KU News: KU, community partners sponsoring ’51 Years OUT! Celebrating Gay Liberation History of KU and Lawrence’

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Contact: Kathy Rose-Mockry, [email protected]
KU, community partners sponsoring ’51 Years OUT! Celebrating Gay Liberation History of KU and Lawrence’

LAWRENCE — The Lawrence Gay Liberation Front (LGLF), which began at the University of Kansas in 1970, has an important place in KU and Lawrence history. Join the 50th anniversary celebration of LGLF and early activism that challenged stereotypes and discrimination, changed the cultural climate and created a foundation for an LGBTQ+ community to grow and thrive.

Following a one-year delay due to the pandemic, KU and community partners are sponsoring a weeklong celebration, “51 Years OUT! Celebrating Gay Liberation History of KU and Lawrence.” Events take place Oct. 18-22 during LGBT History Month and include panels, presentations, a KU Red Hot Research session, an “OUT Loud!” story-corps type project, campus tours, legal name change information table, a ’70s style dance and carillon concert.

“It is so important that we recognize this history that has long been invisible and overlooked,” said Kathy Rose-Mockry, event organizer and director emerita of the Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity at KU. “The Lawrence Gay Liberation Front and early LGBT activists set the stage for the development and growth of the LGBTQ community at KU and in Lawrence. They refused to be ignored as they stood up to homophobic attitudes and shook up an oppressive culture to bring about change. Their courage and revolutionary actions are an important part of the KU story and should inspire all of us to join in working for justice.”

Panels include “LGLF: The Beginnings” at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 and “The Power of Connections: Lesbian Communities in the ’70s” at 7 p.m. Oct. 21. In addition, author and journalist C.J. Janovy will be joined by Lawrence and state leaders for the panel “No Place Like Home” at 7 p.m. Oct. 19 to discuss LGBT activism that brought about local and statewide policy and legislative changes promoting equity. All three panels take place in the Kansas Union’s Big 12 Room, and a full list of presenters is available online.

LGLF founder David Stout will give a reading at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Spencer Research Library from his memoirs about being gay in Kansas, and author Katie Batza, KU associate professor of women, gender & sexuality studies, will discuss her 2018 book on health care in the 1970s for a talk at 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at The Commons at KU.

For a full schedule, visit the “51 Years Out!” website or view the schedule on Facebook.

Co-sponsors and collaborators include the KU Center for Sexuality & Gender Diversity; Hall Center for the Humanities; the Department of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies; Watkins Museum of History; The Commons; Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity; KU Alumni Association; KU Libraries; Lawrence Public Library; Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging; Office of Multicultural Affairs; Office of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs; WesleyKU; KU Law OUTlaws and Allies in partnership with Douglas County Legal Aid Society; and KU Student Senate.



KU News Service
1450 Jayhawk Blvd.
Lawrence KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3256
Fax: 785-864-3339
[email protected]

Erinn Barcomb-Peterson, director of news and media relations, [email protected]

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