"The Gay Illini organization was formed in 1975 and Illini Pride was founded in 1977, both growing out of the work of the Gay Liberation Front. Gay Illini was announced in the Daily Illini on January 29, 1975. By April 1975, the group was holding Gay Forums, offering panels discussing topics related to gay students and queer life. The group also hosted a number of social events, including dances, picnics, and movie nights."
(reprinted from the Student Life & Culture Archives blog, written by Caitlin Stamm, http://archives.library.illinois.edu/slc/pride-month-2015-lgbt-history-on-campus/)
Since the beginning in the 1970s, the story of LGBTQ culture and student organizations has taken several twists and turns, including a large number of name changes, acronym rearrangements, and a shifting landscape of office space (or lack thereof). This digital collection offers only a glimpse into the past, and does not attempt by any means to represents events, organizations, or policies in their entirety. Rather, the collection should be thought of as just one door in a long hallway of history.
Another door is the current Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center, located in Room 323 of the Illini Union. As a complement to this collection, users may find the timeline the LGBTRC created here: https://oiir.illinois.edu/lgbt-resource-center/about-lgbtrc/history helpful.
The University Archives are also a terrific opening for scholars who want to really dig into the LGBTQ past of the University of Illinois. All materials found in this collection were hand picked from two archival records series. To visit the University Archives online, please visit http://archives.library.illinois.edu. The analog collection these images were drawn from reside at the physical location of the Archives Research Center, Horticulture Field Laboratory, 1707 South Orchard, Urbana.
It is the hope of the University Archives and the LGBT Resource Center that, over time, this digital collection will continue to grow. If you are a student, faculty, or staff member and have questions about donating material, please contact the Archives at (217) 333-0798.
Collection Curator's Note: The University of Illinois recognizes that the acronym LGBT may not be agreeable to everyone it attempts to encompass. It was chosen for the title solely because it was the most used acronym found within the related archival collection. No offense is intended to any member of our highly diversified community campus.