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Dusty Pruitt Papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: Coll2012-029

Scope and Content

The Dusty Pruitt papers encompass personal and professional papers from circa 1945 to 2002. The papers are comprised of reports, notes, promotional material, legal papers, interviews, correspondence, periodical clippings, videocassettes, photographs and other material. The bulk of the materials relate to Pruitt's legal proceedings with the Department of Defense, as well as a media project documenting her life titled, A Woman at War. Her ministry with the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) Long Beach is documented through a body of textual information as well as video recordings and photographs. Also included are awards and citations from various organizations.


  • Creation: 1945 - 2002
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1983 - 1995



The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.

Publication Rights

Researchers wishing to publish material must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives as the physical owner of the material. Note that permission to publish does not constitute copyright clearance. ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials from the copyright holder(s).


Carolyn Dusty Pruitt was born on July 19, 1946, in Ballinger, Texas the first of three siblings. She earned an Associate of Arts degree from Jacksonville Baptist College in Jacksonville, Texas in 1965. She graduated in 1970 from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Spanish with a minor in Education. Pruitt was an Army officer from 1970 to 1983, transferring to the Reserves in 1976. In 1980, she graduated from the Cliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado with a Master of Divinity. She received her Doctor of Ministry degree from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California in 1987. Pruitt started her ministry as Assistant Pastor of Agape Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Fort Worth, Texas and Denver, Colorado. She was the pastor of MCC Long Beach, California for 15 years, until 1995. After leaving MCC Long Beach, Ms. Pruitt was pastor for various MCC churches until her retirement in 2001 with 25 years of service.

In 1983, during her pastoral tenure and her position as a CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear) defense instructor in the Army Reserve, she gave an interview to the Los Angeles Times, "Pastor Resolves Gay, God Conflict: Church Works to Heal Homosexuals' Religious Scars." The article initiated a review into Ms. Pruitt's character causing her promotion to major to be withdrawn; and she was subsequently honorably discharged. Together, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund fought a 12-year legal battle which ended in 1995 with Pruitt's reinstatement and promotion to Major, then retirement from the Army Reserve.

As of 2012, she is the Pastor of Safe Harbor United Church of Christ (UCC) and a hospice chaplain. She lives in Sussex County, Delaware.

Source: Pruitt, Dusty. "Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt." (accessed February 23, 2012).


4.7 Linear Feet (2 archive boxes + 3 archive cartons + 1 flat box.)

Language of Materials



The Dusty Pruitt Collection is comprised of personal and professional papers (1945-2002, bulk 1983-1995) from minister, Army veteran and activist Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt. The papers include reports, legal briefs, interviews, correspondence, administration records, videocassettes, photographs and clippings from Pruitt related to a 12-year legal dispute with the Department of Defense pertaining to her sexual orientation; a proposed film about Pruitt, entitled A Woman at War; and Pruitt's ministry at the Metropolitan Community Church in Long Beach, California.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Rev. Dr. Dusty Pruitt, August 26, 2008.

Related Materials

Metropolitan Community Church Long Beach collection, Coll2008-039, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California.

Separated Materials

Following has been separated from the collection:

Newsweek Vol. 120 #11: September 14, 1992; Vol. 121 #5: February 01, 1993
The Directory --Long Beach, Vol. 152, # 1: June 1994
City Scan, Spring 1994
The Female 411, #001
Island Lifestyle, November 1991
OUT! magazine, Issue 48: June 1993
The Hollywood Reporter, Vol 324, # 49, December 08, 1992
California Lawyer, Vol. 13, #7: July 1993
Time, Vol. 138, #7: August 19, 1991
The Advocate, #613: October 06, 1992; #634: July 27, 1993
The SCWA Newsletter, Vol. 17, #3: June-July, 1993; Vol. 19, #4: August-September, 1995
The Christian Century, Vol. 110, #19: June-July, 1993
Los Angeles Dispatch, Vol. 1, #7: February 17, 1988
On Guard, #14
The News, Vol. 2, #24: February 19, 1988
The Daily Breeze, Vol. 91, #279: October 06, 1985
The Center Post, April, 1992; December, 1992
The Lesbian News,>, Vol. 16, #3: October, 1990; Vol. 18, #4: November, 1992, Vol. 18, #6: January, 1993; Vol. 18, #8: March, 1993; Vol. 18, #9: April, 1993; Vol. 18, #11: June, 1993; Vol. 18, #12: July, 1993; Vol. 20, #6: January, 1995
Frontiers, Vol. 11, #14: November 6-20, 1992; Vol. 12, #2: May 21-June 4, 1993
The Post, April 1993; June 1993
Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, Inc.Pride Equals Power: Pride Guide 1992
People for the American WayPress Clips, October-January, 1987-88
GLAAD/LA Reports5th Anniversary Issue
Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club XII Human Rights Awards Banquet, Queen Mary: November 06, 1993
LLGM Voices of Distinction Benefit
ONE in Long Beach The First Annual Long Beach Gay & Lesbian Film Festival: 1993

Processing Information

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Collection processed by Sean Marshall, February 2012.

Finding Aid to the Dusty Pruitt Papers, 1945-2002
Sean Marshall
© 2012
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is inEnglish.

Repository Details

Part of the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries, University of Southern California Repository

909 West Adams Boulevard
Los Angeles California 90007 United States
(213) 821-2771