David Aiken Papers
The David Aiken Papers were acquired by the Rainbow History Project and then transferred to the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.. The collection includes many drafts of articles he had written on the issues confronting the LGBT community of the time. They are rough drafts, with typographical errors, handwritten notes and corrections, and numerous rewrites. They are also an important source for the events and issues of the period. His files also contain primary documents, leaflets, and notes of interviews connected with the articles he wrote.
Aiken, a local gay activist, member at one time of the Gay Liberation Front and a resident of GLF House (1620 St St. NW), Washington correspondent for The Advocate, was also a member of the Stonewall Nation Media Collective which broadcast the Friends radio show on WGBT and WPFW radio for nine years. His broadcasts on Friends seem to have complemented many of the stories on which he worked. In the mid-Seventies, he chaired the Washington Area Gay Community Council. He also served as a founder of Black and White Men Together's DC chapter and edited its newsletter.
A finding aid for the Aiken papers is available. Original copies of the articles and David Aiken's papers are at the Washington Historical Society's Kiplinger Library, Rainbow History's archival partner. Other topical information from David Aiken's folders is distributed topically on this website.
The Aiken Articles
David Aiken's drafts of articles he submitted to the Advocate and other publications in the 1970s document many of the local and national issues confronting the LGBTQ community of the period. As such, they are an important resource of people, events, and issues for students and researchers. The collection contains Aiken's handwritten interview notes as well. The draft articles are listed below by topic.
March 25, 1975 - Aiken reported the organization and activities of the Committee of Single Taxpayers advocating on behalf of gays, single people and widows for fairness in the tax process.
June 29, 1976 - Aiken reported unanimous passage by the DC Council of law eliminating sex discriminatory language from many sections of the DD legal code, including issues of child custody affecting the gay community.
January 3, 1977 - Aiken detailed the implementation of a new DC law stating that sexual orientation could not be a conclusive consideration for deciding child custody issues.
FAIRFAX COUNTY CIVIL RIGHTS
August 3, 1974 - Aiken covered the recent failed campaign to bring civil rights protections to the gay community in suburban Fairfax County, VA.
FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS
October 28, 1974 - Aiken discussed the new support of DC's Congressional delegate, Walter Fauntroy, and other congressmen for the Abzug bill to extend civil rights protection to the gay community.
May 27, 1976 - Aiken reviewed the campaign to include gays under the protection of US Department of Health, Education & Welfare antidiscrimination regulations.
GAA & THE DC COUNCIL
January 21, 1976 - In a lengthy article, Aiken examined the status of gays in DC and the role of the local Gay Activists Alliance in pressing and winning many local issues.
GAA CONFERENCE ON GAYS & THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
March 10, 1975 - Aiken reported plans by Washington, DC's Gay Activist Alliance for a national conference on federal treatment of gays.
GAY ACADEMIC UNION
December 8, 1974 - Aiken reports on the second Gay Academic Union conference in New York City.
1975 (undated) - Aiken's draft report on the third Gay Academic Union conference in New York City.
December 3, 1976 - Aiken reported on the fourth Gay Academic Union conference in New York City.
GAY RIGHTS IN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
November 24, 1974 - Aiken saw a major expansion of local gay political influence as a meeting with Mayor Washington moved six major issues forward.
April 9, 1976 - Aiken reported on the first gay rights demonstrations in Annapolis.
February 23, 1977 - Aiken summarized the efforts of Maryland gays to win approval of an employment rights bill.
May 3, 1975 - Aiken reported the initial success of the Gay Activists Alliance in removing funding for the Metropolitan Police Department's Prostitution, Perversion and Obscenity squad which had entrapped many homosexuals. The article demonstrates the use of the budget process for securing LGBT civil rights/social goals.
July 29, 1975 - Aiken discused the ramifications of the prosecution of local gay lawyer Joe Stewart for cruising in a DC park.
February 11, 1976 - Aiken reported on the Metropolitan Police raid on the local Club Baths and the gay community's response.
March 26, 1976 - Aiken assessed the results of a meeting between Mayor Washington and the Gay Activists Alliance in the wake of a police raid on the Club Baths the previous month.
REVIEW OF THE YEAR 1975
November 30, 1975 - In a wide-ranging article Aiken reviewed the significant advances in local gay civil rights and remaining challenges.
November 22, 1973 - Aiken reviewed the decision of the federal courts in the Gayer, Ulrich, & Wentworth case regarding Department of Defense denials of security clearances.
November 24, 1974 - Aiken reported the new 'awareness seminars' organized by the Gay Activists Alliance to eliminate stereotypes and ignorance about gays in the DC Public Schools.
TEACHERS' RIGHTS - ACANFORA
In the mid-70s, Joe Acanfora, a science teacher in the Montgomery County, MD public schools was fired after he was revealed to be gay.
February 19, 1974 - Aiken summarized the case to date with comments on the US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decisions.
US CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION
December 11, 1973 - Aiken reported the Civil Service Commission's decision to propose new regulations amending the longstanding ban on the employment of homosexuals.
January 21, 1974 - Aiken detailed the decision and issues in the Baker vs. Hampton decision reinstating two gay federal employees terminated because of their homosexuality. The article also details the campaign by Dr. Franklin E Kameny and the Gay Activists Alliance against federal employment discrimination.
July 4, 1975 - Aiken reported the US Civil Service Commission decision to to drop its ban on the employment of homosexuals.
May 31, 1976 - Aiken reported on a campaign by gay activists to have the Civil Rights Commission assert jurisdiction in matters of discrimination against homosexuals.