Pride in the Library

This June, New York City will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the riot known as the Stonewall Uprising, which took place in Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969. The city is abuzz with a variety of commemorative events and related festivities: below are a few highlights from local museums and institutions.

Pride at The Graduate Center – and Beyond

The Thought Project Podcast invites guests to share stories and experiences relating to LBGTQ Pride. Tanya Domi (Director of Media Relations) recently interviewed Polly Thistlethwaite (Chief Librarian), Emily Drabinski (Critical Pedagogy Librarian), and  Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz (Head of Reference), each of whom identifies as queer or lesbian,  both as individuals and in their professional work. In this lively conversation, they discuss the historical (and present) queerness of librarianship, the involvement of lesbians of color in 1970’s activism, and Filipino cataloging systems.

Feel free to listen on SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, or read the transcript. More episodes of The Thought Project Podcast are likewise available here.

The Graduate Center is also home to the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), the first university-based research center in the United States “dedicated to the study of historical, cultural, and political issues of vital concern to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals and communities.” Original CLAGS newsletters, conference fliers, and posters are currently on display on the first floor of the Graduate Center Library, co-curated by Elvis Bakaitis (Adjunct Reference Librarian) and Katherine Pradt (Adjunct Reference and Digital Outreach Librarian).

Additionally, Trans-Presence, a project funded by the Doctoral Student Council (DSC) may be found in Room 5409, on the 5th Floor of The Graduate Center. The exhibit features artwork in multiple mediums (paintings, photography) by trans-identifying CUNY students and other contributors.

Museums across the city are focusing on queer history, including the following exhibits:

Love and Resistance, The New York Public Library – Photographs by Kay Tobin and Diana Daives offer a glimpse into 1960s and 1970s LGBTQ activism.

By The Force of Our Presence: Highlights from the Lesbian Herstory Archives, New York Historical Society – Features archival posters, photographs, and diary pages from the world’s first and largest collection of materials about lesbians – co-curated by the Lesbian Herstory Archives Graphics Committee, including our very own, Elvis Bakaitis.

Art after Stonewall – 1969-1989, Leslie-Lohman Museum – Provides a visual overview of “the impact of the LGBTQ civil rights movement on the art world.”

And if you’d like to enjoy a quieter version of Pride, feel free to check out the amazing array of books about LGBTQ Studies at the Graduate Center Library, made possible through a donation from poet and labor activist Edward Carpenter.

About the Author

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz is an Assistant Professor and Head of Reference at the Graduate Center Library.