October is LGBTQ history month and Special Collections is highlighting some of our LGBTQ materials in our collection. One year ago, we created our LGBTQ subject guide to assist our researchers and patrons. The subject guide is split into five categories: Documentary Films, University Publications and Records, Interviews, Books in Special Collections, and Local Publications.

A large bulk of the materials in this subject guide discuss the union ceremony between Susan Parker and Wendy Scott at Wake Forest’s Wait Chapel. Initially, the university denied their request. A controversy ensued and members of the Winston-Salem and Wake Forest communities rallied to support them. Eventually, they were able to have their ceremony at Wait Chapel in 1999. A Union in Wait is a 2001 documentary film by Ryan Butler that offers in-depth coverage of the topic. To supplement, we have materials from various departments, administrators, and local publications.

Another valuable resource is the thesis paper written by Wake Forest student Justice Von Maur, “An Oral History of Gay and Lesbian Activism at Wake Forest University 1985 to 2000.” The paper examines gay, lesbian, and LGBTQ activism on WFU’s campus within the context of similar activism on other North Carolina campuses. Events mentioned include Senator Sam Nunn’s selection as 1996 commencement speaker and the controversy regarding a same-sex wedding in Wait Chapel. For additional oral histories and interviews, please refer to the Interviews section of the subject guide for more LGBTQ Wake Forest history.

Another invaluable resource is the interactive online LGBTQ exhibit curated by Dr. Angela Mazaris’ Queer Public Histories class during the Fall 2015 semester titled “Mother So Queer: A Queer History of Wake Forest University.” The exhibit contains full length interviews conducted by past and current students, segments from interviews curated by theme, and a timeline of Wake Forest’s LGBTQ History.Finally, we are continually adding entries to our History of Wake Forest timeline. To view our LGBTQ entries, please select Tags and then LGBTQ. If you would like to see additional LGBTQ entries on the timeline, please feel free to email us at archives@wfu.edu.