Alabama

IHP began in February 2018

The central administrative office of IHP is located at the AIDS Alabama campus, one of our community partners. After collecting for a year IHP received a $300,000 Andrew W Mellon Foundation grant with our fiscal sponsor The University of Alabama College of Arts & Sciences. The Mellon Foundation grant allows IHP to expand the work in Alabama to Mississippi and Georgia over two years.

Dr. Edward Tang

The PI at UA is Dr. Edward Tang, Chair of American Studies.  Currently IHP has over 40 collections of Alabama LGBTQ history from sites all over the state spanning over 100 years of history. Currently classes in Southern Queer history are being taught at the University of Alabama Department of History, Auburn University Department of History, and UAB Department of History.  Students are working on research projects for IHP and are gaining both classroom and practical experience with the archives that make up Alabama’s diverse Queer History.

Below are some example collections from Alabama

Early 1900s chapbook written by Joe Hulse from Central Alabama.

The chapbook contains Gay themed poetry written by Joe to several men that he has relationships with.  This book stands in stark opposition to the idea that Southern Queer community history is a modern invention, and serves to remind us that the locations of Alabama Queer history exist in multiple formats throughout history.  The photo is almost certainly diarist Joe Hulse on the left and I strongly suspect (because of where photo was laid into the diary) “Alf” (to whom one of the poems was dedicated) on the right. “The Perfect Summer’s Day”). Almost certain they are in the Cahaba River in the shallow part out near Irondale.

Cruise was an Atlanta based publication that listed Gay bars across the South

This issue is from 1976 and Alabama LGBTQ people used it to find local bars, bookstores, and cinemas. Barfly is a Gay publication that lists Gay bars in each state.  The unique thing about Barfly is that is lists different aspects of each bar with a “key” that people can access to the side.  This list shows a selection of Gay bars in Alabama from 1973. Vagabond was a Gay publication that listed Gay bars in US states.  This list from the late 1960s shows a selection of Gay bars across Alabama. (Photos courtesy of J.D. Doyle & the Queer Music Heritage Project) 

Alabama LGBTQ people marching in the 1993 March on Washington including The University of Alabama and Auburn University

Special thanks to Frank Susko, former member of The University of Alabama Gay/Lesbian Alliance.

June 24, 1989. Birmingham, AL. First Pride march in Alabama. Over 250 people attended.

Special thanks to director, Bob Huff. 

Original Tuscaloosa Lesbian Coalition banner preserved at The University of Alabama W.S. Hoole Special Collections Archives in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Donate Items to the IHP Alabama Collection

*Items of interest are those directly relating to LGBTQ history in the Southeastern United States. Click Here for a list of item we accept.