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GLBT History Museum: Following Lou: Searching the Archives for Our Queer Past

February 27 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Louis Sullivan (1951–1991) was a founding member of the GLBT Historical Society and a transgender gay man whose pioneering activism on behalf of trans men in the 1970s and 1980s helped shape the modern understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. The society’s archives hold Sullivan’s extensive diaries, written between the 1960s and the 1990s, which chronicle his coming of age, coming-out as a gay trans man and work as a historian.

Researcher Ellis Martin and poet and artist Zach Ozma have compiled selections from the diaries into a new book, We Both Laughed In Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan (Nightboat Books, 2019). In editing the volume, they confronted a number of challenging questions: How can queer historians draw strength and lessons from LGBTQ history, and how do they do so using a historical record that has often erased or misidentified queer people? In this discussion, Martin, Ozma and the GLBT Historical Society’s reference archivist, Isaac Fellman, will read excerpts from Sullivan’s diaries and will discuss the complex issues involved in queer historical storytelling. Copies of We Both Laughed in Pleasure will be available for purchase and signing.


Ellis Martin works with digital derivatives in the interstice of art and archives. He holds a B.A. in visual and critical studies from Mills College. He edited We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan (Nightboat Books, 2019) with Zach Ozma and has generated large-scale digitization projects at Mills College Art Museum, the Oakland Museum of California, the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives and the GLBT Historical Society.

Zach Ozma is a poet, potter and social practice artist who uses embodiment theory, archival research and neo-classically gay imagery to inform his practice. Employing mimesis, pedagogy, humor, surprise and reward, he works in a variety of materials and media, including ceramics, found objects, performance, writing and works on paper. He is the author of Black Dog Drinking From an Outdoor Pool (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2019) and coedited We Both Laughed in Pleasure: The Selected Diaries of Lou Sullivan (Nightboat Books, 2019) with Ellis Martin. He holds a B.F.A. in community arts from California College of the Arts in Oakland.

Isaac Fellman has worked in archives at the California Historical Society, the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Oregon Health and Science University. He earned his M.L.I.S. from Emporia State University and his M.A. in literature from the University of Oregon. Isaac is also a Lambda Literary Award-winning fantasy writer.


February 27
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


GLBT History Museum
4127 18th St
San Francisco, CA 94114 United States
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