2nd left: Stewart Butler; far right: Rich Magill | Undated | Stewart Butler and LARC | 18305
The Louisiana Research Collection, housed at Tulane University now holds the letters, diaries and flyers of four prominent gay activists: Rich Magill, Alan Robinson, Skip Ward and Stewart Butler.
Leon Miller, head of the collection, called the acquisition “extremely significant.”
Magill wrote “Exposing Hatred,” a study of violence perpetrated against the gay community.
Robinson owned and operated Faubourg Marigny Books and founded many LGBTQ organizations.
Ward promoted the rights of gay people in rural areas.
Butler remains a force in the civil rights movement and his home has been a meeting place for civil rights activists since 1979. He co-founded Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus of Louisiana in 1980. He advocated for the New Orleans gay rights ordinance in 1984, 1986 and 1991, and served on boards including the Lesbian and Gay Community Center, the Louisiana Lesbian and Gay Political Action Caucus and PFLAG.
The New Orleans Advocate notes:
Over the years, Butler amassed 25 boxes of documents, including letters, meeting minutes, election questionnaires and more.
“I didn’t throw things away,” Butler said. “I just kept them, because I thought maybe they could be useful in the future.”
Butler co-founded the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana in 2014. Shortly thereafter, he donated his papers to the research collection, which has acquired LGBTQ materials for more than 30 years.