July 20, 2012

Carolyn Weathers has a story to tell. She, along with her sister Brenda—daughters of a Southern Baptist preacher—moved to Los Angeles not long after Brenda was expelled from a Texas University when it was discovered she was lesbian (and she refused to deny it.) With great admiration for her sister, Carolyn, a lesbian herself, became an outspoken activist in the early gay liberation movement. She appeared openly lesbian guest on a Regis Philbin talk show in 1970. She was a member of the Gay Liberation Front and was present when the group protested at the Biltmore Hotel against a conference on behavioral modification of LGBTQ individuals. And she was an instrumental figure in the founding of the Alcoholism Center for Women, founded by her sister Brenda at the Gay Community Services Center in 1973.

Carolyn Weathers is a retired librarian, publisher and writer. As co-publisher of Clothespin Fever Press she published several women’s and lesbian titles in the 1980s and 1990s; and she has written and published three books: Leaving Texas: A Memoir (1986), Shitkickers and Other Texas Stories (1987) and Crazy (1990).

ONE is extremely proud to announce that Carolyn has graciously donated her collection of papers to ONE Archives, which includes materials documenting her involvement in ACW and GLF and other movements in the GLBT community, administrative records from Clothespin Fever Press, and several audio-and videotapes. Mike, Kyle and I, ONE’s archivists, also had the pleasure of sitting down with Carolyn dozens of times to look through her amazing collection of photographs and albums and digitize the images. All the while, Carolyn would share stories with us about her amazing life that includes a drive across the country in a van called “Blunderbuss”; and how she broke her leg after punching a guy who was harassing her girlfriend. One of my favorite photos is the one below, showing Carolyn in the aftermath of that incident, proudly displaying a lesbian symbol on her leg cast. Now that’s a story.

Loni Shibuyama