Skip to main content

Lee Glaze papers

Identifier: Coll2015-005

Scope and Contents

The collection includes records, correspondence, photographs and negatives, ephemera, clothing, audiovisual materials, and art. The materials are from Glaze's life and from his immediate and extended family, primarily his mother Wilma Glaze (nee Bryan).

Among Glaze's materials are photos from the 1968 "Flower Power" protest at the Los Angeles Police Department Harbor Division; photographs of Glaze's involvement in the gay club scene in the late-1960s and early-1970s; articles about Glaze and his work as an activist; photos and videos from Long Beach Pride and Disneyland's Gay Day; photos from many of Glaze's interior design and mural projects; some of Glaze's "bejeweled" clothing items; a folder of collected recipes, many handwritten; and a video interview with Wilma Glaze in which she talks about both her life and her son's life.

Among Wilma Glaze's materials are many photographs of her family, beginning in her childhood in Kansas; letters and cards from her children and grandchildren; and some of Lee's baby things.


  • 1910s-2010s


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.

Biographical Note

Lee Glaze was an activist, artist, bar manager, and prominent figure in the early days of the gay liberation movement in Los Angeles.

Glaze was born Junior Lee Glaze on January 2, 1938 in Russell, Kansas, to Forest and Wilma Glaze. The Glaze family moved to California in 1939, living in South Gate, Paramount, and Long Beach. Glaze attended Paramount High School, where he claims to have had three boyfriends, but dropped out before graduating, largely due to harassment by teachers and students alike.

In the 1960s, Glaze managed a gay bar called The Trojan Club and in 1965, opened a gay bar in Wilmington, California called The Patch. The Patch was often the target of police raids and undercover vice cops. On August 17, 1968, police arrested two men at the Patch, setting off a protest in which Glaze, the Reverend Troy Perry, and several others bought all the flowers in a local florist shop and took the flowers to the LAPD's Harbor Division station to demand that their "sisters" be released. The protest pre-dates the Stonewall Riot by 10 months, and Reverend Perry credited the events of that night and Glaze as partial inspiration for his creation of the Metropolitan Community Church that same year.

During the protest, Glaze offered to underwrite bail for the arrested men. He later started the Lee Glaze Legal Defense Fund, which continued to help members of the LGBTQ+ community who faced discrimination and needed legal assistance.

Glaze eventually left the bar business and became a muralist and interior designer. He created murals for many Long Beach businesses, including the Miller Children's Hospital.

Glaze was an advocate of gay rights throughout his life. He frequently attended the Gay Day celebrations at Disneyland and was a fixture at Long Beach Pride celebrations for much of his life. In 2006, he was honored as the Grand Marshal of Long Beach Pride. Towards the end of his life, he advocated tirelessly for the federal recognition of same-sex marriage.

Glaze retired to Triangle Square in Hollywood, a facility that caters to LGBTQ seniors. He died at the Guardian Rehabilitation Hospital in Los Angeles on November 22, 2013 at the age of 75.


11 Linear Feet (13 boxes.)

Language of Materials



Lee Glaze was an artist, activist, bar manager, and prominent figure in the early years of the Los Angeles gay rights movement. His papers contain photographs, records, correspondence, ephemera, and audiovisual materials.


The collection is grouped into three series: 1) Personal Materials; 2) Art and Interior Design; and 3) Media.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Lee Glaze papers were acquired in a series of donations between May-June 2014 following Glaze's death. Donor unknown.

Processing Information

Processing this collection has been funded by a generous grant from the California State Library. Collection processed by Beth McDonald, 2020.

Finding aid to the Lee Glaze papers, 1910s-2010s
Beth McDonald
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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