Held at: John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center [Contact Us]1315 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The Gay Alternative was a literary forum for gay expression created by a collective of individuals during the early years of gay liberation. This magazine began as a newsletter of the Gay Activists Alliance of Philadelphia. They hoped to provide information, opinion, and discussion regarding the many aspects of gay life in Philadelphia. The magazine was published in Philadelphia from December 1972 through April 1976
Jeffrey Escoffier was a founder of The Gay Alternative. He has been involved in political and intellectual journalism for almost twenty-five years, has taught at the college level in New Jersey and California, and has been extensively involved in the formation and publication of many gay-specific endeavors including OUT/LOOK: National Gay & Lesbian Quarterly and OutWrite: National Gay & Lesbians Writers' Conferences.
Jeffrey Escoffier records of The Gay Alternative include records of the magazine and a small amount of Jeffrey Escoffier's personal papers. The collection includes original documents (many hand-written) that pertain to the activities of the magazine, such as administrative forms, financial statements, and internal as well as external correspondence. The bulk of the collection, however, is manuscripts, some with editors' corrections, which were subsequently published in the magazine (or not). Finally, it includes personal papers of Jeffrey Escoffier, including a paper he delivered to the Homosexual Community Counseling Center Conference on Vocational Guidance and Gay Lifestyles in 1974 in New York.
The collection may interest researchers who desire an understanding of one of Philadelphia's first gay literary magazines. It provides a thorough look at the operation of The Gay Alternative as well as provides a personal look at some of the work of Jeffrey Escoffier from 1972 to 1976. The papers reveal attitudes and beliefs of one segment of the gay community through essay, commentary, poetry, letters, etc.
The collection is organized in three series: "I. Original manuscripts" organized by author's last name; "II. 'The Gay Alternative' administrative records"; and "III. Jeffrey Escoffier papers." An inventory is provided below.
This collection was donated to Tommi Avicolli Mecca's Gay/Lesbian Archives in the early 1980s. Mecca transferred this and other collections to the William Way Community Center's Library/Archives in 1991.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR), using data provided by the John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives of Philadelphia. The HCI-PSAR project was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was done in the HCI-PSAR project.
- John J. Wilcox, Jr. LGBT Archives, William Way LGBT Community Center
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories using data provided by the John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives of Philadelphia
- This preliminary finding aid was created by staff of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) using data provided by the John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives of Philadelphia. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Any correspondence with private individuals is embargoed until 50 years after the creation date of the correspondence; correspondence with organizations, public figures, and businesses is unrestricted. Contact John J. Wilcox Jr. LGBT Archives of Philadelphia for more information about accessing this collection.