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Lowcountry Gay & Lesbian Alliance (LGLA) records

Identifier: Mss 0206

Collection Overview

This collection consists of the records of the Lowcountry Gay & Lesbian Alliance (LGLA), a nonprofit organization that was dedicated to ending discrimination against and providing services to the LGBTQ community. The records span the years from 1991 to 2005 and include correspondence, reference files, newsletters, fliers, and objects. The records document LGLA’s operation and events they hosted for LGBTQ people and allies in the Charleston, S.C., area.

The records include operating files consisting of financial information, correspondence, bylaws and information on other LGBTQ groups and issues. The collection does not contain minutes from LGLA meetings, but brief meeting summaries are included in some issues of Rainbow Times. The records also include event files for events hosted by LGLA, notably OutFest and the Festival of the Arts. Event files contain fliers, newspaper clippings, programs, and correspondence about the activities. The event files include one 3.5” floppy disk. The contents of the floppy disk have been printed out and filed in the collection. Where possible, original folder titles have been retained.

There are also newsletters published monthly by LGLA. The newsletters were published under several different names, including Gay Daze, Rainbow Times, and Rainbow Times Newsource. The collection does not contain newsletters prior to 1995, and only has one issue each from the years 1995 and 1996. Only a few scattered issues are missing post-1996. Newsletters were generally published monthly. Note that volume and issue numbering is sometimes inconsistent. Also included are a few issues of the Charleston, S.C. gay newspaper The Loop. While not published by LGLA, The Loop included LGLA events in their calendar. The records also contain two license plates with the word Jesus backed by a rainbow.


  • Creation: 1991-2005


Language of Material

Materials are in English

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the College of Charleston's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. Special Collections claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Historical Note

The Lowcountry Gay & Lesbian Alliance (LGLA) was founded in Charleston, S.C., in August 1990 as a nonprofit organization with the goal of ending prejudice and discrimination against gays and lesbians through public education and service to the Charleston-area gay and lesbian community. LGLA received tax-exempt status as a 501(a) in 1992. By 1998, LGLA had expanded its mission to include bisexual and transgender people, and modified its governing structure from two co-chairs to a president and vice president. Joseph Sass and Birgit Pols were the first co-chairs in 1990 and 1991. Other leading officers included co-chairs Allen Reardon (two terms), Kevin Campbell, Margaret Loos, Kathy Hartman (1997-1998), and Mike Schwarzott (1997-1998). Presidents included Frances Wright (1998-1999), Trish Bender (1999-2000), Dick Latham (2000-2002), and Allen Reardon (2002-2004). One of the organization’s main services was a telephone information line. It provided event news, referrals, and general information to Lowcountry residents on gay and lesbian issues. LGLA’s telephone information line was one of the first listings in local telephone directories concerning gays and lesbians. LGLA provided regular social activities for LGBTQ people, including monthly potlucks, an annual cruise in Charleston harbor, and an annual beach party. The organization also participated in local celebrations of national and international LGBTQ activities like National Coming Out Day, World AIDS Day, and pride marches. OutFest, the first coming out festival in the Charleston area, was started by LGLA in 1997. LGLA also participated in activism movements, like letter writing campaigns to political representatives and government institutions in support of LGBTQ rights. LGLA assisted other Charleston-area LGBTQ organizations like We Are Family, Metropolitan Community Church, and Lowcountry AIDS Services (now known as Palmetto Community Care). For example, LGLA raised money for Lowcountry AIDS Services through their Festival of the Arts, a weeklong arts exhibition hosted at Circular Congregational Church. Throughout its existence, LGLA issued a monthly newsletter, which was published under several different names, including Gay Daze, Rainbow Times, and Rainbow Times Newsource. The newsletter provided LGLA members with information on the organization’s activities; state, national, and international LGBTQ news; and events at other local LGBTQ organizations and bars. Local businesses also advertised in the newsletter. The exact year that the organization ceased operations is unclear. No activities appear in these records after LGLA’s annual harbor cruise in April 2005, although it continued to be referenced as an area LGBTQ resource in the Charleston City Paper as late as 2010.


2.42 linear feet (1 carton, 1 oversize box, 1 floppy disk)


These records contain operating files, newsletters, and event files documenting the activities of the Lowcountry Gay & Lesbian Alliance (LGLA), a Charleston, S.C. nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people and opposing discrimination. Topics include LGBTQ civil and legal rights including same-sex marriage, homophobia, and coming out as a member of the LGBTQ community. Materials also relate to LGLA’s partnerships with other Charleston-area LGBTQ groups including We Are Family and Lowcountry AIDS Services (now known as Palmetto Community Care).

Collection Arrangement

  1. Operating files, 1991-2004
  2. Event files, 1997-2005
  3. Newsletters, 1995-2004
  4. Objects, undated

Custodial History

When the Lowcountry Gay & Lesbian Alliance (LGLA) closed, it donated these records to the Alliance for Full Acceptance (AFFA). AFFA then donated its records, including LGLA’s records, to the College of Charleston Special Collections in 2017. LGLA’s records were separated from AFFA’s records during processing.

Acquisitions Information

Materials donated in 2017 by the Alliance for Full Acceptance.


No further accruals are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Rebecca Thayer, December 2018.

Inventory of the Lowcountry Gay & Lesbian Alliance (LGLA) Records, 1991-2005
Processed by: Rebecca Thayer; finding aid created by: Rebecca Thayer
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Funding from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation supported the processing of this collection and the creation of this finding aid.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections
College of Charleston Libraries
66 George Street
Charleston South Carolina 29424
(843) 953-8016
(843) 953-6319 (Fax)