This exhibit pulls materials from across the Tretter Collection in GLBT Studies to demonstrate the way mail has been an integral tool for LGBTQ community building. Using personal papers, organizational records, and periodicals held in the Tretter Collection, this exhibit examines how the use of mail by LGBTQ people has subverted the postal service through challenging obscenity laws, and the reliance on anonymity and discretion leading up to the Gay Liberation Movement of the 1970s.
By incorporating love letters, hate mail, pen pals, classified ads, and reader written periodicals from the 1950s through today, Dear Community evidences how sending mail has been a vehicle for queer and trans people to find themselves, find each other, and build community.
Curated by Aiden Bettine, Curator of the Tretter Collection in GBLT Studies
Exhibit design by Darren Terpstra
What: Dear Community: Mail, Correspondence, and Postal Activism in LGBTQ History
When: Monday, Feb. 19 through Friday, May 17, 2024 (Weekdays only)
Hours: Open during library hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday)
Where: Elmer L. Andersen Library, First floor gallery | Parking & directions