Texas Gay Conferences
Texas Gay Task Force
1974 - 1982


Before Anita Bryant lit the spark in 1977 that jump started the gay movement around the country, activism did exist and
one example in Texas was a series of conferences.
The Texas Gay Conference was formed in late 1973 and was held
annually through 1982, rotating in different cities around the state to organize political activism. Conferences featured
national speakers and workshops on a variety of subjects.

I am pleased to present many of the conference programs and associated clippings. For the 1979 conference I have a
page of photos. A lot of Texas gay and lesbian history can be found in the programs, which are courtesy of the Botts Collection.
Click on "PDF" to view or download the programs.

Out of TGC I came the formation of TGTF (Texas Gay Task Force, later the TGLTF). This apparently had no connection to the
National Gay Task Force (NGTF), which was formed in 1973, and still exists (as the National LGBTQ Task Force).
I believe TGLTF disolved at the end of 1984.

  

TGC-I-06/21/74, PDF

TGC I was sponsored by the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex Gay Council, and was held in Fort Worth.

Featured speakers included
Barbara Gittings
Frank Kameny
Rev. Freda Smith, MCC Sacramento

The conference experienced major police harrassment when officers were observed taking down automobile license plate information of attendees, which was turned over to the police vice and intelligence departments. This was followed up by protests by the ACLU and various gay groups.

TCC-II & III-06/75-76, PDF

San Antonio hosted the second TGC and it
was attended by more than 150 people
from across the state.

Featured speakers included
Morris Kight, Los Angeles
Carolyn Innes, Gay Nurses Alliance

Workshops led by
Janna Zumbrun, Pokey Anderson,
Dennis Milam,
Rev Bob Shivers, and others

TCC-II & III-06/75-76, PDF

Held in Houston, June 18-20, 1976.

Featured speakers included
Jean O'Leary, NGTF
Vito Russo, with film presentation

TGC-IV-6/18/77, PDF

Austin, June 18-19, 1977

Featured speakers
Ken Cyr, Houston
Ray Hill, Houston
Janna Zumbrun

TGC-V-6/9/78, PDF

Dallas, June 10-11, 1978

Featured speakers
Don Amador, author & activist
Kathy Deitsch, Texas Gay Task Force
Harvey Milk, San Francisco
Ginny Apuzzo, Gay Rights National Lobby

and there was a showing and discussion
of the 1978 documentary "Gay U.S.A."

TGC-VI-8/17/79, PDF

Austin, August 17-19, 1979

Featured speakers
Leonard Matlovich
Pat Bond, actress, activist
Lucia Valeska, NGTF

The programs give a history up to that
point of Texas Gay Conference

Photos from the conference

TGC-VII-10/17/80, PDF

Denton, October 17-19, 1980

Featured speakers
Deralyn Davis, Tx Democratic Party
Morris Kight, Los Angeles activist
Steve Wilkins, Dallas

based on a last minute decision by the
Texas Gay Task Force, this conference had
the disadvantage of having only three
months of planning before the date

TGC-VIII-9/4/81, PDF

Houston, September 4-6, 1981

Featured speakers
Patricia Nell Warren, author
Jack Nichols, Atlanta activist
Disco Grandma Mary Thelma Hansen

Workshops presented by
Larry Bagneris, Kent Naasz,
Mort Schwab, Phyllis Frye,
Lee Harrington, Barbara Cignaro,
Ray Hill and others

TGC-IX-9/3/82, PDF

Houston, September 3-5, 1982

Featured speakers
Debra Danburg, State Rep.
Harry Britt, SF Supervisor
Janna Zumbrun, Austin activist

Workshops presented by
Ray Hill, Kent Naasz, Aaron Fricke (author),
Dr Peter Mansell, Danny Villa,
Michael McAdory
,
Tony Carroll, Phyllis Frye, and others



Insight

Had a special issue on TGC#8

Volume 1-2, 8/81, PDF

(This is the only
issue I have seen
of this pubication)

Founder

   

Photos are rare and these are circa 1974, but above left is Ken Cyr, the organization's founder.
Above right he is with his partner (at the time) Charles Gillis, also very active in the the conferences.
They moved to Houston where Ken began using his middle name Adrian, and Charles owned
Wilde 'N Stein Bookstore
. Cyr died in 1993 and Gillis lives in Austin.

Clippings

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978



1979

   


1980

   

above, Adrian Cyr's name badge for TGC 7

1981

TGC History from the Program for TGC VIII, 1981

1982

 

The 1982 Texas Gay Conference was the last of that format,
and one more event was held the next year. My source for the
programs and correspondence has been the Botts Collection,
and the 1982 file was the last one in their collection.

1983

   

1984

above is the largest scan I could find

The listing below, November 1984, is the same one found all during that
year and continuing to March 1985, just a listing, no activity.

 1985

This ad below ran in the classifieds section of TWT until January 18, 1985,
apparently marking the end of the organization

What Happened Next?

While the efforts of the TGC and TGTF were winding down
by the end of 1984, other approaches begun in 1978 were continuing.

In 1978 representatives from TGTF and the Lesbian / Gay Democrats of Texas (LGDT)
formed a lobbying effort called Human Rights Advocates. The main goal was to hire a
lobbyist (Bettie Naylor) to work with the legislature sessions to protect our interests.
In 1982 these groups escalated their efforts and established the Lesbian Gay Rights
Advocates (LGRA), which in 1989 became the Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby (LGRL).
It morphed again in 2006 into Equality Texas.

below, from the Equality Texas website