August 20, 2013: Last week, the Project received a rare photograph taken by noted photographer Wilbur Wegener at St. Louis' first Pride event in 1980. Here it is. The image is of Pat Murrell and she is holding a balloon. Not only is the image great, but so is the story of the balloon. Janet Utley was in charge of procuring the balloons and she tells a great story about going to a local carnival supply company and that at first they were hesitant to print balloons with a gay message, saying they "could not do such a thing," and Janet simply said," well, sure you can." Special thanks to Jim Andris for hosting an event at his house last week where Pat and Janet were joined by Judith Hunter and Jim Pfaff.
These women were plugged in to the greater women's community that was associated with the activism surrounding the 1977 Anita Bryant fear campaign and before, and right on up to the 1980 Pride event and after. Their memories are invaluable. At Jim's house Jim Pfaff showed his color slides from the 1980 and 1981 St. Louis Pride events. The ladies did a great job of helping identify many people in the photos. The Project will be partnering with Jim Pfaff to showcase his rare images. More news on that to come. For now enjoy this great historic memory from 1980. Photo by Wilbur Wegener, April 1980. Donor Pat Murrell.