Tom Mertz collection on Queer Nation
Scope and Contents
The collection comprises press material, flyers, clippings, correspondence, notes, protest signs, audiocassettes, and a VHS videocassette from activist Tom Mertz documenting the activities of the Los Angeles chapter of Queer Nation, 1990-2000. The bulk of the materials documents the actions Queer Nation/LA organized and the media attention it received, including actions against the Arsenio Hall Show, Barney's Beanery, and Dr. Laura Schlesinger. Also included is material for a radio documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Los Angeles Gay Community Services Center, produced by Mertz for the IMRU radio program on KPFK.
- Creation: 1990 - 2000
- Mertz, Tom (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.
Conditions Governing Use
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the ONE Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
Queer Nation was an action-oriented movement formed in New York City in April 1990 in response to a sharp increase in violence against LGBT people. The group sought to increase LGBT visibility and fight "oppression, homophobia, racism, misogyny, the bigotry of religious hypocrites and our own self-hatred" through direct actions. By the next year, 60 chapters of Queer Nation sprung up in cities throughout North America. Queer Nation/Los Angeles formed in 1990 and engaged in actions such as protesting Governor Pete Wilson's veto of AB 101 anti-discrimination bill; picketting during the Academy Awards and encouraging Hollywood actors to come out; and organizing a zap on the Arsenio Hall Show to confront the host on his lack of LGBT guests.
Source: Freeman, Elizabeth. "Queer Nation." Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History in America. 3 vols. Marc Stein, Ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons: Thomson Gale, 2003. 478-481.
"Queer Nation (organization)," ONE Subject File collection, Coll2012-001, ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles, California
0.4 Linear Feet (1 archive carton + 1 mapcase drawer.)
Language of Materials
Press material, flyers, clippings, correspondence, notes, protest signs, audiocassettes, and a VHS videocassette from Tom Mertz documenting the activities of the Los Angeles chapter of Queer Nation, 1990-2000. The collection documents the actions Queer Nation/LA organized and the media attention it received, including a zap on the Arsenio Hall Show in 1991.
This collection is arranged chronologically.
Gift of Tom Mertz, December 14, 2006.
Queer Nation News (December 1990-February 1991) has been separated to the periodicals.
The following items have been separated to the ONE Archives garments collection:
"ACT UP" circa 1990 (1 sweatshirt).
"Make Queer Film" circa 1991 (1 t-shirt).
"Queer Defense Squad; Queer Nation/LA" 1991 (1 t-shirt).
"Stop Dr. Laura: are you a biological error?" 2000 (1 t-shirt).
"We'll Have a Gay Old Time" circa 1992 (1 t-shirt).
The following items have been separated to the ONE Archives posters collection:
"Every 10th Jesus is a Queer" 1991.
"Who is the Most Important Man in the World?" 2000.
The following art works have been separated to the Jaime Green Collection (unprocessed):
"Easter Eggs XII" 1996.
"How to Use a Condom" 1996.
"Sister X" 1993.
"The Essence of Men" 1994.
Formerly box #102-A135. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, May 2014.
- Finding Aid to the Tom Mertz Collection on Queer Nation, 1990-2000
- Loni Shibuyama
- (c) 2014
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description is in English.
- Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.