Edward Westrick collection on Veterans Council for American Rights and Equality
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection comprises minutes, correspondence, newsletters, clippings, manuscripts, notes, financial records, flyers, photographs, audiocassettes, textiles, memorabilia and other material primarily documenting the activities of the Los Angeles Council of Veterans Council for American Rights and Equality (Veterans CARE), founded in July 1984. The bulk of the materials date from the founding of Veterans CARE to 1997, approximately the date Edward Westrick donated the materials to ONE Archives. The collection is divided into nine series: (1) Veterans CARE administration, (2) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans of America (GLBVA), (3) Events and activities, (4) Newsletters, (5) Other organizations and resource material, (6) Edward Westrick, (7) Photographs, (8) Sound recordings and (9) Textiles and memorabilia.
The Veterans CARE Administration Series contains incorporation papers, minutes, correspondence, financial records and other materials documenting activities of the Veterans CARE Board of Directors as well as the operations of the national headquarters in Los Angeles and the other California councils. The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans of America (GLBVA) Series includes material related to the national organization based in Washington D.C., as well as various local chapters. The Events and Activities Series contains materials documenting the various activities in which Veterans CARE participated or organized. The Newsletters Series comprises issues and resource material for the Veterans CARE newsletter, Aware, as well as issues from other GLBVA chapters and veterans' organizations. The Other Organizations and Resource Material Series includes clippings, correspondence and various publications used for research and educational outreach. The Edward Westrick Series includes personal papers of Westrick, particularly his illustrations and graphic design projects. The Photographs Series comprises photographs and photocopies of photographs of Veterans CARE members and activities. The Sound Recordings Series comprises four audiocassettes of music and Veterans CARE meetings. And the Textiles and Memorabilia Series contains buttons, flags, a t-shirt and other ephemera used in parades or other Veterans CARE activities.
- 1920 - 2002
- Majority of material found within 1984 - 1997
- Westrick, Edward A. (Person)
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright holder(s).
In early 1984, following California Governor Deukmejian's veto of AB1 (a California state gay rights measure), writer and health administrator Jim Highland began meeting regularly with fellow veterans to discuss issues relevant to the gay and lesbian community. By May of that year, the group, which had grown to approximately 30 people, began developing a charter, bylaws and incorporation papers. The incorporation papers for the Veterans Council for American Rights and Equality, Inc. (Veterans CARE) were signed by Jim Highland, First Officer, on June 20, 1984, and endorsed by the California Secretary of State's office two days later.
The primary activities of Veterans CARE were fighting discrimination on behalf of former service members and upgrading "dishonorable" discharges to "honorable"; educating the general public on homophobia and discrimination against gays and lesbians, particularly in the U.S. military; organizing West Hollywood's first Veterans' Day Parade and Vietnam Memorial; and publishing a monthly newsletter, Aware. By 1985, local councils of Veterans CARE had been organized in San Francisco and the Redwood Empire, in Rohnert Park, CA.
In 1987, Veterans CARE took an active role in the March on Washington for Gay & Lesbian Rights, and it participated in various national organizing conferences of gay and lesbian veterans. In 1991, lesbian veteran Miriam Ben-Shalom, and other veterans, including officers from Veterans CARE, organized the national organization, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans of America (GLBVA), with local chapters throughout the United States. Subsequently, the Los Angeles Council of Veterans CARE became the Los Angeles chapter of the GLBVA.
In the spring of 2002, the GLBVA changed its name to American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER). By 2010, Veterans CARE, also known as the Los Angeles chapter of AVER, had become inactive.
Sources: Darby, James C. and Patrick Bova, "History: The Gay Veterans Movement To Achieve Equality in America's Armed Forces," Gay Military Signal,
Edward Westrick Collection on Veterans Council for American Rights and Equality, Coll2009-018, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California
10.5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Minutes, correspondence, newsletters, clippings, manuscripts, notes, financial records, flyers, photographs, audiocassettes, textiles, memorabilia and other material relating to the gay and lesbian veterans' organization, Veterans Council for American Rights and Equality (Veterans CARE), founded in Los Angeles in 1984 by James Highland. The bulk of the materials was collected and donated by Edward Westrick, who served as the organization's Commander, and relates to the activities of the Los Angeles chapter of Veterans CARE, as well as other Veterans CARE chapters and the national organization, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Veterans of America (GLBVA).
Date and method of acquisition unknown.
The following publications have been separated from the Edward Westrick collection and entered into the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives' database:
Bourdonnay, Katherine, R. Charles Johnson, Joseph Schuman, and Bridget Wilson. Fighting Back: Lesbian and Gay Draft, Military and Veterans Issues. Edited by Joseph Schuman and Kathleen Gilberd. Chicago, IL: National Lawyers Guild Military Law Task Force: Copies distributed by Midwest Committee for Military Counseling, 1985.
Gayellow Pages: The National Edition. New York: Renaissance House, 1985.
Gorey, Edward. The Glorious Nosebleed. New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1974.
Herrn, Rainer. 100 Years of the Gay Rights Movement in Germany: An Exhibition of the Goethe-Institut. New York: Goethe-Institut New York, 1997.
Steiner, Lucius B. Sex Behavior of the Homosexual. Hollywood, CA: The Genell Corporation, 1964.
General Physical Description note
8 archive boxes + 2 flat archive boxes.
Formerly housed in boxes 103-103, 103-124, 103-139, 103-270, 103-271, 103-272, 103-273, 103-274, 103-275a, 103-275b, 103-276, 103-277, 103-278, 103-279, 103-280, 103-281, 103-285. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, December 31, 2009. An additional 0.1 linear foot of deteriorated and damaged materials remains unprocessed, awaiting preservation and conservation.
- Finding aid of the Edward Westrick Collection on Veterans Council for American Rights and Equality Coll2009.018
- Loni Shibuyama
- © 2010
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in: English