Item #5155 GPU News. [March 1972].

GPU News. [March 1972].

Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Gay People's Union of Milwaukee, 1972. 11” x 8½”. Unstapled bifolia. Pp. 16. Very good: light wear, light toning at extremities, faint crease at upper outer corners.

The Gay People's Union of Milwaukee [GPU] was formed in 1970 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a student organization called the “Gay Liberation Organization.” That group split into two factions, one of which became the GPU. By the end of 1971, the GPU was no longer a student organization at the university, but a community-wide entity. According to the University of Wisconsin's digital collections site, the GPU:

“was the most important gay and lesbian rights organization in Milwaukee during the 1970s . . . [It] actively embraced mainstream and alternative media outlets in order to educate the general public about homosexuality. It produced the first regularly scheduled, scripted gay and lesbian radio program in the nation, Gay Perspective . . . they opened the first gay/lesbian community center . . . [and] the first gay health clinic . . . The GPU was also the first organization in Milwaukee to host an event that had “Pride” appeal, with over 350 people attending the GPU Ball in 1974 . . . The GPU largely went into decline after about 1985. Its magazine, the GPU News, for 10 years the best source of local gay/ lesbian news, was folded after the January 1981 issue after not enough volunteers were available to create it.”

This is a very early issue of the magazine which was first published in October, 1971. It has an article on the national gay conference that was held in Chicago the previous month, a full page of poems by a poet named “Narcissti,” and an application for 1972's Midwest Homophile Conference. There's also a full page interview of Father Joseph Feldhausen who made national news a few months earlier for performing a wedding ceremony for two women, Donna Burkett and Manonia Evans.

Institutional holdings are difficult to determine as a digital version of the newsletter exists and 69 entities over two entries are shown as having some version of physical, internet or other digital holding. Of the ten libraries from OCLC we checked directly, one had one physical issue.

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