All QRAB want for christmas
An advent calender/wish list of things that aren't (yet) in the collections of QRAB.
The Archives and Library of the Queer Movement have now been around for a year, and our collections keep growing. The queer history, however, is infinite and most of it will never end up on our shelves. But there are a few gaps we would be happy to fill.
Rare books, forgotten pamphlets, homemade signs, mimeographed papers or old records - all of it can find a home in QRAB, and you're welcome to help!
Every day until christmas we will present something we're missing and would like to receive. Maybe your have some of the gaps at home? Or you can keep an eye out at flee markets and ask your queer friends. And the best gifts are oftentimes the ones you didn't know you wished for, so other contributions to QRAB's collections are also very welcome!
Contact email@example.com if you want to leave us something.
ACT UP signs and t-shirt
We start our wish list with a reminder of World AIDS Day and the first (and only) action of ACT UP Stockholm.
AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power - ACT UP - was founded in New York in 1987 to fight for people with AIDS through direct action. Local chapters soon sprung up, mainly in the USA, but also in London, Paris, Dortmund - and Stockholm.
This image shows activists outside the offices of the national AIDS Delegation in Stockholm during an action on October 1st 1991. More on the action can be read (in Swedish) in a couple of articles from that time at www.qx.se.
Now we're wondering if anyone has kept the signs and t-shirts that were used in the action?
"What's the similarity between Lila Perspektiv and Greta Garbo? Both have difficulties coming out." That joke is in one of the issues of Lila Perspktiv (Purple Perspectives), a lesbian feminist magazine that was published - irregularly - in three isues from 1981 to 1984.
Filled with everything from articles on how a handy woman can fix a toilet to cartoons on lesban life, the magazine was an important forum for the Swedish lesbian movement. Seen in this image is the cover of the very first issue, kept at the University Library of Gothenburg.
Do you have an issue at home that you would like to share?
The third sex
Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the great pioneers of the stuggle for queer rights - though he used partially different terms.
In 1910 he "invented" the word transvestite, which is still in common use. But few people today speak of uranians, sexual intermediaries or psychosexual hermaphrodites. And if someone mentions a third sex, it's usually in regard to laws concerning non-binary people. In Magnus's days the concept of a third sex was used rather freely for both emancipated women, trans* people and homosexuals.
In QRAB's holdings we have many of Magnus's original German works, but we're lacking this Danish translation from 1928 - Det tredie køn (The third sex). Fortunately it's digitized at www.transvide.dk, but if you want do donate a physical copy - feel free!
Making banners is a difficult form of art - color, materials, message, aerodynamics, everything has to work. But what happens with the banners when the demonstration is over?
In todays picture we show a collage of queer banners from Gay Liberation Week in Stockholm, with "Fight against fascism, racism, sexual oppression" (probably 1982) and "Gay liberation - in the Vättern area too" (1983), to these from Gothenburg: "Dyke - once you try it you can't deny it!" (probably 2005) and "Queerkids - genders are lies" (probably 2005).
Now they might be rolled up in bags in closets somewhere. Wouldn't it be more fun if they - and other banners - were parts of QRAB:s collections?
Is there a passable road?
The physician Ada Nilsson (1872-1964) lived her long life in the midst of the Swedish women's movement, not least through her involvement in the Fogelstad Citizen School for Women.
That she also was called "lad-lass" during her student years, had several lesbian love relations and was both the author Selma Lagerlöf's and soviet ambassador Alexandra Kollontay's gynecologist doesn't make her less interesting.
Today we're sending out a call for a small pamphlet she wrote: Finns det en framkomlig väg? reflexioner med anledning av den homosexuella prostitutionen (Is there a passable road? : reflexions with reference to the homosexual prostitution). Ada wrote the text during the growing moral panic of the Kejne affair and it was published as a supplement to the paper of the Fogelstad association in March 1951.
If anyone wants to donate a copy to QRAB, we will be very happy!
Lotus : a story of love
Those who wish can celebrate Finland’s independence day today, and QRAB calls for what has been called the first Finnish lesbian novel: Lotus : en kärleksberättelse (Lotus : a story of love) from 1973, by Nalle Valtiala.
The book, published in Swedish, tells the story of two women who, with their young son, rents a house in a closeminded small town. Nalle had previously shown himself to be a socially involved writer, for example penning an ”environmental cabaret” in 1969.
The Swedish reviewers seem to have had different expectations of a lesbian novel - one paper claiming that the book certainly touched on important subject, but ”as a contribution to Swedish erotic literature, it is not to be recommended”.
Do you have a copy of the book? In that case, would you consider donating it to QRAB’s library?
On thursday November 17th 1966 ten people met at a restaurant in Stockholm to found FPE-NE (Full Personality Expression - Northern Europe). The organization wanted to bring together transvestites from the Nordic countries, after inspiration from the USA, where one of the founders had traveled to meet Virgina Price, who had started a similar Group in 1961.
The membership magazine of FPE-NE, Feminform, was published in 166 issues from 1966 to 2002. Seen in this picture is the jubilee issue 100 from September 1985, kept at the university library of Gothenburg.
Membership magazines can often give interesting views on both individual persons, broader movements and the general social climate. If anyone would have a run - or single copies - of Feminform to leave to QRAB we would be very happy! Of particular interest are issues 1-94, who don't seem to be kept at any library world wide.
A few words on homosexuality...
If anyone in Gothenburg during the first years of the 20th century felt a little too gay, they could make an appointment with doctor Emanuel af Geijerstam. At his clinic hypnotic treatments were offered for (or rather: against) "abnormal sexual feelings".
Todays item on QRAB's wish list is a pamphlet called Några ord om homosexualitet från psykoanalytisk synpunkt (A few words on homosexuality from a psychoanalytical viewpoint). The text is based on a lecture Emanuel held at Gothenburg's society for physicians on November 10th 1915, and was published in a Swedish medical journal, later to be separately printed as a small pamphlet.
The text is digitized (runeberg.org), but there's something special to also be able to flip through old paper. So if you come across the pamphlet in your bookshelves or at a flee market, please donate it to QRAB!
A woman's lover
When queer literary history is being written, it's often already famous authors that are mentioned: Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Proust, Sappho... But there's been a rich undergrowth as well, not least in the not-so-well-thought-of literature. After the second world war, one of Sweden's most prolific writers of gay smut was Nils Hallbeck.
In QRAB's shelves there's already a lot of his titles: Trånga jeans (Tight jeans), Het hud (Hot skin), Lust och längtan (Lust and longing), Älska och dö (Love and die), Grabb på glid (Drifting dude)... But his attempt on lesbian erotica is lacking. The book is called En kvinnas älskarinna (A woman's lover), but we don't really know much else, except for what's stated in the Swedish author lexicon in this picture.
Have you read the book? Then please tell us if it was any good. And if you want to pass it on, pass it to QRAB.
If banners, like we saw in window number 4, can be complicated stff, signs are a bit easier - all you need is a piece of cardboard and a pen. But then what, do they end up in the recycling bin?
In the collage in todays window there's bunch of signs fro the very first Swedish demonstration for gay rights, held in Örebro May 15th 1971. Back then the slogan were for example "Homosex is human", "Gay power" and "Everyone has equal value". On a sign held in Gothenburg in 2016 it says "Does the Pride police help deport LGBTQ refugees?" and in Stockholm Pride the same year one could see "Black trans lives matter".
Have you kept any signs from demonstrations? If you don't think you'll have use for them again, QRAB is happy to take them for future safe keeping!
Birgitta Stenberg called the book in todays picture "the Swedish equivalent to The well of loneliness", Radclyffe Hall's butch classic from 1928. The Swedish book, written by Margareta Suber, is titled in short Charlie, just like it's lesbian main character.
When Charlie was published in 1932 it didn't cause quite the same scandal as Radclyffe's book had in England a few years earlier. The novel recieved positive reviews and sold well. The fact that the copy in this picture, kept at the university library in Gothenburg, has a stamp from the Department of Justice suggests, however, that the authorities might have been a bit sceptical. But there was not any censorship.
In QRAB's holdings we have a copy of the 2005 reedition published by Normal, but the original edition is rare - maybe the copies were read to pieces by eager queers... If it turns up somewhere, please keep QRAB in mind!