book about gays in the military, “Coming Out Under Fire”, Allan began writing early in life, filling school notebooks with stories and poems. The poem below was written by Allan in the early 1960s, and is among other examples of early creative writing available to view in his collection.

Poem by Allan, ca. 1960-1964

Poem by Allan, ca. 1960-1964

Allan had many varied interests and talents, one of which was weaving. He taught classes in weaving and the creation of hats, and even made his own natural dyes from plants.

Weavings by, and modeled by Allan.

Weavings by, and modeled by Allan.

In 1983 Allan met British biochemist Brian Keith at a leather bar. The two quickly became close partners, and lived together for several years. In 1986 Brian was diagnosed with AIDS, and his health deteriorated rapidly. Brian died in 1987. A small collection of his papers are a part of Allan’s archival collection.

Brian Keith

Brian Keith

Allan scattering Brian's ashes

Allan scattering Brian's ashes

Allan devoted much of his life to understanding the history of the gay community. To share his findings, he wrote many articles, gave talks, and created illustrated slide shows which he presented to audiences throughout the country. An early slide show that gained much recognition was titled “Lesbian Masquerade” and told the story of women who had passed as men in the 19th and 20th centuries in San Francisco. His presentations were met with enthusiastic responses and helped to promote Allan’s work within the gay community, and beyond.

Lesbian Masquerade Flyer

Lesbian Masquerade Flyer

Allan spent many years working on a book about the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union, and in 1996 he was awarded the prestigious MacArthur award which allowed him to focus on his writing. Allan’s extensive research files, original oral histories, manuscript drafts and notes for this book are available for researchers at the GLBTHS.

MacArthur Award Letter

In the early 2000s, Allan moved to Liberty, New York, and became deeply involved in the local community. His writing stalled for several years while he joined the volunteer fire department, managed a local theater, helped to save historic buildings from demolition, and was elected twice as a Trustee of the Village of Liberty.

Snowman in Liberty, NY

Snowman in Liberty, NY

Allan Berube had a rich life devoted to the bettering of his community. He truly left the world a better place, and the GLBT Historical Society is pleased to offer his Papers to researchers and the public, so that his life, research and writings may continue to contribute many years many years from now. To make an appointment to use his collection, contact the Archivist.