This preliminary history of LGBT Bloomington was developed specifically for OutHistory.org’s “Since Stonewall” local LGBT history contest. It began in Fall Semester 2009 as a class project in Professor Susan Stryker’s “G206: Gay History, Queer Culture,” a regularly offered lower-division course in the Gender Studies Department at Indiana University. It was completed as an independent study project in Spring Semester 2010 by Evelyn Smith and Chris Kase, two especially talented students who were particularly enthusiastic about continuing to conduct research. Prof. Stryker’s research assistant, Antonia Leotsakos, also made many valuable contributions.
Other students in G206 who contributed to the research include: James Armstrong, Valerie Biondi, Erin Brady, James Conrad, Douglas Cooper, Anna Dykema, Scott Eberhard, Erin Engledow, Miranda Ettinger, Joshua Field, Alyssa Goldman, Bryn Hannon, Jurion Jaffe, Tara Johnson, Danielle Jonas, Jessica Lajoie, Lindsay Lauver, Allyson Lodics, Jeff McInnes, Brenna Moeljadi, Sarah Pennal, Alexandra Riley, Katherine Roberson, Jordan Schmid, Benjamin Siebert, Geoffrey Sperling, Dylan Swift, Sarah Taylor, Julia Turner, and Tay’ler Wells.
Doug Bauder, Carol Fischer and Solomon Hursey of IU’s GLBT Student Support Services Office all gave generously of their time—Solomon made available many important historical documents he had scanned from the office files; Carol facilitated contact between longtime Bloomington LGBT community members and class members who wanted to conduct oral interviews with them, and Doug graciously agreed to be interviewed. Other interviewees included Robert Brookshire, Jean Capler, Helen Harrell, Victor Kinzer, Doug McKinney, Duncan Mitchell, George Pinney, Monte Simonton Jr., Katherine Brown Sterritte, Cynthia Stone, Martha Vicinus, Carolyn Marie Weithoff, and Linda Giovanna Zambanini.
Thanks as well to Dina Kellams and Carrie Lynn Schweir of Indiana University Archives, and to Shawn Wilson, Jennifer Bass, and Catherine Johnson-Rohr of the Kinsey Institute, for their knowledge of local history sources and their willingness to guide student research. Professors Colin Johnson and Mary Gray both shared their wisdom about rural queer culture. And Rachael, of Rachael’s Café, kept us all buzzing with her coffee.