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LHU to hold virtual book discussion

LOCK HAVEN — Lock Haven University President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs will host a virtual book and author presentation on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 6 p.m. via Zoom, of the newly released book, “Out in Central Pennsylvania: The History of an LGBTQ Community,” published by Penn State University Press.

Authors William Burton and Barry Loveland will discuss and read selected passages.

The general public is invited to register for the free event by contacting Dr. Rick Schulze at fschulze@lockhaven.edu. Pre-registration is required in order to receive the Zoom code. Registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 2 at 5 p.m.

Outside of major metropolitan areas, the fight for LGBTQ+ rights has had its own unique history — one that is very different from New York and California. “Out in Central Pennsylvania” highlights one part of this lesser-known, but equally important story, and takes readers into the LGBTQ+ community in the small cities and towns in central Pennsylvania from the 1960s to the present day. Drawing from oral histories and the archives of the LGBT Center of Central Pennsylvania History Project, this book recalls the ways that central Pennsylvanians organized to demand civil rights and to improve our quality of life in a region that often rejected them.

Bre Reynolds, chairperson, President’s Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, and assistant director of admissions, noted “Lock Haven University values an inclusive environment for all students and this talk is an opportunity for all of us to acknowledge the struggles and achievements of LGBTQ people throughout the region. We hope our students can learn from the past to help create a more welcoming society for everyone.”

The book authors will briefly discuss the development of the first gay and lesbian organizations and leaders in several small cities in Pennsylvania, and the beginning of campus organizing. It also looks at groundbreaking efforts by Governor Milton Shapp to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for state employees and in the policies and programs of all state agencies. The book covers the local response to the HIV/AIDS crisis, the work for passing local non-discrimination ordinances, the lesbian movement, the rise of Pride celebrations, providing safe space for LGBTQ+ youth, the transgender movement, election of local LGBTQ+ politicians, and many other topics. The book includes 86 historical photos and other images of historical documents and artifacts.

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