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2019 Anniversary Series: 1979 WU Gay Pride Weekend

logo draft 2By Steven Louis Brawley

Beyond Stonewall: St. Louis' LGBTQIA+ History

1979 Gay Pride Weekend at Washington University

April 18, 2019: As the 50th anniversary of Stonewall is being commemorated, the Project is focusing on local anniversaries of historically significant events that have framed St. Louis vibrant LGBTQIA+ history.

April 20 marks the 40th anniversary of Washington University's 1979 Gay Pride Weekend. This was one of several events, including the 1979 March on Washington that occured later that year, that led to St. Louis hosting its first official Pride events in April 1980.

Project contributor Jim Andris has researched and documented the 1979 events at Washington University. Take a moment to learn about this St. Louis LGBTQIA+ historical milestone. Stay tuned for future 2019 anniversary year commemorations and features.

Link to Andris article and research.


WU Gay pride



PrideSpeak Feature

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By Steven Louis Brawley

February 24, 2019: The Project is honored to be featured by PrideSpeak, a new photojournalism project on Facebook capturing LGBTQ stories from across the nation.

Milestones to Remember in 2019

By Steven Louis Brawley
logo draft 2

February 21, 2019: Throughout 2019, the Project will be acknowledging a series of important milestones in local LGBTQIA+ history. Here is our current inventory of anniversaries. Please let us know of any others. Stay tuned for some exciting news about the various regional events that will be taking place to commemorate these milestones.

50th Anniversary of:

  • Founding of the Mandrake Society
  • St. Louis' Stonewall – Halloween Night Arrests
  • Opening of Left Bank Books
  • Death of Robert Rayford

40th Anniversary of:

  • Founding of Growing American Youth
  • 1979 March on Washington (St. Louis participation)
  • Washington University's Pride event
  • Planning for St. Louis' first Pride events and first Soulard Mardi Gras events
  • Firebombing of Mor or Les bar
  • Premiere of "Gay Talk" program on KADI radio

30th Anniversary of:

  • Crowning of St. Louisan Roger Platt (Vicki Vincent) as Miss Gay America
  • Premieres of KDHX FM Radio's "Coming Out of Hiding" Program and KRJY FM Radio's "Lambada Reports" Program
  • Premiere of "Some of My Best Friends Are" by Joan Lipkin, the first known piece of gay and lesbian theatre performed in St. Louis

2018 Annual Report

By Steven Louis Brawley

January 10, 2019: 2018 was another great year for the Project. Thanks to our many wonderful volunteers, contributors, and community champions for your support. Here is an overview of the many activities the Project led to fulfill our vision of preserving and promoting St. Louis' vibrant LGBTQIA+ history:


  • Risky Refuges: Gay and Lesbian Bars in St. Louis, 1930s-1960s presentation with Ian Darnell at Missouri History Museum


  • History of Drag presentation with Daniel Flier, Jimmy Price, and Cat Schmidt at Missouri History Museum
  • Headlines of Hope and Hate exhibit at St. Louis PrideFest with Pride St. Louis, Missouri History Museum, Griot Museum of Black History, and Home Movie Project
  • SAGE Lunch and Learn at MCC


  • Faces of LGBTQIA+ St. Louis exhibit at Coffee Cartel (last exhibit before closing)


  • Celebration of John Chaney (Bonnie Blake's) 90th birthday and recognition of pending status as world's oldest performing drag queen at Bar PM


  • Betty Neeley's Annual Party in the Park exhibit at Tower Grove Park


  • Documenting the Queer Past in St. Louis community partner project with Dr. Andrea Friedman at Washington University


  • We Are LGBTQIA+ presentation at St. Louis County Library (Bridgeton Trails)
  • Finding Lost Histories in the Modern LGBTQIA+ Alphabet presentation with Ian Darnell, Dr. Andrea Friedman, and Dr. Amanda Izzo at Missouri History Museum
  • Pride Alliance student presentation with Ian Darnell at Washington University


  • Transgender Spectrum Conference exhibit at UMSL


  • World AIDS Day Memorial Service exhibit at MCC
  • Ike's Mystery Man by Peter Shinkle author presentation at Left Bank Books

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Copyright Steven L. Brawley, 2007-2015. All Rights Reserved.